Modeling the Effect of Fluid-Structure Interaction on the Impact Dynamics of Pressurized Tank cars
This paper presents a computational framework that analyzes the effect of fluid-structure interaction (FSI) on the impact dynamics of pressurized commodity tank cars using the nonlinear dynamic finite element code ABAQUS/Explicit. There exist three distinct phases for a tank car loaded with a liquefied substance: pressurized gas, pressurized liquid and the solid structure. When a tank car comes under dynamic impact with an external object, contact is often concentrated in a small zone with sizes comparable to that of the impacting object. While the majority of the tank car structure undergoes elasticplastic deformations, materials in the impact zone can experience large plastic deformations and be stretched to a state of failure, resulting in the loss of structural integrity. Moreover, the structural deformation changes the volume that the fluids (gas and liquid) occupy and consequently the fluid pressure, which in turn affects the structural response including the potential initiation and evolution of fracture in the tank car structure.