Technical Reports

Side Impact Test and Analysis of a DOT-112 Tank Car.

  • 13
  • Dec
  • 2016
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Hazardous Materials, Crashworthiness - Tank Car
KEYWORDS: Impact test, DOT-112 tank car, tank car performance, transportation safety, toxic by inhalation (TIH)
ABSTRACT: As part of a program to improve transportation safety for tank cars, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) has conducted a side impact test on a DOT-112 tank car to evaluate the performance of the DOT-112 under dynamic impact conditions and to provide data for the verification and refinement of a computational model of the tank car. The tank car was filled with water to approximately 96 percent of its volume and sealed but not pressurized. The tank car was impacted at 14.7 mph by a 297.125-pound ram car fitted with a 12- by 12-inch ram head. The ram car impacted the tank center, deforming and cracking the external jacket, but the tank’s shell was not punctured. TTCI used pre-test finite element modeling, which was performed by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, to estimate the overall response of the tank to the impact and the force-displacement response. To bring the model’s results into better agreement with the test results, several changes were made to the model. The post-test model matched the overall force-displacement and pressure-time histories better than the pre-test model. The models and tests demonstrate how the fluid response of an impacted tank car dominates the general force-displacement response, which underscores the importance of modeling fluid-structure interactions with appropriate techniques.