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Fire Resistance Tests of Reduced Scale Rail Car Floor Assemblies

Document Series
Research Results
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
RR 20-04
Subject Rolling Stock
ABAQUS, floor fire resistance test, NFPA 130, structural floor assembly, passenger rail car, rail car floor, rolling stock

The Federal Railroad Administration contracted Jensen Hughes (JH) to conduct tests to validate the methodology for reducing the size of a test specimen for rail car floor fire resistance compliance test. The tests were conducted on May 20–24, 2019, at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Full-scale1 and reduced-scale floor assemblies were tested with different boundary conditions. Test articles were prepared and evaluated according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 130, Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems 2014 (NFPA, 2014).

Reduced scale tests were conducted to evaluate the effects of scaling as well as for validating the scaling methodology. Two of the tests failed structurally due to severe deflection of the specimens, but satisfied the temperature rise requirements on the unexposed side. Failure modes of the specimens were excessive temperatures on the unexposed side or lack of structural integrity were observed and recorded. Future work is recommended to investigate the factors that may have contributed to the performance differences observed due to scaling as well as the disparities between test data and pre-test model simulations.

Last updated: Monday, February 8, 2021