Tiflex has over 15 years experience of floating slab track systems designed to reduce the problems of noise and vibration within stations, tunnels, in highways and on viaducts.

Trains and railway vehicles cause vibrations to be transmitted through the ground causing problems with and possible damage to adjacent structures, buildings and their occupants. The best way to reduce these problems is to isolate the track bed from the surrounding structure by using a heavy mass support on low modulus materials to give a mass-spring-system. By considering the train operating parameters, the structure and the soil conditions it is possible to purpose design the track-form to minimise the problems of vibration transmission.

There are several ways that this can be achieved but they generally fall into two categories, isolated slab track (IST) or floating slab track (FST).

Isolated Slab Track
Isolated Slab track IST (often referred to generically within Europe, as floating slab track) consists of a concrete slab being constructed directly over a slab track mat. Tiflex, together with its sister company edilon)(sedra, can offer a range of T//R//S slab track mats to provide the most cost effective solution.

The range of materials included;

Bonded Rubber Chip (FSGR500)
Cellular Cork modified natural rubber ( FC907C, FC208, FC250, FC600, FC75)
Cellular Polyurethane (STM RPU Blue or Orange)

Thickness range from 6mm up to 50mm. Stiffness levels will be dependent on the load range specified in the method of testing, which reflect the axle loading and the speed of the train.


Floating Slab Track with rubber bearings

Floating slab track FST consists of a concrete slab being placed directly on to discrete natural rubber bearings. Maxi-slab systems require the construction of concrete slabs of 6- 20m in length, which after curing, are jacked up to permit bearing placement under the slab. Whereas mini-slab systems involve shorter slabs (1-2m long), constructed off-site, to be positioned directly onto the rubber bearings located on the track bed. Both systems are purpose designed, taking into account the track operating parameters and the performance requirements. For turnouts and crossovers concrete slab are constructed in situ. Assistance in the design of the concrete slabs, both from the vibration requirements as well as the mechanical performance can be provided by Tiflex partners who have the necessary expertise and experience.

The FST rubber bearings are specifically designed and manufactured to strict quality control standards by Tiflex for each project.

Floating slab track utilises a variety of different type of bearings. Vertical or support bearings provide the vibration isolation, in conjunction with side bearings, end bearings, restrained bearings, key bearings.

All the latter control and limit the lateral and longitudinal movement.

Rubber support bearings are generally 225-315mm diameter with a thickness of 40-75mm. These support bearings can be plain rubber or with surface reinforcement of steel plates or Kevlar reinforced rubber for wear resistance and durability.

Side, end, restrained and key rubber bearings tend to be rectangular in shape and purposely designed to take into account the construction methods. For instance they can incorporate steel backing plates as an aid to fixing.

In the design of the slab, consideration has to be given not only for the overall construction but also access for maintenance purposes.

As bearings are purpose designed and are a critical component, it is usual to have prototype bearings subject to a full evaluation by an independent test house, prior to commencing production.

The dynamic performance of rubber is sensitive to the rubber chemistry and it is only by having some 15 years of operational experience that Tiflex engineers and chemists are able to select critical rubber formulations to maximise the dynamic performance. This is backed up by rigorous quality assurance programmes to ensure customer satisfaction.

For more information or to discuss specific projects requirements please contact us either by using or contact us page or call to talk to one of our technical staff.