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Wahid Ferdous

Topic: Performance of an innovative composite railway sleeper

Authors: Wahid Ferdous; Allan Manalo; Thiru Aravinthan from Centre for Future Materials (CFM), School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia

Presented by: Mr Wahid Ferdous, PhD Candidate, University of Southern Queensland


The high maintenance cost and scarcity of the hardwood timber promote alternative technologies for replacing the traditional timber railway sleepers. The advantages of composites in high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, reliability, longer life and less maintenance are of great interest for their application in railway sleepers. This study investigated the performance of an innovative composite railway sleeper manufactured from sandwich composites and bonded with the epoxy polymer matrix. The performance including rail-seat vertical load, centre bending moment, shear strength, screw holding capacity and electrical resistance have been investigated and compared with the traditional timber sleepers. Results showed that the new composite sleeper can maintain the minimum performance requirements and showed a very similar behaviour to the timber ones. This innovative composite technology could be a suitable replacement of the existing timber sleepers.

Keywords: Composite railway sleepers, Performance, Alternative technology

Presenter’s resume

Wahid Ferdous recently submitted his PhD thesis from the Centre for Future Materials (CFM) at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. His main research area is to investigate the behaviour of composite structures. During his PhD study, he published several articles in the high ranked journals and developed his skills in experimental investigation, analytical, numerical and statistical analysis. Recently, he achieved several competitive awards particularly, Australian postgraduate award, Young professional scholarship, Publication excellence award, 3-minutes pitch club challenge award and Endeavour postdoctoral fellowship.