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19th October 2017, Seoul

Improved railways sleepers with UHPC

The Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) based in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, will receive an Innovation Award at the forthcoming JEC Asia International Composites in Seoul (November 1-3) for its development of railway sleepers based on ultra-high-performance cementitious composites.

Ultra-high-performance cementitious composites (UHPC) are among the most advanced cement-based composites and possess superior mechanical properties, including a compressive strength greater than 150 MPa, high ductility, impact resistance and durability.

Ultra-high-performance cementitious composites (UHPC) are among the most advanced cement-based composites and possess superior mechanical properties, including a compressive strength greater than 150 MPa, high ductility, impact resistance and durability.In order to achieve such impressive mechanical properties, most UHPC mixtures intentionally exclude coarse aggregates, which leads to high strength by minimizing the interfacial transition zone.

The UHPC developed by the KRRI is based on an innovative design concept that incorporates coarser fine aggregates without sacrifice of mechanical properties, lowering material costs by up to 22%.

The UHPC railway sleepers minimizes steel reinforcements in railway sleepers since all the reinforcing steel bars can be removed and the diameter of pre-stressed bars can be reduced from 11mm to 9.2mm, reducing steel usage by more than 25% compared to conventional concrete sleepers.

In addition, the high durability, ductility and impact resistance of the new cement-based composites makes it possible to extend their lifespan by five times compared to conventional concrete sleepers.

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