Innovative railway sleepers made from recycled plastic

Durable, sustainable and quiet: Three good reasons to support the production of railway sleepers made from recycled plastic with funding from the Environmental Innovation Fund of the German Federal Environment Ministry. A plant for the production of such railway sleepers has now been built with the support of Lower Saxony funds. The French national railway company Strasbourg SNCF have already expressed their interest.

At present, wood and concrete are still used as materials for conventional railway sleepers. However, wooden sleepers need to be treated with preservatives which erode due to the weather and harm the environment. Such damages are to be minimised by the use of plastic sleepers.

In addition, the production of these plastic sleepers requires less energy than that of the concrete ones. Also noise reduction by the use of plastic sleepers is expected which should please the residents around busy railway lines. It is worth mentioning that along the Rhine, the Deutsche Bahn recently equipped its freight trains with so-called „low noise, low friction" „whisper brakes" that are also made of plastic.
Did you know ?
  • Researchers recently modified an elastomer used to make tires so it can self heal. © American Chemistry Council, Inc.
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