This study was prompted by the need to find a thermal shield system which will reduce the probability of rupture of DOT 112A(114A) tank cars in accident fires. Importantly, this will reduce the severity of the "chain reaction" type accident wherein a fire initiates from one car in the derailment and causes a sequence of thermally induced rupture of other cars. This study is directed toward insulation-steel jacket type systems; however, the proposed thermal qualification criteria apply equally well to any type system, including sprayed-on coatings. Over a hundred fire tests of various materials were conducted on a specially constructed laboratory apparatus at the AAR Technical Center using both "pool" fires (1550-1650 degrees F flame) and "torch" fires (2100-2200 degrees F flame). Data from two full scale fire tests and many accidents were used in developing this apparatus. Several of the attractive materials were also tested in full scale torch fires at the FRA Pueblo Test Center. With available clearance on many existing cars limited to one inch, most tests were conducted on materials near this thickness. The report concludes with a recommendation that the laboratory apparatus be adopted as a qualification device with acceptance criteria being that the candidate system not allow the back side plate (representing the tank car shell) to rise above 800 degrees F. The time criteria will be later developed from further correlation tests between the laboratory and Pueblo facilities; however, 35 minutes appears a probable time for the torch test.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • An RPI-AAR Cooperative Program. Railroad Tank Car Safety Research and Test Project.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Railway Progress Institute

    801 North Fairfax Street
    Alexandria, VA  United States  22314

    Association of American Railroads Research Center

    3140 South Federal Street
    Chicago, IL  United States  60616
  • Authors:
    • Skogsberg, A M
  • Publication Date: 1976-1-23

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 109 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130842
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Railway Progress Institute
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RA-11-7-34
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 7 1976 12:00AM