Sustainable Rail Infrastructure using Recycled and Non-traditional Materials

Research Program 3

Program 3 will focus on the application of recyclable products such as waste rubber tyres, steel and coal industry by-products (e.g. slag and coalwash) and marginal rockfill in track construction while stamping a favourable carbon footprint. Adopting advanced material characterization and processing techniques that capture energy absorbing properties and custom-made rubber sheets to reduce noise and vibration and particle interlocking via plastic geogrids for improved track stability and cellular membranes – made of used tyres – for containing substructure fill (e.g. rockfills, coalwash and steel slag). The construction costs can be reduced substantially while improving safety and track stability. It is hoped we will also introduce a novel type of hybrid sleepers where reinforced rubberised concrete is confined by a thin composite layer made of reinforced polymer to restrain internal cracking and to protect the sleeper against corrosion and attrition.

Program Leaders

Chief Investigators

Partner Organisations



Large-scale cyclic triaxial, simple shear testing rigs, Drop-weight impact test rig, LIEF-FCTHSR, numerical software (e.g. ANSYS MATLAB, ABAQUS)