About the preliminary design of a self-aligning energy absorber system for railway vehicles
A new impact energy absorber for a railway car, which maintains its optimal performances even when an impact with a vertical offset occurs, is described. Starting from the description of the concept design, the present paper moves on to the structural optimisation of its components, in respect of both the functionality of the entire system and the maximum deformation energy that it can absorb, even in the case of an offset. A numerical simulation of the impact between two absorbers with offset verifies the effectiveness of the design choices. The numerical model has been also developed to reproduce the behaviour of the absorber under a falling impact mass that is made by means of a full-scale drop test, achieving a support of the effectiveness of both the simulation and the proposed concept.