Technical Reports

Analysis of Accelerations Measured During Full-Scale Tank Car Impact Tests

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 2007
AUTHOR: Lyons, Matthew L.; Riddell, William T.; Koch, Kevin W.
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-07/08
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: tank car, shock response spectrum, acceleration, impact, power spectral density
ABSTRACT: Tank car impact responses were investigated using accelerometers mounted at various locations on a tank car. Several tests were run with both a full and an empty tank car, and varying the tank car impact speed. The data from the accelerometers went through a power spectral density (PSD) analysis for the longitudinal and vertical directions. The results from PSD analyses were compared with the peak coupler force and the dominant draft gear mechanism, also obtained from the data. The results showed that the dominant draft gear mechanism had a marked effect on the response of the tank car, and, as speed and energy increased, the draft gear mechanism changed. For the empty tank car impact test results, in longitudinal acceleration signals, a frequency of 0 Hz and a range of frequencies above 300 Hz were present in PSD analyses; in vertical acceleration signals, a frequency of 13 Hz was present in PSD analyses, coinciding with the first axial mode of a simply supported cylinder. For the full tank car impact test results, in the vertical acceleration signals, two distinct peaks, at 5 Hz and 26 Hz, were present.

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