Abetong has been a pioneer in the development and production of prestressed concrete railway sleepers since 1950. A continuous programme of research and development has, ever since, ensured us to keep our leading position in this field. Sleeper plant planning, installation and commissioning of production equipment as well as design of mainline concrete railway sleepers, concrete ties and turnout concrete railway sleepers, training and technical support; these are all part of Abetong know-how in track technology.
The Abetong long line method
Abetong concrete railway sleepers are manufactured according to a special system known as the Abetong Long Line Method. It is characterized by casting beds of 100-180 meters in length in which 30-70 quadruple sleeper moulds are placed one after the other. The sleepers are cast upside down and left to cure in the moulds during the night. After one day’s curing the sleeper beams are demoulded and cut into separate sleepers. The production equipment is operating on rails placed on top of the casting bed. All equipment is designed with special consideration to safety and work environment. This method has during the years proven to be very competitive in regard to efficiency, quality and reliability. It is also very adaptive regarding track gauges, production volumes and degree of automatization.
Abetong concrete main line sleepers
The Abetong concrete sleeper is designed using small diameter fully bonded prestressing steel made of high quality standard steel. It allows full flexibility in achieving an optimum strength at the same time reducing the cost of reinforcement to a minimum. By using a diamond cutting unit the sleeper end section will be completely smooth, free from any protruding steel. Special emphasis is put on absolute precision on vital measurements and to the position of cast-in fastening details.
Abetong concrete turnout sleepers
Abetong was the first company worldwide to manufacture prestressed concrete sleepers for turnouts on a larger scale and is still today a world leader in the design and production of these sleepers. The sleepers in a turnout set are individually designed and manufactured according to the company’s patented system. In close cooperation with the major turnout suppliers Abetong is constantly striving to further improve the turnout sleeper design and the interface towards the steel parts to further optimize the function and the economy of the entire turnout assembly.
Concrete sleeper development
Through continuous development of the manufacturing process and adaptation to local needs and conditions Abetong concrete railway sleepers can be manufactured and used in any environment, from the Sahara Desert to the tundra in Siberia. Today there are 35 sleeper plants established in some 20 countries worldwide, all using the Abetong Long Line System. These sleeper production units manufacture from 50 000 to 600 000 sleepers on an annual basis. Companies like Maba in Austria, Vigier Rail in Switzerland, Infraset in South Africa and Austrak in Australia have among many others chosen to produce their prestressed concrete sleepers under licence according to the Abetong Long Line System.
Concrete railway ties and sleeper design
Abetong’s main goal is to design concrete railway ties that are in harmony with the other components that make up a railway track. Optimisation of the entire railway track as well as the single concrete tie is therefore in focus. Collaboration with skilled people at universities (CHARMEC) and other railway related industries has resulted in a fundamental understanding of the complex dynamic response of the entire track structure. Parallel to this involvement, a close collaboration with the licensees provides a base for development of both our production and design methods.
Abetong is certified according to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. The field of activities within Abetong comprises sales, design, manufacture and assembly of prefabricated concrete products and turn-key projects for building, agriculture and civil engineering markets. The company is a member of the HeidelbergCement Group, global market leader in aggregates and a prominent player in the fields of cement, concrete and other downstream activities.