Railroad tank car top fittings are susceptible to damage and failure in rollover derailments, which might result in release of hazardous material lading. Prior research has focused on the susceptibility of fittings on non-pressure tank cars and potential mitigation strategies. This paper presents current work that extends the analysis/test methods and lessons learned to fittings on pressure tank cars. Pressure tank cars carry significantly more hazardous materials such as Chlorine and Anhydrous Ammonia, which are classified as Toxic Inhalation Hazards (TIH). In particular, this paper presents the results of analytical modeling and validation testing of top fittings on a base design Chlorine car.
In addition, the paper compares and contrasts the test methodology employed in prior full scale tests of tank car fittings against the 9 mph evaluation scenario outlined in current Federal regulations governing the design of fittings on TIH tank cars, and further explores how full scale test results may be interpreted.