STEEL Dynamics Inc announced on March 9 that it is to begin manufacturing composite sleepers under licence from Primix Corp through a joint venture.

The sleepers will have a formed steel core, to be produced by Steel Dynamic’s flat roll division. This core will be filled with concrete for stability and mass, with recycled synthetic inserts provided to hold the spikes. A synthetic material made from recycled rubber and plastic will encapsulate the core.

The company announced on March 9 that it will be providing most of the $5m investment in the venture, which will have an initial capacity of 250000 sleepers per year. Around 20 people will be employed at a highly-automated plant in the USA, which is expected to open this year.