Reliability analysis of tank car structures undergoing fatigue crack growth and general corrosion (tank wall thinning) is illustrated to support informed decision-making and planning for reliability-centered maintenance. Two specific mechanisms that contribute to tank car deterioration are considered: (1) corrosion with negligible fatigue crack growth; and (2) corrosion-accelerated fatigue crack growth. Reliability analysis of corrosion-accelerated fatigue crack growth is performed with a time dependent tank wall thickness reduction and a fatigue crack growth model that incorporates a three degrees-of-freedom surface crack obeying Walker crack growth law under tank car spectrum loading. System reliability problems involving multiple corrosion sites are considered to illustrate important features of failure probability for a series system in relation to failure probability of individual corrosion sites.
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