Damage Tolerance of Rail Vehicle Energy Absorbers

G. Kotsikos, Marzio Grasso

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Despite significant progress in the design of rail vehicles to ensure a high level of passive safety the effects of quality of manufacturing and assembly parameters on the local and global structural behavior in the event of a collision have not been adequately addressed. The present paper deals with one of these aspects, namely the attachment of impact energy absorbers at the front end of rail vehicles, since the functional requirements of these devices are particularly stringent in terms of their reliability and functionality throughout the life of the vehicle. In this work the merits of a welded and a bolted energy absorber design are investigated, the latter offering the advantage of ease of through life maintenance and replacement, ensuring that defects such as general corrosion or cracks that could have affected their performance are easily identified and replacements made and also introduce the prospect of retrofitting energy absorbing devices to older rail vehicles to improve crashworthiness. FEA modelling to simulate the dynamic response of welded and bolted joints has been carried out using the LS-DYNA code. For the welded joints the influence of welding defects such as lack of fusion, weld under matching, and weld cracking on the performance of the energy absorbers has been investigated. The numerical model, validated on the basis of results from impact tests, was subsequently used to investigate the behaviour of the absorption system in collision scenarios as prescribed by EN 15227:2008
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1403-1014
    Number of pages12
    JournalProcedia-Social and Behavioral Scineces
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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