UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Finite element analysis and cost/risk assessment of the flex cover system Fridriksson, Johann


The flex cover system has two main components, the flex cover which is a flexible cover for coal transportation railcars, and a handling machine. The flex cover system is currently being developed by Empire Dynamic Structures. The research presented in this thesis revolves around the flex cover itself and not the cover handling machine although the entire concept is introduced in some detail. The flex cover is described in detail and extensive analysis was performed to determine the behaviour of the cover under static and dynamic loading. Additionally a cost/risk analysis was performed to break down and analyse the cover by components and determine the economical impacts involved with fabrication of the cover. The finite element analysis was performed by conventional methods using the software ANSYS. The cost/risk analysis was done by creating a decision tree and using expected monetary value in the software DecisionPro. The finite element analyses showed that the original design of the cover holds up in the conditions imposed on it when it is undamaged but some types of damage can quickly impair on the performance. Due to a lack of solid data the cost/risk analysis did not yield useful results as most of the input values had to be made up. The model was still constructed and is ready for future use when better data has been acquired.

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