News

Polyurethane to the Rescue

Polyurethane to the Rescue visual piece Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are testing a method to stabilize rail ballast in a mere 15 minutes using polyurethane.

James Tinjum, associate professor in the Department of Engineering Professional Development and Abdullah Alsabhan, a postdoctoral fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering, are leading this research project.

Tinjum and Alsabhan, along CEE professors Dante Fratta and Tuncer Edil, anticipate that injecting liquid polyurethane into the rail bed could stabilize ballast. Recently, the research team conducted tests on the UW-Madison campus, where preliminary results revealed a 90-percent improvement on the ballast layer, according to Tinjum.

The National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education, and Uretek USA provided funding for this pilot field demonstration. Wisconsin and Southern Railroad sponsored the field site.

Find out more here.