Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Crashworthiness of high-speed rail systems
by Sullivan, Laura, M.S., Tufts University, 2011, 131; 1502685
Abstract (Summary)

Rail crashworthiness research focuses on the ability of passenger rail equipment to protect its occupants in the event of a collision. The main goals of crashworthiness are to preserve space for the occupants and to limit the decelerations of the occupants to survivable levels. The goal of this research is to explore current high-speed trainsets and determine the level of structural crashworthiness they can provide to the occupant. One of the most effective ways of providing structural crashworthiness is through crash energy management. A crash energy management system (CEM) utilizes energy absorbing crushable elements and a strong vehicle structure to disperse collision energy in a controlled manner and provide protection to passengers. A survey of high-speed rail systems currently in operation was performed to determine appropriate equipment characteristics. An appropriate collision scenario was selected by reviewing accidents involving high speed equipment. Occupant safety was assessed by examining the performance of the equipment in the chosen collision scenario by using a one-dimensional lumped-parameter collision dynamics model to simulate a series of collisions. The features of interest are the energy absorbing capacity of the crush zone and the strength of the occupied volume and the influence that each of these features has on structural crashworthiness. Key results examined include the maximum collision speed without loss of occupant space, the distribution of crush throughout the cars of the train, and the severity of the deceleration experienced by the passengers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Matson, Douglas
Commitee: Perlman, Benjamin, Tyrell, David
School: Tufts University
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Crashworthiness
Publication Number: 1502685
ISBN: 978-1-267-05888-1
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