Technical Reports

Evaluation of Prototype Head Shield for Hazardous Material Tank Car

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 1975
AUTHOR: Milton R. Johnson
SUBJECT: Facilities & Test Equipment, Hazardous Materials
KEYWORDS: Freight Car Impact, Tank Car Hazards, Impact Testing
ABSTRACT: The structural integrity of a prototype tank car head shield for hazardous material railroad tank cars was evaluated under conditions of freight car coupling at moderate to high speeds. This is one of the most severe environments encountered in normal railroad service. Two versions of the shield were tested. They were installed on a DOT Spec. 112A340W tank car and instrumented to measure forces at the points of attachment between the shield and the car. Test data were obtained when the car was impacted into standing cars over a 3 to 9 mph speed range. The tests produced no visible damage to the shield or the structure connecting it to the tank car, but they demonstrated the presence of severe vibrations resulting from the car impact. The likelihood of fatigue damage was indicated in the connecting structural members where the weight of the shield was supported. Modifications to the supporting structure are recommended before proceeding with additional impact tests and over-the-road tests.