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Test requirements of locomotive fuel tank blunt impact tests
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  • 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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