Technical Reports

Full-Scale Tank Car Rollover Tests – Survivability of Top Fittings and Top Fittings Protective Structures

  • 16
  • May
  • 2016
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Full-scale testing, fittings, protection, rollover, tank car, tank car safety, bowl, sleeve, skid
ABSTRACT: Full-scale rollover crash tests were performed on three non-pressure tank carbodies to validate previous analytical work and determine the effectiveness of two different types of protective structures in protecting the top fittings. The tests were performed with three different tank cars: 1) an unprotected base case car, 2) a base case car with an added protective skid weldment, and 3) a base car with an added protective bolt-on sleeve on the unloading nozzle with a reinforcing cone. Test conditions such as the impacting speed and angle were controlled by pivoting the carbodies in a fixture about a fixed axis and the fittings (or protective structures) impacted a concrete target pad. Before each test, proper test conditions and parameters were determined by Dynamic Finite Element analysis. These tests establish that the skid and bolt-on sleeve concepts are efficient and practical methods for protecting top fittings on non-pressure cars from failure (and lading release) during rollover derailments. The demonstrated concepts can be developed into application-specific designs by tank car builders and implemented on tank cars as appropriate.