MODELING OF LIGHTWEIGHT CRASHWORTHY RAIL COMPONENTS
Grasso, Marzio (2009) MODELING OF LIGHTWEIGHT CRASHWORTHY RAIL COMPONENTS. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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As part of a research collaboration between the Department of Mechanics and Energetics of the University of Naples Federico II (IT) and NewRail Newcastle University Centre for Railway Research (UK) has been conducted a study on the applicability of composite materials for the crashworthiness design of a train cab. The preliminary phase of work has involved the study of issues related to railway accidents and safety standards for passengers imposed by European Standards. In the next phase, we addressed the problem of redesigning the structure of an existing cab in order to reach a solution that, at the same performance, is able to increase the payload and decrease manufacturing and maintenance costs.. For this purpose, composite materials, metallic and non, has been chosen with few traditional metallic material to create virtual structures, since they are very performance and characterize by very high specific absorption energy. After a thorough comparative analysis of the characteristics of strength, energy absorption capability and applicability to a particular component of the many materials tested, it has been selected those more suitable for this purpose: mild steel, GRP, balsa wood and rigid polyurethane foam wrapped in FRP. For components made by these materials, except those made by the balsa wood, tests of mechanical characterization, needed to be able to model the correct behaviour before moving on to the stage of numerical simulations, were conducted. It has followed a consistent simulation activities with the finite element code LS-DYNA ®, to reproduce, on the individual components in each design, the impact conditions prescribed by the regulations EN15227, and, on the whole structure, the load conditions prescribed by EN12663. It has been possible to define the solution that better respond to the specified requirements, by comparing the behavioral responses of the different solutions hypothesized. The next work will consist in verifying, by static and dynamic tests on full scale prototypes of the optimized structures, the compliance between numerical and experimental results.
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