As specified in NFPA 130, rail car floor assemblies are currently required to undergo a large-scale furnace test to demonstrate their fire resistance, including structural integrity and limited heat transmission. This results in an expensive fire resistance compliance process mostly due to the physical size requirement of test article and the size of the furnace required to test it. Although there is an interest from railcar manufacturers to reduce the physical size of the rail car floor assembly test article, there is no demonstrated approach to justify the use of a smaller test article. This work used finite element modelling to develop an approach which can be used to reduce the size of test article for fire resistance tests. The results of the analysis indicate that the support boundary conditions of the test article should be modified so the test article better represents the floor end-use response. In addition, the test article size can be reduced to a one-third of the current size.

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