There has been significant research in recent years to analyze and improve the impact behavior and puncture resistance of railroad tank cars. Ultimately, the results of this work will be used by the Government regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada to establish performance-based testing requirements and to develop methods to evaluate the crashworthiness and structural integrity of different tank car designs.

This paper describes analyses of current impact testing requirements and impact test methodologies using detailed finite element analyses (FEA). The results of these analyses are used to identify characteristics of the test methodologies that are desirable or undesirable for the test requirements in future tank car safety regulations.

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