Technical Reports

Evaluation of Semi-Empirical Analyses for Railroad Tank Car Puncture Velocity, Part I: Correlations with Experimental Data

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 2001
AUTHOR: D.Y. Jeong, Y.H. Tang, and A.B. Perlman
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-01/21.I
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: tank car, coupler impact, indentation, puncture velocity, tank car head, shield protection
ABSTRACT: This report is the first in a two-part series that focuses on methodologies to determine the puncture velocity of tank car shells. In this context, puncture velocity refers to the impact velocity at which a coupler will puncture the tank. In this report, the methodology to calculate puncture velocity is based on a set of semi-empirical equations. Moreover, these semi-empirical equations are evaluated by comparing calculated puncture velocities with results from full-scale, one-fifth scale, and actual tank car impact tests. The semi-empirical equations generally appear to produce reasonable and conservative estimates of puncture velocity when compared with the available experimental data. However, differences between the calculated and observed results become more widespread when the tank is pressurized or when shield protection is present. The second report in this series explores and describes alternative methodologies to determine puncture velocity of tank cars based on engineering analyses.
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