Railroad tank car top fittings are susceptible to damage and failure in rollover derailments, which might result in release of hazardous material lading to the environment. In this paper, we propose and analyze five protective structure concepts designed to eliminate or reduce damage to these top fittings in a rollover derailment, using explicit finite element analyses incorporating nonlinear material and geometry models. Three different rollover scenarios are studied; a nominal rollover, a more severe rollover with greater impact energy, and a rollover combined with longitudinal velocity, with the tank car impacting a concrete barrier. The results from these analyses as well as plans for validation testing are presented in the paper.

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