US20060207472A1 - Railway cars with combined material structures and method - Google Patents

Railway cars with combined material structures and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060207472A1
US20060207472A1 US11/371,892 US37189206A US2006207472A1 US 20060207472 A1 US20060207472 A1 US 20060207472A1 US 37189206 A US37189206 A US 37189206A US 2006207472 A1 US2006207472 A1 US 2006207472A1
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railway car
sheets
sidewall
support posts
steel
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US11/371,892
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George Creighton
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Trinity Industries Inc
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TRN Business Trust Inc
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Assigned to TRN BUSINESS TRUST reassignment TRN BUSINESS TRUST ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CREIGHTON, GEORGE S.
Assigned to TRINITY INDUSTRIES, INC. reassignment TRINITY INDUSTRIES, INC. MERGER (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: TRN BUSINESS TRUST
Assigned to TRINITY INDUSTRIES, INC. reassignment TRINITY INDUSTRIES, INC. MERGER (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: TRN, INC.
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D7/00Hopper cars
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D17/00Construction details of vehicle bodies
    • B61D17/04Construction details of vehicle bodies with bodies of metal; with composite, e.g. metal and wood body structures
    • B61D17/041Construction details of vehicle bodies with bodies of metal; with composite, e.g. metal and wood body structures with bodies characterised by use of light metal, e.g. aluminium
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D17/00Construction details of vehicle bodies
    • B61D17/04Construction details of vehicle bodies with bodies of metal; with composite, e.g. metal and wood body structures
    • B61D17/043Construction details of vehicle bodies with bodies of metal; with composite, e.g. metal and wood body structures connections between superstructure sub-units

Abstract

Railway cars are provided with sidewalls having an optimum number of support posts formed from a first material such as, but not limited to, steel and an optimum number of support posts formed from a second material such as, but not limited to, aluminum to optimize empty car weight and service of life of each railway car. The sidewalls may also be formed from materials such as, but not limited to, steel side sheets and aluminum side sheets.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of United States provisional application No. 60/662,687 entitled “Railway Cars with Combined Material Structures and Method” filed Mar. 17, 2005, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention is related in general to railway cars having one or more straight sides and particularly to railway cars with straight sides formed in part by side sheets and side stakes.
  • BACKGROUND ART SECTION
  • Railway cars are often used to transport bulk commodities and raw materials. It is generally desirable to use railway cars which have relatively large load carrying capacity and relatively low costs to manufacture and maintain during the operating life of such railway cars. Also, railways cars must be designed to meet various government regulatory standards and industry operating standards. For example, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) has established standardized operating envelopes which define maximum allowed exterior dimensions for a wide variety of railway cars. Many advances have been made with respect to making railway cars stronger and lighter with larger cargo volume and greater load carrying capacity and at the same time being easier to manufacture and maintain. However, the search continues for improved railway cars that are even more efficient and cost effective over the entire life cycle of each railway car.
  • Hopper cars and gondola cars are often used to transport a wide variety of goods and materials such as bulk commodities, corn, wheat, soybeans, etc. and raw materials (coal, iron ore and other minerals). Gondola cars typically have a pair of sidewalls, a pair of endwalls, a solid floor and no roof. Hopper cars may be either open or covered depending upon the type of lading which will be carried within each hopper car. A typical hopper car includes floor sheets which are sloped from the sides and the ends of the car to form a series of pockets or hoppers with openings to allow discharge of associated lading.
  • Increased volume and load carrying capacity of a railway car may often be achieved by minimizing the thickness of associated sidewalls as long as the sidewalls provide sufficient strength and durability for the associated lading. Side posts or side stakes are often provided to stiffen sidewalls to help carry lateral loads and beam loads. The side posts may function as load bearing members to support associated lading being transported by the railway car and may also provide protection for and support associated side sheets during unloading of the railway car. Railway cars such as hopper cars and gondola cars generally have numerous side stakes spaced from each other extending along opposite sides of the respective car to provide such support.
  • Some hopper cars and/or gondola cars may have eleven or more side stakes extending along each side of the respective car. Typically, the side sheets and associated side stakes may be formed from the same material such as aluminum alloys to decrease empty car weight and still provide required strength for carrying associated lading. Design trade offs are frequently made between decreasing the thickness of side sheets to reduce empty car weight and adding additional side stakes to provide required support for the side sheets. Increasing the number of support posts may increase manufacturing costs and associated empty car weight.
  • SUMMARY OF SOME EMBODIMENTS
  • In accordance with teachings of the present invention, a railway car may include sidewalls and side stakes which substantially reduce or eliminate disadvantages and problems associated with previous railway cars. According to one aspect of the present invention a railway car may be formed with at least one sidewall having side sheets supported by a plurality of side stakes or side posts spaced from each other along the length of the sidewall. At least one of the side stakes may be formed from the same material used to form the side sheets of the associated sidewall and at least one side stake may be formed from material which is different from the material used to form the side sheet of the associated sidewall.
  • Technical advantages of the present invention may include optimizing the number of side stakes and materials used to form the side stakes and associated side sheets to optimize manufacturing costs, repair costs, load carrying capacity and operating life of the associated railway car. Minimizing damage during loading and unloading may substantially effect repair costs and operating life of a railway car. The number of aluminum side stakes and the number of steel side stakes may be varied in accordance with teachings of the present invention to optimize manufacturing costs, repair costs, load carrying capacity and operating life of the associated railway car and to minimize damage during loading and unloading. Various aspects of the present invention may be satisfactorily used with gondola cars, covered hopper cars, open hopper cars or other railway cars having at least one sidewall formed from side sheets and side stakes.
  • Another aspect of present invention may include analyzing a railway car having a car body formed in part from side sheets and support posts to determine critical locations on the car body where one or more support posts are subjected to increased loads and/or stresses during use of the railway car. The increased loads and/or stresses may occur during loading, transit and/or unloading of the railway car. Based on the analysis of critical locations and associated loads or stresses, aluminum support posts at one or more critical locations on the car body may be replaced by steel support posts. For example, a railway car incorporating teachings of the present invention may have at lease one sidewall formed from a plurality of side sheets with five (5) steel support post disposed at respective critical locations and aluminum support posts disposed at other locations. The number of steel support posts and aluminum support posts may be increased or decreased based on the analysis of associated critical locations.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A more complete and thorough understanding of the present embodiments and advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features, and wherein:
  • FIG. 1A is a schematic drawing in elevation showing an isometric view of a railway car having at least one sidewall assembly incorporating teachings of the present invention;
  • FIG. 1B is a schematic drawing in section with portions broken away taken along lines 1B-1B of FIG. 1A;
  • FIG. 2A is a schematic drawing in elevation showing an isometric view of another railway car having at least one sidewall assembly incorporating teachings of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 2B is a schematic drawing in section with portions broken away taken along lines 2B-2B of FIG. 2A;
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS
  • Preferred embodiments of the invention and its advantages are best understood by reference to FIGS. 1A-2B wherein like number refer to same and like parts.
  • The terms “side stake,” “side post” and “support post” may be used in this application to describe any post operable to support side sheets of a sidewall or sidewall assembly associated with a railway car. Corner posts, typically located at respective joints between side walls and end walls, may sometimes be included in the definition of “side stake,” “side post” and “support post” for purposes of describing and claiming various features of the present invention. For example the four corner posts of a gondola car or hopper may be formed from steel alloy materials and the adjacent side stake may be formed from aluminum alloy materials.
  • The term “critical location” may be used in this application to describe any location on a sidewall or sidewall assembly where a side stake may experience an increased load or stress during loading, unloading or transit of an associated railway car. Various components such as an associated car body and/or railway car underframe may be analyzed to help determine critical locations on a sidewall or sidewall assembly for respective side stakes.
  • For purposes of illustration, the present invention may be described with respect to open top railway cars such as gondola cars and/or hopper cars. Examples of such railway cars are shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,166, entitled “Railway Hopper Car Bolster Assembly”; U.S. Pat. No. 4,633,787 entitled “Light Weight Gondola Type Railway Car”; U.S. Pat. No. 3,844,229, entitled “Railway Hopper Car End Structure Assembly”; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,785,754, entitled “Rapid Discharge Hopper Car”. Although the present invention may be generally described with respect to open top railway cars, a sidewall or sidewall assembly incorporating teachings of the present invention may be used with a wide variety of railway cars such as covered hopper cars and gondola cars.
  • FIG. 1A shows railway car 20 having a pair of sidewall assemblies incorporating various teachings of the present invention. Only one sidewall assembly 50 is shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. Railway car 20 may be generally described as an open top gondola car or a rotary dump coal car. Railway car 20 as shown in FIG. 1A may be used for shipment of coal or other types of bulk raw materials. Both sidewall assemblies may have substantially the same configuration and design.
  • For some applications railway car 20 includes a railway car underframe indicated generally at 30 with car body 40 mounted thereon. For some applications, railway car underframe 30 may be manufactured from steel alloys and portions of car body 40 may be manufactured from aluminum alloys. However, various components of both railway car underframe 30 and car body 40 may be satisfactorily formed from various steel alloys, aluminum alloys, fiber reinforced plastic materials, cermets, and composites of these materials as desired. As discussed later in more detail, fabricating a railway car with sidewalls or sidewall assemblies having side stakes and side sheets formed from materials selected in accordance with teachings of the present invention may allow reducing manufacturing and repair costs, particularly from damage during loading and unloading, while at the same time increasing load carrying capacity and service or operating life of the associated railway car.
  • Railway car underframe 30 may be attached to and mounted on first railway truck assembly 31 adjacent to first end 21 of railway car 20. Railway car underframe 30 may also be attached to and mounted on second railway truck assembly 32 adjacent to second end 22 of railway car 20. Railway car underframe 30 may include a pair of body bolsters (not expressly shown) satisfactory for engagement with respective railway truck assemblies 31 and 32. Various types of commercially available railway car underframes and railway truck assemblies may be satisfactorily used with the present invention.
  • Car body 40 may include a pair of sidewall assemblies 50 which extend generally parallel with each other along opposite sides of railway car underframe 30. Each sidewall assembly 50 may include respective lower edge 52 and upper edge 54. Sidewall assemblies 50 may are also be defined in part by respective exterior surfaces 56 and interior surfaces 58. For some applications, sidewall assemblies 50 may be formed from a plurality of generally rectangular side sheets 70 which may be attached to each other using various types of mechanical fasteners and/or welding techniques. The arrangement of side sheets 70 may be modified depending upon the desired configuration of the resulting sidewall assembly. Side sheets 70 cooperate with each other to form exterior surface 56 and interior surface 50 of associated sidewall assembly 50.
  • Car body 40 may also include a pair of tubs 90 extending generally parallel with each other along opposite sides of railway car underframe 30. Tubs 90 may also extend generally downwardly from railway car underframe 30 towards an associated railway track (not expressly shown). Only one tub 90 is shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. Each tub 90 may have a cross section which allows carrying the maximum amount of coal or other raw material within the applicable AAR operating envelope. Interior surface 92 of each tub 90 may have a generally curved or arcuate shape. For some applications tubs 90 may be formed from stainless steel or other suitable materials satisfactory for carrying coal.
  • For some applications, railway car underframe 30 may have a generally rectangular configuration defined in part by a pair of side sills and center sill 36. Portions of side sill 36 are shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. Lower edge 52 of sidewall assemblies 50 may be attached to side sill 34, as shown in FIG. 1B. Tubs 90 may also be mounted on and securely attached to adjacent portions of the respective side sills and center sill 36.
  • As shown in FIG. 1A, top chord 60 may be attached along upper edge 54 of each sidewall assembly 50. Each top chord 60 may include an elongated hollow beam or tube (not expressly shown). Each top chord 60 may extend substantially along the full length of respective sidewall assembly 50. The dimensions and configuration of top chord 60 may be selected to be compatible which equipment used to rotary dump railway car 20. A plurality of mechanical fasteners (not expressly shown) may be used to attach top chord 60 with adjacent portions of associated sidewall assembly 50.
  • Various types of mechanical fasteners such as nuts and bolts, drive bolts, blind rivets, and other fasteners may be satisfactorily used with the present invention. Examples of such fasteners are available from Huck International, Inc. located at 6 Thomas, Irvine, Calif. 92718-2585. Power tools satisfactory for installing such fasteners are also available from Huck International and other vendors. For some applications various welding techniques may be used to satisfactorily attach respective top chords 60 with upper edges 56 of sidewalls 50. Also, a combination of welding techniques and mechanical fasteners may also be satisfactorily used.
  • For some applications, car body 40 may include a plurality of cross braces and/or diagonal braces (not expressly shown) disposed between interior surfaces 58 of sidewall assemblies 50. Various types of brackets (not expressly shown) may be used to attach the cross braces and diagonal braces with associated portions of interior surfaces 58.
  • Railway car 20 may include a plurality of support posts or side stakes 80 a and 80 s which are spaced longitudinally from each other along respective exterior surface 56 of each sidewall assembly 50. FIG. 1B shows an enlarged cross section associated with side stakes 80 a and 80 s and adjacent portion of associated side sheet 70. However, the present invention allows forming side stakes and side sheets with a wide variety of cross sections.
  • For some applications side stakes 80 a may be formed from aluminum alloy materials and side stakes 80 s may be formed from steel alloy materials. Side stakes 80 a and 80 s may have substantially the same configuration and dimensions. Alternatively, side stakes 80 a and 80 s may have different configurations and dimensions. For some applications side stakes 80 a and side sheets 70 may be formed from the same aluminum alloy material. For other applications side sheets 70 may be formed from steel alloys or other suitable materials.
  • Side stakes 80 a and 80 s may be described as having hat-shaped cross sections defined in part by a generally U-shaped or C-shaped cross section formed in part by web 82 with respective legs 83 and 84 extending therefrom, flange 85 extending from leg 83 and flange 86 extending from leg 84. However, side stakes having a wide variety of cross sections such as rectangular, square, circular, oval, U-shaped or C-shaped may be satisfactorily used. Various techniques such as mechanical fasteners and/or welding may be satisfactorily used to attach side stakes 80 a and 80 s with adjacent portions of associated side sheets 70.
  • FIG. 2A shows railway car 120 having a pair of sidewalls incorporating various teachings of the present invention. Only one sidewall 150 is shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B. Railway car 120 may be generally described as an open top hopper car or a coal car. Railway car 120 as shown in FIG. 2A may be used for shipment of coal and other types of bulk raw materials. Both sidewall assemblies may have substantially the same configuration and design. For purposes of explaining various features of the present invention, reference will be made primarily to sidewall 150.
  • For some applications railway car 120 includes a railway car underframe indicated generally at 130 with car body 140 mounted thereon. For some applications, railway car underframe 130 may be manufactured from steel alloys and portions of car body 140 may be manufactured from aluminum alloys. However, various components of both railway car underframe 130 and car body 140 may be satisfactorily formed from various steel alloys, aluminum alloys, fiber reinforced plastic materials, cermets, and composites of these materials as desired. As previously noted, fabricating a railway car with sidewalls or sidewall assemblies having side stakes and side sheets formed from materials selected in accordance with teachings of the present invention may reduce damage during loading and unloading particularly for rotary dump coal cars. Manufacturing and repair costs may also be reduced while at the same time increasing load carrying capacity and service life of a railway car with sidewalls and support posts incorporating teachings of the present invention.
  • Railway car underframe 130 may be attached to and mounted on first railway truck assembly 131 adjacent to first end 121 of railway car 120. Railway car underframe 130 may also be attached to and mounted on second railway truck assembly 132 adjacent to second end 122 of railway car 120. Railway car underframe 130 may include a pair of body bolsters (not expressly shown) satisfactory for engagement with respective railway truck assemblies 131 and 132. Various types of commercially available railway car underframes and railway truck assemblies may be satisfactorily used with the present invention.
  • Car body 140 may include a pair of sidewalls 150 which extend generally parallel with each other along opposite sides of railway car underframe 130. Each sidewall 150 may include respective lower edge 152 and upper edge 154. Sidewalls 150 may are also be defined in part by respective exterior surfaces 156 and interior surfaces 158. For some applications, sidewalls 150 may be formed from a plurality of generally rectangular side sheets 170 which may be attached to each other using various types of mechanical fasteners and/or welding techniques.
  • The arrangement and design of side sheets 170 may be modified depending upon a desired configuration for each sidewall. For example, portions of each sidewall 150 and associated side sheets 170 proximate first end 121 and second end 122 of railway car 120 may have generally tapered portions 151 and 153. Side sheets 170 cooperate with each other to form exterior surface 156 and interior surface 158 of associated sidewall 150.
  • For some applications, railway car underframe 130 may have a generally rectangular configuration defined in part by a pair of side sills and center sill 136. Portions of side sill 134 are shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B. Lower edge 152 of sidewall 150 may be attached to side sill 134, as shown in FIG. 2B.
  • As shown in FIG. 2A, top chord 160 may be attached along upper edge 154 of each sidewall 150. Each top chord 160 may include an elongated hollow beam or tube (not expressly shown). Each top chord 160 may extend substantially along the full length of respective sidewall 150. A plurality of mechanical fasteners (not expressly shown) may be used to attach top chord 160 with adjacent portions of associated sidewall 150.
  • Various types of mechanical fasteners such as nuts and bolts, drive bolts, blind rivets, and other fasteners may be satisfactorily used with the present invention. Examples of such fasteners are available from Huck International, Inc. located at 6 Thomas, Irvine, Calif. 92718-2585. Power tools satisfactory for installing such fasteners are also available from Huck International and other vendors. For some applications various welding techniques may be used to satisfactorily attach respective top chords 160 with upper edges 154 of sidewalls 150. Also, a combination of welding techniques and mechanical fasteners may also be satisfactorily used.
  • For some applications, car body 140 may include a plurality of cross braces and/or diagonal braces (not expressly shown) disposed between interior surfaces 158 of sidewalls 150. Various types of brackets (not expressly shown) may be used to attach the cross braces and diagonal braces with associated portions of side stakes 80 a and 80 s.
  • Railway car 120 may include a plurality of support posts or side stakes 180 a and 180 s which are spaced longitudinally from each other along respective exterior surface 156 of each sidewall 150. For some applications side stakes 180 a may be formed from aluminum based alloy materials and side stakes 180 s may be formed from steel based alloy materials. Side stakes 180 a and 180 s may have substantially the same configuration and dimensions. For some applications, side stakes 180 a and side sheets 170 may be formed from the same aluminum alloy material. For other applications side sheets 170 may be formed from steel alloys or other suitable materials.
  • FIG. 2B shows an enlarged cross section associated with side stakes 180 a and 180 s and adjacent portion of associated side sheet 170. Side stakes 180 a and 180 s may be described as having a generally modified hat-shaped cross section defined in part by a generally trapezoid shaped cross section formed in part by web 182 with respective tapered legs 183 and 184 extending therefrom. Flange 185 may extend from tapered leg 183 and flange 186 may extend from tapered leg 184. The cross section of side stakes 180 a and 180 s may also be generally described as forming a truss type supporting structure. Various techniques such as mechanical fasteners and/or welding may be satisfactorily used to attach side stakes 180 a and 180 s with adjacent portions of associated side sheets 170.
  • The cross section of side stakes 180 a and 180 s may provide improved aerodynamic characteristics as compared with side stakes 80 a and 80 s. The tapered configuration of legs 183 and 184 relative to web 182 may provide reduced wind resistance or drag. However, the present invention allows forming side stakes and side sheets with a wide variety of cross sections and is not limited to side stakes 80 a, 80 s, 180 a or 180 s or side sheets 70 and 170.
  • For some applications, side sheets 70 and 170 may be formed from sheets of aluminum alloys satisfactorily for carrying coal or similar types of lading. Aluminum sheets are generally available in nominal widths of approximately ninety-six inches (96″). Since the height of a typical sidewall may be generally greater than ninety-six inches (96″), two or more side sheets 70 or 170 may be attached with each other to form a typical sidewall.
  • Railway car 120 may include a plurality of hoppers defined in part by one or more transfer ridges 142 which extend laterally across the floor of car body 140. Transfer ridges 142 and associated slope sheets 144 cooperate with each other to direct coal or similar lading toward associated discharge door assemblies 138. Each discharge door assembly 138 may include openings (not expressly shown) with a respective door or gate (not expressly shown) attached thereto. Discharge door assemblies 138 allow discharge of bulk lading such as coal by gravity from respective hopper portions of car body 140.
  • Discharge door assemblies 138 may be disposed adjacent to respective slope sheets 144. Slope sheets 144 may be inclined at an angle with respect to railway car underframe 130. For some applications, partitions (not expressly shown) may be provided within car body 140 to separate rapid discharge door assemblies 138 and associated hopper portions from each other. For some applications, discharge door assemblies 138 may be automatically opened while railway car 120 is in motion to reduce unloading time. Such railway cars may sometimes be referred to as rapid discharge cars. For some applications, railway car 120 may also be modified to accommodate unloading by using rotary dumping equipment and techniques.
  • Railway cars 20 and 120 may be subjected to substantially increased loads and/or stresses during loading, unloading and transporting coal or similar bulk raw materials. For example, during rotary dumping of railway car 20, substantial loads may be placed on top chord 60, associated side sheets 70 and support posts 80 a and 80 s when railway car 20 is inverted. Support posts 80 a and 80 s are preferably designed to protect side sheets 70 from being crushed or otherwise damaged during rotation of associated railway car 20.
  • Railway cars 20 and 120 may be analyzed in accordance with teachings of the present invention during various conditions of loading, transporting and unloading of lading to determine critical locations of associated car bodies 40 and 140. For example, support posts located approximately proximate the body bolsters associated with railway trucks 31 and 32 may be subjected to substantially increased loads when railway car 20 is inverted to dump coal carried therein. Similar analyses may be conducted with respect to support posts 180 a and 180 s associated with railway car 120 and car body 140 extending between body bolsters associated with railway trucks 131 and 132.
  • Side stakes 80 a, 80 s, 180 a and 180 s may have relatively thin cross sections to reduce empty car weight and at the same time provide sufficient stiffness and strength to support an associated sidewall. As a result of their respective configurations, side stakes 80 a, 80 s, 180 a and 180 s may allow increasing interior dimensions of associated railway cars 20 and 120 without exceeding applicable AAR design envelope for the associated railway car.
  • Sometimes relatively heavy, thick-walled aluminum support posts have previously been used to provide required structural support at critical locations on a railway car body. For example, support posts associated with rotary dump coal cars may experience heavy loads during rotation and dumping of coal. Therefore, posts located at associate body bolsters may sometimes be formed from relatively heavy, thick aluminum to accommodate such loads. For example, the web of an aluminum support post may be formed with an increased thickness as compared with associated legs and flanges. The cost associated with manufacture of such aluminum support post may be substantially increased as compared with an aluminum support post having webs, legs and flanges formed with a more uniform thickness.
  • A steel support post may sometimes provide as much as 50% or more stiffness and 50% or more increased resistance to crushing during rotation of an associated rotary dump coal car as compared with an aluminum support post having the same general dimensions and configurations. If the web or other portions of an aluminum support post must be increased to provide the desired stiffness and/or resistance to crushing, the weight of such aluminum support posts may be increased and the cost of forming such aluminum support posts may be substantially increased.
  • Steel support posts may often be installed at critical locations to provide desired structural support at a reduced cost. Depending upon raw material costs steel support posts may be less expensive as compared with a heavy, thick-walled aluminum support post capable of withstanding the same loads and/or stresses at critical locations.
  • The present invention also allows analyzing optimum combinations of steel side sheets and aluminum support posts or aluminum side sheets and steel support posts. For example, steel side sheets may provide increased strength or resistance to crushing during unloading of a rotary dump car. Steel support posts may have increased durability as compared with aluminum support posts having similar designs and dimensions. An analysis of weight associated with various thicknesses of steel side sheets and all aluminum support post may indicate if the empty car weight and cost of an associated rotary dump coal car are satisfactory. Similar analysis of aluminum side sheets and all steel support posts may also be conducted.
  • The present invention allows analyzing various combinations of aluminum side sheets or steel side sheets and combining aluminum support posts and/or steel support posts to provide optimum types of material and thickness of material to form the side sheets and the optimum number of steel support posts and/or aluminum support posts attached to the associated side sheets to minimize empty car weight, increase load carrying capacity, minimize damage during loading and unloading and extend service life of a resulting rotary dump coal car or any other railway car. Initial manufacturing costs and lifetime repair costs may also be analyzed. Sometimes, the analysis may be directed primarily to support posts located between the associated body bolsters.
  • For some applications the analysis may indicate that the optimum configuration for a rotary dump coal car is aluminum side sheets and all steel support posts. Alternatively, an analysis conducted in accordance teachings of the present invention may indicate that the optimum combination of materials for forming a rotary dump coal car may be steel side sheets and all aluminum support posts. For still other applications an analysis conducted in accordance with teachings of the present invention may indicate that the optimum combination of materials for forming a rotary dump coal car may be aluminum side sheets with both steel support posts and aluminum support posts. The number of aluminum support posts and the number of steel support posts attached with the side sheets may vary depending upon specific design parameters and operating characteristics of each railway car.
  • For some applications such as a rotary dump coal car or other types of hopper cars (not expressly shown) each corner post may be formed from stell alloy material. With alternating aluminum support posts and steel support extending along each sidewall assembly between the respective steel corner posts. Depending upon the overall size of the such railway cars and associate interior braces assemblies, an optimum configuration may be steel corner posts at respective ends of each sidewall assembly, steel support posts proximate each body bolster, steel support posts proximate the end of each tub, and steel support posts proximate interior cross brace assemblies extending laterally between the respective sidewall assemblies.
  • One Example of an Open Top Rotary Dump Coal Car Having Sidewalls and Support Posts Incorporating Teachings of the Present Disclosure
  • Length, Inside 47′-3″
    Width, Inside 10′-1 ⅜″
    Length Over Coupler Pulling Faces 53′-0 ½″
    Length Over Strikers 50′-5″
    Length Between Truck Center 40′-6″
    Width, Extreme 10′-7 15/16″
    Height, Extreme 13′-3 ¾″
    Estimated Lightweight 45,000 lbs.
    Estimated Load Limit-Based on 286,000 241,000 lbs.
    lbs. G.R.L.
    Gross Rail Load 286,000 lbs.
    Cubic Capacity 4200 cu. ft.
    Cubic Capacity-With 10″ Heap 4598 cu. ft.
    Loaded to 286,000 lbs. G.R.L. 87.6″
    Level Full
    Loaded to 286,000 lbs. G.R.L. 95.0″
    with 10″ Heap
  • Although some embodiments of the present invention and their advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alternations can be made herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Claims (20)

1. A railway car having a railway car underframe and at least one sidewall assembly comprising:
the railway car underframe having a first longitudinal edge and a second longitudinal edge with at least one sidewall assembly disposed along one of the longitudinal edges of the railway car underframe;
the sidewall assembly formed in part from a plurality of side sheets and a plurality of support posts;
one end of the support posts disposed along and attached to the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
the side sheets formed from a first material selected from the group consisting of aluminum and steel;
the support posts formed from materials selected from the group consisting of aluminum and steel; and
at least one support post formed from a material different from the material used to form the other support post.
2. The railway car of claim 1 selected from the group consisting of gondola cars, open hopper cars, closed hopper cars, and rotary dump coal cars and the number of steel support posts and the number of aluminum support posts optimized to reduce empty weight of the railway car and increase service life of the railway car.
3. The railway car of claim 1 further comprising:
a first sidewall assembly disposed on the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe and a second sidewall assembly disposed on the second longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
each sidewall assembly formed from a plurality of aluminum side sheets;
at least one support post formed from aluminum and attached with each sidewall assembly; and
at least one support post formed from steel attached with each sidewall assembly..
4. The railway car of claim 1 further comprising:
a first sidewall assembly disposed on the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
a second sidewall assembly disposed on the second longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
each sidewall assembly formed from a plurality of steel side sheets;
the side sheets having an exterior surface and an interior surface;
a plurality of support posts attached with respective exterior surfaces of the side sheets;
at least one of the support posts formed from steel; and
at least one of the support posts formed from aluminum.
5. The railway car of claim 1 wherein the sidewall assembly further comprises:
a plurality of interior side sheets and exterior side sheets with the interior side sheets spaced from and extending generally parallel with the exterior side sheets;
each support post having a first surface and a second surface;
the interior side sheets attached to the first surface of the support posts; and
the exterior side sheets attached to the second surface of the support posts.
6. The railway car of claim 1 further comprising:
a plurality of support posts attached with each side sheet;
the support posts spaced from each other along the associated sidewall assembly; and
approximately an equal number of the support posts formed from steel alloy materials and approximately an equal number of support posts formed from aluminum alloy materials.
7. The railway car of claim 6 further comprising the steel support posts and the aluminum support posts arranged in an alternating pattern extending along the associated sidewall assembly.
8. The railway car of claim 1 further comprising the support posts having cross sections selected from the group consisting of hat-shaped, square, rectangular, oval, circular, U-shaped or C-shaped.
9. The railway car of claim 1 further comprising:
a car body defined in part by a first sidewall assembly, a second sidewall assembly and a pair of tubs;
the first sidewall assembly disposed on the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe and the second-sidewall assembly disposed on the second longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
the tubs attached to the railway car underframe and extending therefrom;
each sidewall assembly formed from a plurality of aluminum side sheets;
at least one support post formed from aluminum and attached with each sidewall assembly; and
at least one support post formed from steel and attached with each sidewall assembly.
10. The railway car of claim 9 further comprising the tubs formed from stainless steel.
11. A railway car having a railway car underframe and a car body defined in part by a first sidewall and a second sidewall disposed on the underframe comprising:
the railway car underframe having a first longitudinal edge and a second longitudinal edge;
the first sidewall disposed on the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe and the second sidewall disposed on the second longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
each sidewall formed in part from a plurality of side sheets and a plurality of side stakes;
one end of the side stakes disposed along and attached to the respective longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
the side sheets formed from a first material selected from the group consisting of aluminum and steel;
the side stakes formed from materials selected from the group consisting of aluminum and steel; and
at least one side stake formed from a material different from the material used to form the other side stakes.
12. The railway car of claim 11 selected from the group consisting of gondola cars, open hopper cars, closed hopper cars, and rotary dump coal cars.
13. The railway car of claim 11 further comprising:
each sidewall formed from a plurality of aluminum side sheets;
at least one of the side stakes formed from aluminum and attached with each sidewall; and
at least one of the side stakes formed from steel and attached with each sidewall.
14. The railway car of claim 11 further comprising:
each sidewall formed from a plurality of steel side sheets;
at least one of the side stakes formed from steel and attached with each sidewall; and
at least one of the side stakes formed from aluminum and attached with each sidewall.
15. The railway car of claim 11 further comprising:
the side stakes spaced laterally from each other along the length of the associated sidewall;
approximately an equal number of the side stakes formed form steel alloys and approximately an equal number of side stakes formed from aluminum alloy material; and
the steel side stakes and the aluminum side stakes arranged in an alternating pattern extending along each respective sidewall.
16. A method of forming a railway car having a car body defined in part by at least one sidewall assembly attached to an associated railway car underframe comprising;
forming the sidewall assembly from a plurality of side sheets;
forming a plurality of support posts from steel based alloy materials;
forming a plurality of support posts from aluminum based alloy materials; and
determining the optimum number of steel support posts and the optimum number of aluminum support posts to attach to the associated side sheets to minimize empty weight of the railway car and extend service life of the railway car.
17. The method of claim 16 further comprising forming the side sheets from material selected from the group consisting of steel based alloy materials and aluminum base alloy materials.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising:
determining critical locations on the car body associated with increased stress during operation of the associated railway car; and
optimizing empty weight of the railway car and extended service life of the railway car by installing steel support posts at selected critical locations.
19. A railway car having a railway car underframe and at least one sidewall assembly comprising:
the railway car underframe having a first longitudinal edge and a second longitudinal edge with at least one sidewall assembly disposed along one of the longitudinal edges of the railway car underframe;
the sidewall assembly formed in part from a plurality of side sheets and a plurality of support posts;
one end of the support post disposed along and attached to the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
the side sheets formed from aluminum alloy materials; and
the support posts formed from steel alloy materials.
20. A railway car having a railway car underframe and at least one sidewall assembly comprising:
the railway car underframe having a first longitudinal edge and a second longitudinal edge with at least one sidewall assembly disposed along one of the longitudinal edges of the railway car underframe;
the sidewall assembly formed in part from a plurality of side sheets and a plurality of support posts;
one end of the support post disposed along and attached to the first longitudinal edge of the railway car underframe;
the side sheets formed from steel alloy materials; and
the support posts formed from aluminum alloy materials.
US11/371,892 2005-03-17 2006-03-09 Railway cars with combined material structures and method Abandoned US20060207472A1 (en)

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US6858466B1 (en) * 2003-11-03 2005-02-22 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. System and a method for fluid filling wafer level packages

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20070137517A1 (en) * 2005-12-20 2007-06-21 Creighton George S Railway Cars Manufactured With Self Piercing Rivets
WO2009114793A1 (en) * 2008-03-13 2009-09-17 Trinity Industries, Inc. Increased capacity railcar and method
US20110005425A1 (en) * 2008-03-13 2011-01-13 Trinity Industries, Inc. Increased Capacity Railcar and Method
US8430040B2 (en) 2008-03-13 2013-04-30 Trinity Industries, Inc. Increased capacity railcar and method
EP2431247A3 (en) * 2010-09-15 2013-01-23 Bombardier Transportation GmbH Vehicle body structure and vehicle

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WO2006101752A3 (en) 2007-09-20

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