Technical Reports

Over-the-Road Testing of the Instrumented Tank Car - A Load Environment Study

  • 01
  • May
  • 2010
AUTHOR: Narayana Sundaram, Tim Martin, Brent Selby, Francisco Gonz√°lez, III
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Over-the-Road Testing of the Instrumented Tank Car - A Load Environment Study
ABSTRACT: Fractures have been observed on stub sill tank cars for many years. Undetected and unattended, these fractures can develop into a variety of tank car failures. While tank car ruptures are relatively rare, the potential for a catastrophic HAZMAT release has made this a critical issue within the industry. The FRA contracted ENSCO, Inc., to instrument and run an instrumented tank car over the road during a special test. Testing was conducted in a special consist with the intent to collect data from the instrumented tank car, instrumented wheelsets and track geometry. The tank car used for this effort was provided by General Electric. The following key recommendations are inferred from testing and analysis: 1. An autonomous test should be designed and run for the second phase of this test program; 2.This would allow measurement of revenue consist forces and the actual environment that the tank car operates in. Data from this test can then be analyzed in a statistical manner as well as using correlations to associate these big events with either track geometry and/or train handling; and 3. Track geometry is a strong contributing factor to the load environment of the car and hence the fractures of the stub sill. The test zone selected for the autonomous measurement should be measured for track geometry either immediately prior to or immediately after the test.