Railway sleepers, also known as railroad bands, railroad sleepers, or railway crossties, are chiefly used as rectangular poles for the iron rails in railway paths. The railway sleeper is usually arranged perpendicular to tracks and ties, transporting loads to the passage weight and subgrade, retaining the rails steep, and holding them aligned to a suitable standard. There are many types of railroad sleepers and all have their own set of features, making them excellent for various jobs and field aesthetics.
1. Wooden Sleepers:
These are sleepers formed of timber or wood. Wooden sleepers are utilized since old age. These are still broadly using in some westerly nations. They are very agile in weight so, they can be readily carried and worked while fixing. Nails can be easily fixed on wooden sleepers. They are high-grade insulators, therefore; tracks are strongly guarded.
Timber railway sleepers are generally hardwood sleepers like chir, jarrah, oak sleepers, but more affordable soft timber wood like pine sleepers have been utilized on more volatile and less hectic lanes.
Timber or wooden sleepers can be reused as a tough element for gardening and landscaping.
Both hardwood and softwood can be adopted to obtain wooden sleepers. However, hardwood sleepers formed of oak, jarrah, teakwood are more prominent.
2. Concrete Sleepers
Concrete sleepers are created by concrete with intrinsic support. Concrete sleepers are applied in many nations because of their high durability and little subsistence. These are extra fitting for high-speed railways. Most of the concrete or cement sleepers are made from the pre-stressed pavement in which physical pressure is provoked into the sleeper before detailing. They have a prolonged life span so, economically superior.
Cement sleepers are usually made from cast concrete pieces strengthened internally by steel coil. Initial models of concrete railway sleepers are performed with traditional augmented concrete, which was usually found too fragile to oppose high levels of dynamic weight.
Contemporary concrete railroad sleepers are originally produced using pre-stressed cement – a method where inner pressure is interjected into the railway sleeper before it is molded to neutralize the external strength the blocks encounter during service. The metal requires limited subsistence and has a richer service life than timber sleepers or hardwood sleepers, as it is not disposed to environmental degeneration, distorting, or bug infestation, and its non-volatile essence means it decreases the potential for trail fires.
Therefore, the sleeper resists well against high outer pressure.
3. Steel Sleepers
Steel sleepers are more frequently used because of more durability than hardwood or timber wood and cost-effective than concrete. They also have a healthy life span. They are devised in a hollow frame and laid on weights in an inverse hollow shape. A more inferior dependence on weights around 60% less than expected for concrete and 45% less than hardwood additionally appears to shift the balance in iron’s favor, particularly in regions where timber or hardwood is rare.
They are agile in weight making them effortless to transfer, to the site, and to fix. They are recyclable hence maintain a fit scrap value.
The life span of iron or steel sleepers is approximately about 30 years.
4. Cast Iron Sleepers
Cast iron sleepers are broadly utilized in the world notably in Indian railroads. They are prepared in 2 varieties, pot-type sleepers, and plate-type sleepers. Pot-type sleepers are not apt for circuits sharper than 3 degrees. Cast Iron Sleepers varieties of sleepers are more popular in Indian railways. Depreciated cast iron sleepers can be reused into brand-new sleepers henceforth, the scrap worth of cast iron is excellent.
Cast iron sleepers can be utilized for a long time of up to 60 years. Their formation is also light and it can be arranged locally so, there is no demand for longer transportation.
5. Plastic Railroad Sleepers
Plastic composite railroad sleepers are manufactured from multiple compounds of raw matters like synthetic, rubber from used wheels, scrap fiberglass to form a synthetic element with the flexibility and convenience of hardwood or timber wood, mixed with the strength of concrete. Due to their high durability and low maintenance, these will be in high demand in the coming future.
The benefits of composites are apparent – the stuff can be shaped and sawed just like timber or wood, outwardly any of the inbuilt limitations of its all-natural match. It has the sturdiness of cement, without concrete’s density and ponderous accession process.
Unlike cement railroad sleepers, composite railway sleepers can be built steadily beside a used timber/hardwood forms. These railway sleepers have the supplementary benefit of being built from mostly recycled stuff and are fully reusable again into brand new sleepers.
6. Composite Sleepers
Composite sleepers are a modernized variety of sleepers that are manufactured from scrap plastic and rubber. Therefore, it is also known as synthetic sleepers. They endure many mixed attributes of all other models. Composite sleepers are usable for longer spans of about 40 to 50 years. Not only they are eco-friendly sleepers but also are very volatile in weight but possess excellent robustness. Their scrap price is great because of the reusable feature of composite sleepers.
7. Timber Sleeper
These are perfect sleepers for nearly all the necessities of a healthy sleeper. They are also known as Hardwood Sleepers. Timber sleeper is moderately available in all parts of India. They result in a noiseless course. They are secure to lay, freight, uplift, and sustain. Commonly, Oak, sal, Jarrah, teak, chir, deodar fur timber are used for the sleeper.
Green railway sleepers are one of the popular types of railway sleepers.
On the railway structure, timber rail sleepers, wood railway sleepers, iron or steel sleepers, and concrete rail sleepers are the three most popular rail sleepers. Tracking the origin, the rail sleeper arose from a wooden or timber sleeper. In the past centuries, timber, hardwood rail sleepers are the most extensive rail sleepers,
With the evolution and scientific conditions of railroad architecture, railway sleepers are now composed of diverse elements, such as steel, cement, and rubber. They all have their merits and demerits, which may be beneficial for devising work in various areas, locations, lengths, etc. Do your research or hire a professional to know which railway sleepers are suitable for your work.