SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2005

Structural Reliability Analysis of Railroad Tank Cars Subjected to Fatigue and Corrosion


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.

Author Information

Zhao, W
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Sutton, MA
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 355–367
DOI: 10.1520/STP11505S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5505-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2410-3