Technical Development Programme Takes On Prestress

The Technical Development Programme delegates have been looking at some of the more technically demanding parts of our business, the Washwood Heath Rail Solutions Factory and the Wick Floors Factory. 

Both sites manufacture pre-stressed units, where high quality concrete is cast around pre-tensioned steel strands.  When the concrete has hardened the stress in the steel is transferred to the concrete.  This results in concrete elements with the ability to carry challenging loads, like supporting a train running over them!  And if carrying heavy, moving loads wasn’t enough, the sleepers have to hold the rails to within very tight tolerances, using fittings cast into the concrete.

The delegates tried their hand at lots of specialist testing and quality assurance activities to ensure that the concrete, the steel strand and the tolerances are spot on.

The photo shows Barry Mottershead, Neil Woodfield and James Tyghe gauging a sleeper.