Technical Reports

Thermal Insulation Systems Study for the Chlorine Tank Car

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1985
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-30
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-85/10
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Thermal systems; ceramic fiber; safety; chlorine; railroad tank cars
ABSTRACT: A number of therma1 tests were performed on three insulation systems. The purpose was to ascertain if an insulation system consisting of existing materials could prevent the temperature of the shell of a chlorine tank car from exceeding 251°C (483 °F) while the tank car is exposed to representative fire environments which can occur in a railroad accident. The significance of the temperature criteria is that a corrosive reaction between chlorine vapor and steel begins at approximately that temperature. Each insulation system was tested in two environments as prescribed by the Department of Transportation regulation documented in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 179.105-4. The insulation systems consisted of fiberglass plus a type of ceramic fiber. A total of seven tests were performed with a simulated torch fire environment and ten tests with a simulated pool fire environment. The thermal protection performance of each of the three insulation systems easily surpassed the temperature test criteria. It was determined that the wind constituted a serious obstacle to the performance of a valid pool fire test and it is recommended that an effective wind shield be provided for the facility. While the wind made the task difficult, legitimate pool fire tests were performed.
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