Investigation of the elastic modulus of polymer sleepers under a quasistatic and cyclic loading

Vít Lojda, Aran Van Belkom, Hana Krejčiříková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


In ballasted track, the wheel load is transmitted to the subgrade via sleepers commonly made of impregnated wood, prestressed concrete, steel or recently developed polymer sleepers. Mentioned material types of sleepers are characterized by different elastic moduli being a key parameter in any numerical model. Hence, this paper aims to determine the elastic modulus of sleepers subjected to a laboratory four-point bending test. Traffic resembling load level of 60 kN adopted from a typical axle load distributed by the rails to the sleeper was applied in a quasistatic and cyclic loading. The samples included sleepers made of polymers complemented with wood and pre-stressed concrete. The results of this paper are based on the elastic modulus investigation. Main conclusions are focused on the sleeper's elastic modulus under changing loading frequencies. Wood and prestressed concrete sleepers indicated mainly elastic behaviour resulting in a constant elastic modulus. However, polymer sleepers showed a loading frequency dependent elastic modulus as a result of their viscous elastic behaviour. Moreover, the conclusions of this paper involve E-modulus measurements of impregnated beech sleepers in order to describe their piece by piece elasticity variation due to their natural origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalCivil and Environmental Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bending experiment
  • Cyclic loading
  • Elastic modulus
  • Polymer sleeper
  • Viscoelasticity


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