High-Strength Reduced-Elastic Modulus Concrete for Railroad Tie Applications


Reference #: 01191

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for fabricate pre-stressed concrete rail ties that are more flexible and cost-effective than existing rail ties.


Invention Description:

The subject invention is a High-Strength Reduced-Modulus High Performance Concrete (HSRM-HPC) used to fabricate pre-stressed concrete rail ties. The HSRM-HPC is much more flexible than the concrete material currently used in the fabrication of ties. The use of the more flexible HSRM HPC in concrete ties prevents premature cracking extending, thus, the life span of the ties.


Advantages and Benefits:

In addition to being significantly more flexible, the HSRM-HPC has the same or higher strength and shows the same or superior material performance as existing concretes. The HSRM-HPC does not significantly impact the production process and cost and leads to an inexpensive, technology-based modification of current practices in pre-stressed concrete tie technology that will improve the safety of rail service and maintenance operations. Furthermore, its use will lead to significant cost savings by increasing the life span of the tie and further decrease the maintenance costs of the track.


Potential Applications:

•       Concrete ties for railroad tracks



HPC pre-stressed ties have a number of strong environmental and economic benefits and improved performance characteristics. However, a survey among the railroad companies shows that that concrete ties do not reach their design life due to a number of unresolved performance issues hat lead to rail seat deterioration, to cracking due to center binding and dynamic loads and, to some extent, to derailments.

This novel material directly address the critical issues related to high stresses. The subject invention increases the life span of the concrete ties and yields safer rail service and maintenance operations with a minimum impact to the manufacturing processes and cost.



The concrete material has been developed and tested. Prototype concrete ties have been fabricated and being tested. Preliminary test findings have demonstrated the competitiveness of the prototypes with existing technologies.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Dimitrios Rizos
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