Technical Reports

Chlorine Tank Car Puncture Resistance Evaluation

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1992
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration; Michael Coltman; Morrin E. Hazel, Jr.
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Tank car, Head shield, Hazardous material, Train Collision, Puncture resistance, Accident Survivability
ABSTRACT: Experimental studies have been conducted to evaluate the relative puncture resistance of DOT 105A500W (chlorine) tank cars and DOT 112J340W (propane) tank cars equipped with 1/2-inch steel head shields. These studies included a series of full- and 1/5-scale tests conducted by the Association of American Railroads at the Transportation Test Center in Pueblo, Colorado. The final phase of testing included the use of actual tank cars. During the tests a number of parameters, such as head and jacket thickness, impact location, and internal pressure were varied to determine their effect on the puncture resistance of the chlorine car. Federal regulations require a demonstrated puncture resistance or head shield protection for high volume tank cars carrying flammable liquids and gases. The test to demonstrate puncture resistance is specified in Title 49, Part 179, section 179.105-5 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The tests conducted in this study were intended to demonstrate the puncture resistance of both chlorine and liquefied propane tank cars relative to this specification requirement. The tests showed that the DOT 105A500W (chlorine) car tested had a puncture resistance near the 18 mph threshold required by 49 CFR 179.105-5 for tank cars in LPG (propane) and other specifically identified flammable gas lading. The DOT 112J340W tank car tested with the 1/2-inch head shield had a puncture threshold well above the 18 mph limit. The tests also showed that the puncture resistance is most strongly influenced by impact location and by jacket thickness.