Investigation of a concrete railway sleeper failed by ice expansion

Goangseup Zi, Do Young Moon, Seung Jung Lee, Seung Yup Jang, Sin Chu Yang, Soo Sam Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated a conical crack formed near a fastening bolt of a concrete railway sleeper in a slab track system. The crack initiated from the bottom of the sleeper and penetrated the sleeper completely forming a conical shape. To study the reason for this and to examine the failure mechanism, we used a three dimensional finite element method and a series of experimental programs. The result of the numerical simulation was verified with the experimental data. From this study, we concluded that the conical crack was caused by the volume expansion of the freezing water leaking into the plastic insert of the fastener hole. The effect of location of the frozen insert holes, initial fastening force and compressive strength of concrete on the freezing force was also studied in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec


  • Concrete railway sleeper
  • Finite element model
  • Fracture
  • Ice expansion
  • Slab track

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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