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Evaluation of occupant volume strength in conventional passenger railroad equipment : a thesis submitted by Michael E. Carolan
  • Published Date:
    2008-05-31
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-6.35 MB]


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Evaluation of occupant volume strength in conventional passenger railroad equipment : a thesis submitted by Michael E. Carolan
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  • Alternative Title:
    Evaluation of occupant volume strength in conventional passenger railroad equipment
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  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety ;
  • Abstract:
    To ensure a level of occupant volume protection, passenger railway

    equipment operating on mainline railroads in the United States must currently be

    designed to resist an 800,000 pound compressive load applied statically to the

    underframe. An alternative manner of evaluating the strength of the occupied

    volume is sought that will ensure the same level of protection for occupants of the

    equipment as the current test but will allow for a greater variety of equipment to

    be evaluated.

    A finite element (FE) model of the structural components of the railcar has

    been applied to examine the existing compressive strength test and evaluate

    selected alternate testing scenarios. Using simplified geometry and material

    properties in the model, the gross behaviors of the railcar are captured without

    excessive processing time. This simplified modeling technique was used to

    construct FE models of a generic single-level railcar and an exemplar multilevel

    railcar.

    Both models can be interpreted to have some single beam-like behaviors.

    In each model, the existing compressive load results in a significant bending

    moment as well as the prescribed compressive load. The alternative load cases

    examined demonstrate that a larger total compressive force may be distributed

    across the end structure of the railcar and result in similar stress levels throughout

    the structural frame as are observed from application of the conventional proof

    load.

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