In the Russian Federation, on the basis of GOST 78-2004, before laying the sleepers on the railway, they are impregnated with a special compound. The processing process has existed for many years and is carried out under strict control. After all, their service life and reliability depend on what the sleepers are impregnated with.
Currently, there are several types of mixtures with which sleepers are impregnated. The most common and common type of protective material is creosote. It is an impregnating oil, which is obtained in the process of coke-chemical processing from resin, and has a very specific and pungent aroma. Creosote is safe for humans and animals, is inexpensive, does not react with metal and wood structures that come into contact with treated sleepers. Of the negative aspects of the mixture, one can note high toxicity, flammability, and an unpleasant odor.
The technology of applying a protective coating to sleepers is very complex and consists of several stages. By the way, sleepers, support posts, bridge beams are all impregnated using the same technology in special autoclaves. The first stage of impregnation is the formation of a vacuum, which will rid the wood of excess moisture. Then the antiseptic is supplied. This happens under pressure, thus creating an impregnating layer of the order of 2-5 mm. Its value will depend on the type of wood. Next, a vacuum is created again to remove excess creosote. After that, the quality of the sleepers is checked.
Now many companies are trying to find new solutions for the impregnation of sleepers. Creosote is replaced by Elemsept antiseptic, which demonstrates excellent quality. It does not provide the sleepers with great durability and does not leave excess dirt after use. The revolution in the production of protective equipment for sleepers was made by the ZHTK antiseptic. It surpasses its coal counterparts not only in efficiency, but also in safety. It is produced by the LUKOIL-Permnefteorgsintez enterprise, which has a patent and supplies an antiseptic to the railroad ties factories in Russia.
It is worth noting that the new oil-based antiseptic also has a hazard class, but the likelihood of oncological diseases when working with it is many times lower compared to a coal product. The main characteristics of the mixture include the absence of odor, stickiness. It does not form clots and sediments either on sleepers or on equipment, and the aesthetic properties of "ZhTK" are better than those of creosote. Therefore, it can be concluded that the use of this antiseptic as a material for processing sleepers is a significant contribution to improving the ecology and working conditions in factories that impregnate sleepers.