Technical Reports

Locomotive Fuel Tank Structural Safety Testing Program: Passenger Fuel Tank Side Impact Load Test

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 2010
AUTHOR: Abdullatif K. Zaouk, Basant Parida, and Mark Silver
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-10/09
KEYWORDS: Passenger locomotive fuel tank; side impact load condition
ABSTRACT: This report represents a passenger fuel tank load test simulating a Side Impact Collision. The test is based on the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) requirements for locomotive fuel tanks in the Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 238, Appendix D. This test covers Section (a) (3) of Appendix D, which states that in a side impact collision by an 80,000-pound Gross Vehicle Weight tractor/trailer at the longitudinal center of the fuel tank, the fuel tank shall withstand, without exceeding the ultimate strength, a 200,000-pound load (2.5g) distributed over an area of 6 inches (in) by 48 in (half the bumper area) at a height of 30 in above the rail (standard DOT bumper height). This report presents the test data, which showed that the resulting displacement of the tank sidewall corresponding to a maximum side impact load of nearly 300 kilopounds was approximately 0.5 in. This comprised of mostly elastic deformation and very little plastic deformation. Upon unloading, no local residual plastic deformation was noticeable to the naked eye although plotted test data revealed a small residual plastic deformation of 0.1 in. No crack or tank breach was observed near the side impact load application zone or elsewhere in the tank. Therefore, from the FRA regulatory perspective, the tank is considered to have satisfied the structural integrity requirement set forth in 49 CFR Part 238, Appendix D, Section (a) (3).

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