Patil Group has obtained technology and manufacturing license for composite sleepers from Tie Tek, USA. These sleepers are manufactured using recycled materials. The group developed composite sleepers as an alternative material in lieu of steel channel sleepers for girder bridges.
Indian Railways have begun laying of composite sleepers in 10 railway zones across the country after successful testing at its laboratory and also at the partner's manufacturing plant in USA.
With an expected shelf life of over 40 years, composite sleepers score over wooden sleepers due to usage of recycled materials like HDPE, crammer rubber, glass reinforcement and fillers. Also, these sleepers are not susceptible to rupture, decay or insect infestation and drive down the overall operating costs for Indian Railways besides being easy to maintain as well.
Being environmentally friendly since it keeps a check on deforestation, composite sleepers help keep sound pollution low and offer 100% insulation. Even its fasteners are similar to those of wooden sleepers. One of the biggest advantages of these sleepers is that it is 40% cheaper than cost of steel channel sleeper used in girder bridges.
With its R&D team working in conjunction with Tie Tek, USA – Patil Group has brought a product which has found wide acceptance even for the exacting standards set up by the Indian Railways.
With increasing rail traffic and faster train speeds, railway boards across the globe are migrating to composite sleepers because of their increasingly obvious benefits. Also as the loads per car are increasing and availability of old growth hardwood trees is drastically reducing, the use of composite sleepers has witnessed a huge growth trajectory.
The ability to recycle these sleepers due to its composition has won approval from railway boards across countries. Even as the functional properties are similar to wooden sleepers, these are not subjected to corrosion and don't need insulation since they are selfinsulated.
Composite sleepers have less components than steel channel sleepers, hence rendering inspection and maintenance easier. Painting is also not required on composite sleepers and it possesses the additional benefit of reduced noise pollution due to the natural dampening effect of the product.