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Full-Scale Shell Impact Test of a DOT-113 Tank Car Surrogate [Research Results]
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    Research Results
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    On June 11, 2020, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) conducted a full-scale shell impact test (Test 11) of a surrogate DOT-113 specification tank car at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in Pueblo, CO. This test was the second DOT-113 impact test in a planned series of four. A DOT-113 is a double-walled tank car (i.e., tank-within-a-tank) designed to transport authorized cryogenic liquids by rail. The test “surrogate” was purpose-built for this test with the essential features of a DOT-113 and an outer tank of a thicker, higher-grade steel than required by specification. The tested surrogate did not feature all the equipment required of a tank car (e.g., couplers and trucks). The shell of the outer tank was struck by a 297,000-pound ram car equipped with a 12-inch by 12-inch impactor at its mid-height and longitudinally offset 2 feet towards the A-end. This offset impact location was intended to be consistent with the impact location in the previous DOT-113 impact test in November 2019 (Test 10). The tank car was filled to 82.4 percent of its capacity with water. The car was sealed and pressurized with air to a targeted pressure of 50 psig. The target test speed of 17.2 ± 0.5 mph was intended to ensure an impact speed greater than or equal to the measured impact speed of 16.7 mph from Test 10. The measured impact speed was 17.3 mph. This speed and ram mass corresponds to approximately 3 million footpounds of impact kinetic energy. The tank car resisted the impact without tearing either the inner or the outer tank. After making contact, the impactor indented the DOT-113 surrogate to a maximum depth of ~61 inches before stopping and rebounding. The impact reached a maximum force of ~1.1 million pounds.
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