Technical Reports

Fire Tests on Insulation for Aluminum Tank Cars : An evaluation of fiber glass, ceramic fiber, and mineral fiber materials in torch-fire and pool-fire environments

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 1987
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-30
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-87/04
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Aluminum; Fire tests; Insulation; Tank car
ABSTRACT: Tests were conducted at the Transportation Test Center to determine the vulnerability to fire of aluminum tank cars designed to transport hazardous materials under pressure when the aluminum was protected by three types of insulation. Glass, mineral, and ceramic fiber blankets, each covering a specimen of aluminum plate commonly used in tank car construction, were subjected to standard torch-fire and pool-fire tests while instrumentation recorded the rise in temperature of the aluminum plate. The tests were conducted per the procedures described in CFR Title 49, Part 179.105-4, “Thermal Protection.” with the exception that the aluminum plate was substituted for the specified steel plate. The data derived from the tests will be used by the FRA to build the information base required for an examination of the vulnerability of aluminum tank cars to both mechanical and thermal accidents. This report presents details of the 20 tests performed by the Research & Test Department of the Association of American Railroads. It compares the thermal protective qualities of the three individual types of insulation coveting the aluminum and includes a comparative test series on bare aluminum plate.
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