Significant research has been conducted over the past few years to develop improved railroad tank cars that maintain tank integrity for more severe accident conditions than current equipment. The approach taken in performing this research is to define critical collision conditions, evaluate the behavior of current design equipment in these scenarios, and develop alternative strategies for increasing the puncture resistance. The evaluations are being performed with finite element models of the tank cars incorporating a high level of detail. Both laboratory scale and full-scale impact tests were performed to validate the modeling and ultimately compare the effectiveness of current and alternative equipment designs. This paper describes the use of the detailed finite element impact and puncture analyses to assess the performance of advanced puncture protection concepts.

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