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Analysis of Tank Car Deformations Using Multibody Systems and Finite Element Algorithms

[+] Author Affiliations
Liang Wang, Ahmed A. Shabana

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Huailong Shi

Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China

Paper No. DETC2015-46368, pp. V006T10A071; 15 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 11th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5716-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This investigation demonstrates the effect of the tank flexibility and plate thickness on the wheel/rail contact and the nonlinear dynamic behavior of railroad vehicles. To this end, a flexible tank is modeled using the finite element (FE) floating frame of reference formulation (FFR). The tank car finite element model is integrated with a three-dimensional railroad vehicle using computational non-linear multibody system (MBS) framework in which the wheel/rail interaction is formulated using a three-dimensional elastic contact formulation that allows for the wheel/rail separation. A triangular shell element is used to build the tank car and describe its deformation, The effect of the coupling between different modes of displacements is demonstrated by comparing the results of the simulations of the flexible and rigid tank car models. It is shown that there is a strong dynamic coupling between different modes of displacements of the tank car, the plate thickness, and the wheel/rail contact parameters. The effect of the flexibility and plate thickness of the tank car on the vehicle critical speed and dynamic characteristics are also examined.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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