Test requirements of locomotive fuel tank blunt impact tests
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Test requirements of locomotive fuel tank blunt impact tests

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
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    • Abstract:
      The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Research

      and Development is conducting research into passenger

      locomotive fuel tank crashworthiness. A series of impact tests

      are planned to measure fuel tank deformation under two types

      of dynamic loading conditions. This paper describes the test

      requirements for the preliminary tests in this series – a blunt

      impact of conventional locomotive fuel tanks.

      Current design practice requires that Tier 1 locomotive fuel

      tanks have minimum properties adequate to sustain a

      prescribed set of static load conditions [1]. In accidents, fuel

      tanks are subjected to dynamic loading, often including a blunt

      or raking impact from various components of the rolling stock

      or trackbed. Current research is intended to increase

      understanding of the impact response of fuel tanks under

      dynamic loading. Utilizing an approach that has been effective

      in increasing the structural crashworthiness of passenger

      railcars, improved strategies can be developed that will address

      the types of loading conditions which have been observed to

      occur in a collision or derailment event. The improvement

      strategies developed by this research program can then be

      applied to alternative fuel tank designs, such as diesel multiple

      unit (DMU) tanks.

      This paper describes test requirements for conducting two

      preliminary tests. These tests are referred to as preliminary

      because they will be used to evaluate the loading setup and

      instrumentation planned for the larger series of tests. These

      preliminary tests will evaluate a blunt impact on the bottom

      surface of two conventional passenger locomotive fuel tanks.

      The test articles chosen for the preliminary tests are fuel tanks

      removed from two retired EMD F-40 locomotives. While these

      fuel tanks do not reflect the current state of locomotive fuel

      tank manufacturing or design, they are suitable for means of

      these tests.

      Each fuel tank will be mounted to a crash wall and

      impacted on its bottom face by an impact cart with a rigid

      impactor at a prescribed velocity. The first set of tests is

      designed to measure the deformation behavior of the fuel tanks.

      These tests are planned to result in puncture of the bottom

      surface of each fuel tank. The preliminary tests are targeted for

      October 2013 at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC)

      in Pueblo, Colorado.

      Following this first series of impact tests, a second set of

      dynamic impact tests is planned to be conducted. This second

      set will include both blunt and raking impact conditions on

      conventional fuel tanks, DMU fuel tanks and fuel tanks

      incorporating improved strategies for impact protection.

      Lessons learned during the preliminary two tests will be

      applied during the second set of tests to improve the

      performance of those tests. Fuel tank research is being

      performed to determine strategies for increasing the fuel tank

      impact resistance to mitigate

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