Research on Performance Test Procedures for Petroleum Road Fuel Tankers

Published: Feb 2024



Author: Mervyn Edwards (TRL), Brian Robinson (BJR Solutions), Mike Stewart (HSE-SD), James Hobbs (HSE-SD) and Tyler London (TWI)

Pages: 201

Reference: PPR2027


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The aim of the research reported was to develop ‘performance-based’ finite element modelling approaches and appropriate physical test procedures to approve petroleum road fuel tankers with novel designs that otherwise would not satisfy the current ‘design-based' requirements, i.e. to provide an alternative means of approval that gives more freedom to innovate while maintaining an equivalent (the same or a better) level of safety.

The main conclusion of this research regarding the development of performance-based requirements for rollover safety is that the deflections and likelihood of major loss of containment experienced by road fuel tankers in real-world rollover scenarios can be replicated in a suitably specified, two-compartment subsection drop-test (or a full-scale physical topple test) supplemented by abrasion and penetration tests.

The main outputs of this research were the (partial) development of performance-based test methods for rollover, together with an understanding (from associated finite element modelling) of the test parameters relevant to current tanker designs, and a route to their future adoption in standards and regulation in the form of an outline technical code for rollover resilience.

A secondary output was the development of a better understanding of a frontal impact (tank rupture) scenario and the associated loading of the tank structure through the kingpin assembly / support structure.

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