Structural Dynamic Analysis & Fatigue Life Prediction of a Flat Car

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American Railway Engineering Association
Dynamic characteristics of a trailer-on-flat car (TOFC) are investigated using finite-element techniques. Three different finite-element models of the flat car were developed. These models are validated in reference [1] by comparing the predicted vibration mode shapes and frequencies with test results. Further validation of the models is carried here by comparing the analytical transfer function with test results. The values of the transfer functions are computed using NASTRAN at four different locations along the center line of the flat car. Experimental values at these locations are found to be in good agreement with the computed results. Using the space beam model of the flatcar fatigue life prediction of an arbitrarily selected member of the flatcar is carried here to demonstrate the application of finite-element structural dynamics analysis to fatigue life prediction. The fatigue life values obtained using this approach are then compared with the so called ad hoc approach which uses a nominal stress value obtained from a pseudo-static analysis.
Trailer-on-flat car (TOFC),, Structural dynamic analysis, Fatigue life prediction
Garg, V. K., Prasad, B., & Zarembski, A. M., “Structural Dynamic Analysis & Fatigue Life Prediction of a Flat Car”, 1977 Technical Proceedings 14th Annual Railroad Engineering Conference, Pueblo, CO, March 1978.