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Evaluation of semi-empirical analyses for railroad tank car puncture velocity, part 2 : correlations with engineering analysis
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    Final Report ┬┐August 1998
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  • Abstract:
    NTIS Invoice: 23025;

    NTIS Order #:PB2003100813

    This report is the second in a series focusing on methods to determine the puncture velocity of railroad tank car shells. In this

    context, puncture velocity refers to the impact velocity at which a coupler will completely pierce the shell and puncture the tank.

    In the first report in this series, a set of semi-empirical equations was evaluated by comparing calculated puncture velocities with data

    from tank car impact tests. These equations were originally developed by the RPI-AAR Tank Car Safety Committee and later

    modified by the industry to account for head shield protection and jacket insulation. The semi-empirical equations generally

    produced reasonable and conservative estimates of puncture velocity when compared with the experimental data. However,

    differences between the calculated and observed results become more widespread when the tank is pressurized or when shield

    protection is present. Moreover, alternative methods to determine puncture velocity may be observed by the industry to avoid overdesign.

    In this report, methods to predict puncture velocity based only on engineering mechanics principles (i.e., no empiricism) are

    developed and described. Results from the semi-empirical approach are compared with results from the engineering methods. These

    methods rely on both analytical and computational tools to examine the structural behavior of tanks with ellipsoidal shapes. These

    tools include finite element and dynamic lumped mass models.

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