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Innovative Technologies for Safer and more Secure Land Mass-Transport Infrastructure under Terrorist Attacks

Scientific Publications

Risk Analysis about Explosions in Trains

Author: Larcher M
Reference :In Conference Proceedings: F. Teixerira-Dias, B. Dodd, A. Torres Marques, E. Lach, S. Walley, editors. Security and Use of Innovative Technologies Against Terrorism. Aveiro (Portugal): GRID-DAPS, University Aveiro; 2009. p. 109-122


Land mass transport systems have an open architecture and are therefore vulnerable to terrorist attack. The risk of injuries and fatalities in a case of an explosion inside trains or stations can be minimized by strengthening and optimizing these structures. Several calculation models can be used to simulate air blast waves. Ignoring the fluid behaviour, a pressure-time function can be applied onto the structure. Since in a long tube, like a train, the channelling has to be considered, and since the risk analysis needs the pressures inside the train, fluid dynamic calculations are performed to investigate the risk inside a train carriage. The geometry of the train is determined using a 3D laser scanning technology. The structural part is built up from aluminium. Special failure models are used for laminated glass. A new approach for a fluid-structure interaction is presented, where a structure can be introduced in a fluid mesh without a connection to the fluid nodes. This procedure avoids also problems after the element erosion of the glass. Several structures of the train body are investigated here numerically. A relatively stiff honeycomb structure results in small displacements and limited failure. The risk inside such a train is much higher than in a train, which is built from a frame structure, where a thin sheet of aluminium is welded on. The influence of the glazing and of internals, like lightweight doors and compartments, on the risk inside a train is also discussed in the paper.