We discuss Sicut® composite sleepers with Breen Reardon, President of Pandrol North America.
What are Sicut composite sleepers?
Sicut® Composite Sleepers are an exciting innovation in sleeper technology for all track types, from passenger to heavy haul. They are made from a unique recycled polymer composite developed by Rutgers University and exclusively licensed to Sicut Enterprises Limited, globally. Pandrol is Sicut®’s exclusive distributor in North America.
What advantages do the offer?
Excellent value; safer track; outstanding sustainability. Being made from polymers, they are extremely tough and durable; resisting the physical demands of rail traffic as well as the sustained attack by the environment in which they are placed. Delivering consistent performance over an extremely long life, measured in decades not years, they offer outstanding return on investment. Being made of recycled materials and being fully recyclable, they are a truly sustainable solution, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, keeping waste plastic out of landfill (and the oceans) and reducing the industry’s need for timber, including tropical hardwood. Sicut Composite Sleepers “Turn Today’s Waste into Tomorrow’s Infrastructure”. What’s not to like?
Where have they been tested?
Sicut® Composite Sleepers have undergone the most rigorous and demanding testing of any sleeper product, in both Europe and the USA. In Europe, TU Munich have subjected them to over 10 million load cycles, at loads up to 375kN and temperatures up to 60°C, testing compliance with the most challenging needs of Deutsche Bahn. They have also been tested in accordance with requirements for spike retention, compressive strength, resistance to baseplate cutting and electrical resistivity.
All tests have been passed, leading to installation across Europe and around the World. In the US, sleepers made using these technologies were first tested by Transport Technology Center Inc. and installed in the High Tonnage Loop in Pueblo in 1996; over half a million have been installed in track since. Sicut® Composite Sleepers are currently undergoing further testing by Union Pacific, with very promising results.
What are you working on next?
Sicut® and Pandrol are pursuing a number of innovations that combine their expertise, and that of Rutgers, to offer new and sustainable track solutions to customers. Watch this space…