The Development of Novel Third Generation (3G) Advanced High Strength Steels Steels for Tank Car Applications

Railway tank cars are constructed from TC 128 steel plates, a design that has not changed for more than 50 years. The Lac Megantic rail disaster in 2013 refocused the attention of Canadians on the safety aspects of tank car design and operation, but not so much on the actual properties of the steels used to build them. In this project, we will explore the potential of modern advanced high strength steels as a replacement for TC 128. In particular, significant improvements to the tank wall puncture resistance will be targeted. New alloys will be designed using the latest scientific knowledge. Casting and processing will be done using the state of the art pilot facilities at the CanmetMATERIALS (CMAT) laboratory in Hamilton. Analysis and testing will involve experts at CMAT and at McMaster University. Promising new alloys will be tested in computer simulated accident events by industrial partner Trinity Rail. The aim is to achieve full scale industrial trial status for the new alloys within the next 5 years, ultimately leading to a new class of better performing and safer tank car steels.

Faculty Supervisor:

Hatem Zurob;Colin Scott


Julien LOUGE


Trinity Rail Leasing Inc


Engineering - other




McMaster University



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