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Update on Alternative Occupant Volume Testing

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael Carolan, Michelle Priante Muhlanger

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. JRC2010-36020, pp. 69-78; 10 pages
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2010 Joint Rail Conference, Volume 2
  • Urbana, Illinois, USA, April 27–29, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4907-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3867-9


This paper describes the conduct of the first of a series of quasi-static compression tests of rail passenger equipment being done to examine occupant volume strength. Specifically, this program is investigating methods of evaluating occupant volume integrity when loads are placed along the collision load path of the occupant volume. Budd Pioneer car 244 has been chosen as the test article to examine alternative occupant volume loading strategies. Since this car has been involved in several impact tests as part of a previous research program, it is important to verify the structural integrity of the vehicle before conducting an alternative loading test. Although the vehicle has been modified with crash energy management crush zones at both ends, the occupant volume between the body bolsters is unmodified from the original structure. The 800,000-pound compressive strength test will be used to ensure the structural integrity of the car is intact. Before the conduct of this test, repairs were made to the crush zone. These repairs included replacement of trigger elements in the form of shear bolts and shear rivets. Additionally, energy absorbing elements were removed from the pushback coupler and primary energy absorbers because they would not contribute to the load path of this test. Steel blocks were added to the sliding sill element, enabling it to contact the fixed sill and enhancing the load-bearing capacity of the sliding-fixed sill connection. Preliminary results of this test include an overall description of the test procedures, discussion of permanent deformation observed during the test, and presentation of finite-element simulation results. Detailed analysis of test results, including strain gage data, is ongoing. The test results are being compared with the finite-element model results in support of the next tests planned for this series. The next two tests will evaluate the carbody when it is loaded along its collision load path to establish the elastic limit and crippling strength.



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