Developing strategies for maintaining tank car integrity during train accidents
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Developing strategies for maintaining tank car integrity during train accidents

Filetype[PDF-254.32 KB]


  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Proceedings of the 1st Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
    • Publication/ Report Number:
    • Resource Type:
    • Geographical Coverage:
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-RAIL TRANSPORTATION;NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety;NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety;NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Vehicle Design;
    • Abstract:
      Accidents that lead to rupture of tank cars carrying

      hazardous materials can cause serious public safety hazards and

      substantial economic losses. The desirability of improved tank

      car designs that are better equipped to keep the commodity

      contained during impacts is clear. This paper describes a

      framework for developing strategies to maintain the structural

      integrity of tank cars during accidents.

      The target of this effort is to design a tank car capable of

      surviving impacts without loss of lading at twice the impact

      speed of current equipment (or, equivalently, is capable of

      absorbing four times the impact energy). The methodology

      developed breaks down the process into three steps:

      1. Define the impact scenarios of concern

      2. Choose strategies to mitigate failure modes

      present in each scenario

      3. Design and select technology and tactics to

      implement the mitigation strategies

      The railroad accidents involving tank cars that occurred in

      Minot, ND, in 2002, and Graniteville, SC, in 2005, are

      examined to define the impact scenarios. Analysis of these

      accidents shows that two car-to-car impact scenarios are of

      greatest concern: head impact, where railroad equipment

      impacts the end of a tank car and possibly overrides it, and

      shell impact, where the tank car is impacted on its side,

      possibly off center.

      A conceptual design that can protect its lading at twice the

      impact speed of current equipment in the car-to-car impact

      scenarios is being developed. The conceptual design includes

      four functions to meet the impact requirements: blunts the

      impact loads, absorbs collision energy, strengthens the tank,

      and controls the load path to assure that loads are blunted and

      that energy is absorbed before the tank is loaded.

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