Composite Railway Sleepers and Building Products

AXION is a green technology company, transforming waste plastics into structural building materials. Using 100% post-consumer and industrial plastics in patent-protected formulations and processes, AXION develops, markets and sells its products through its ECOTRAX composite railway sleeper and STRUXURE composite building product lines.

From railway and military applications to global engineering firms, AXION delivers tested, proven and superior green solutions to infrastructure needs around the world. AXION has today's solutions to help build tomorrow's infrastructure.

Composite railway sleepers

Setting the industry standard, ECOTRAX composite railway sleepers meet and exceed all standards as put forth by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA). ECOTRAX sleepers are in revenue service all over the world, exceeding 350,000 ties installed by freight, short, and transit lines from Australia to Morocco. AXION is also the only composite sleeper manufacturer in the world designated as a mass supplier to the largest Class I railroad in the United States.

From plastics and recycling research at Rutgers University, high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-based recycled plastic sleepers emerged as an attractive substitute for wood sleepers because they are inherently resistant to moisture, rot and insect-borne damage, do not require chemical treatment, manufacturing diverts waste plastics from landfills, and use of recycled plastics reduces deforestation.

Plastic composite sleepers

US development of plastic sleepers began in 1994 when a research group consisting of Rutgers University, Conrail, Norfolk Southern, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, and the US Plastic Lumber Company started developing the first plastic composite railway sleeper to satisfy mechanical property targets defined by the US railroad industry.

The group developed plastic composite sleeper specifications, manufactured sleepers and installed plastic composite sleepers in track. In licensing the technology from Rutgers University, US-based AXION has made advancements in processing and manufacturing methods. The developments have resulted in enhanced mechanical properties, including increased toughness without sacrificing stiffness or strength in tension and compression.

Sleeper maintenance for railroad bridge and transom applications

In railroad bridge and transom applications, sleeper maintenance is difficult and costly. Environmental degradation is inevitable and recycled plastic sleepers have proven an ideal solution in hard-to-reach transoms. Because of the long-term cost savings and ease of installation, ECOTRAX sleepers have been chosen in short open-deck bridges through bridges over 2 miles (3.2km).

Long-length composite sleepers

Given the size of sleepers in switches and turnouts, initial cost between composite and traditional sleepers is nearly equal. Quality, uniform wood is difficult to procure for sleepers in longer lengths. Factoring the extended service life and uniformity of composite sleepers, a significant cost saving is imminent in lengths greater than 10ft (3m). Because of its technology and enhanced manufacturing process, ECOTRAX sleepers are available in lengths up to 32ft (9.75m).

In working with international railways, AXION has engineered its ECOTRAX recycled composite railway sleeper to meet specifications worldwide. The adaptability of AXION's patented technology indicates a capability beyond what was originally conceived in the development of structural plastic lumber. With more than 15 years of revenue service, ECOTRAX composite railway sleepers thrive in every area of the world.

Testing and development of sleepers

Continuous testing and development of ECOTRAX sleepers is conducted at AXION's manufacturing plants and in third-party laboratories in the US, Europe and Australia. ECOTRAX are the only composite sleepers in the world to have AREMA testing conducted on ties that were in revenue service for more than ten years.

ECOTRAX sleepers, after more than ten years of service in Long Island Railroad track, met and exceeded all AREMA standards and, in most cases, doubled the standard. No other composite sleeper manufacturer in the world has undergone such rigorous and extensive laboratory and field testing.

AXION manufactures the highest quality composite railway sleepers in the world. From the strict testing of our raw materials to process controls such as our X-ray system to finished goods testing such as our three-point bend test. ECOTRA sleepers are certain to exceed your expectations.

Composite building products

Using the same technology underlying the ECOTRAX line, STRUXURE products are in four categories from complete systems to parts, construction and equipment mats and industrial supports, short-span pedestrian and vehicular bridges, commercial decking, boardwalks and walkways, and building materials.

From the first recycled plastic railroad bridge in the world to the first recycled plastic bridge in Europe, AXION's technology transcends the materials science laboratory. From station platforms to boardwalks to complete bridge superstructures, STRUXURE products are engineered to outlast traditional materials.

STRUXURE products feature superior structural performance, long lifecycles and low maintenance costs. They are completely impervious to moisture, rot, infestation by insects, and marine parasites. From a multi-span bridge in Peeblesshire, Scotland, to a school in Bogota, Colombia, STRUXURE products are helping to build the future with today's solutions.

The future is now. Specifiy AXION in your next project.

Contact Details

Sales and General Inquiries
AXION International, Inc.
180 South Street, Suite 104
New Providence
New Jersey
United States of America
+1 908 542 0888