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Static flexural behaviour of fly ash-based geopolymer composite beam: An alternative railway sleeper
  • Wahid Ferdous
These days, the most commonly used materials for railway sleepers are timber, concrete and steel. High maintenance cost, installation issues, deterioration of materials, and environmental considerations are among the factors that prompt research and industry to seek a different and more efficient system. This research was undertaken with the aim of developing a material for sleepers which may overcome some of these problems. Through a comprehensive survey of the literature, it was decided to propose and investigate a sleeper system composed of fly ash-based geopolymer concrete and pultruded FRP profile composites. Although the engineering properties of fly ash-based geopolymer concrete have previously been studied, very little work has been conducted on mix design procedures that may be suitable for this new type of concrete. This study proposes a method for selecting the mix proportions of geopolymer concrete which may be suitable for concrete containing fly ash to be used as a cementitious material. A range of mixes using various water-to-geopolymer solids ratios and different amounts of fly ash content were made to test the method. The experimental results showed that certain basic principles established for conventional concrete still hold true for geopolymer concrete mix designs. An experimental investigation was then conducted into the flexural behaviour of the composite beam made from geopolymer concrete and pultruded FRP composites which was proposed as an alternative composite sleeper. The structural analysis using applied loading showed good correlation with experimental results. Each beam was tested in a four-point bending setup to determine such characteristics as its bending modulus (E) and modulus of rupture (MOR). The proposed composite beam satisfied the minimum flexural requirements for composite railway sleepers stated in the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-way Association (AREMA) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) standards and also showed satisfactory performance when compared with existing railway sleepers. Finally, this study concluded that introducing this novel, environmentally friendly, composite railway sleeper to the railway industry may prove to be a viable alternative.
Publication Date
August, 2012
Master of Engineering Thesis
Citation Information
Wahid Ferdous. "Static flexural behaviour of fly ash-based geopolymer composite beam: An alternative railway sleeper" (2012)
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