A cause of failure within end-of-car (EOC) arrangements for cushioned cars with F-shank couplers is that of the yoke bolt failing in shear. This mode of EOC failure is of particular concern due to the concealed nature of the bolt not easily allowing for early detection of the onset of failure. To this end, a finite element analysis (FEA) was performed on a 7/8” bolt and F-bracket assembly to determine the stress state developed within the bolt in an effort to understand the potential cause or causes for the bolt failure. Several parameters, including bolt strength, bolt preload (initial torque), and external loading were varied to determine their effects on bolt performance. The subsequent results indicate that both inherent strength and initial preload have a significant effect on whether a bolt can effectively withstand the various external loading conditions encountered in the field. In addition, it is also apparent that some of the simulation loading scenarios analyzed contain the potential to initiate bolt shearing during operation. From these results, some failure mechanism theories are proposed to describe the type of failure encountered by each bolt grade, either ductile or brittle depending on the inherent material properties.

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