Title:
Railway Car Loading Rack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A loading rack includes at least one support structure having a plurality of support legs; at least one shelf support disposed in connection with each of the at least one support structures; at least one shelf having a surface disposed in connection with each of the shelf supports; and at least one base disposed in connection with each of the at least one support structures and opposite each of the shelf supports, wherein the loading rack supports a vertical load of no less than about 6,000 pounds.



Inventors:
Zupancich Sr., Ronald J. (Clayton, NC, US)
Stoughton, William (Slippery Rock, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/751335
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
05/21/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B55/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACHMAN & LAPOINTE, P.C. (900 CHAPEL STREET SUITE 1201, NEW HAVEN, CT, 06510, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A loading rack, comprising: at least one support structure having a plurality of support legs; at least one shelf support disposed in connection with each of said at least one support structures; at least one shelf having a surface disposed in connection with each of said shelf supports; and at least one base disposed in connection with each of said at least one support structures and opposite each of said shelf supports, wherein said loading rack supports a vertical load of no less than about 6,000 pounds.

2. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said at least one support structure further comprises a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of a first support leg across a second support leg to an opposing end of a third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg.

3. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said at least one support structure comprises the following: a first support structure disposed in connection with a first end of said shelf; a second support structure disposed in connection with a substantially centered area of said shelf; and a third support structure disposed in connection with a second end of said shelf.

4. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said at least one support structure is a support structure disposed in connection with a substantially centered area of said shelf.

5. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein the loading rack comprises the following: a first support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a second support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a third support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a first shelf support mounted to said first support structure; a second shelf support mounted to said second support structure; a third shelf support mounted to said third support structure; a first base mounted to said first support structure opposite said first shelf support; a second base mounted to said second support structure opposite said second shelf support; a third base mounted to said third support structure opposite said third shelf support; and at least one shelf mounted to said first shelf support, said second shelf support and said third shelf support.

6. The loading rack of claim 5, wherein each of said support legs are welded to each of said bases and each of said shelf supports.

7. The loading rack of claim 5, wherein said shelf is staked or mechanically attached to each of said shelf supports.

8. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein the loading rack comprises the following: a support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a shelf support mounted to said support structure; a base mounted to said support structure opposite said shelf support; and at least one shelf mounted to said shelf support.

9. The loading rack of claim 8, wherein said first support leg, said second support leg and said third support leg are each welded to said support structure and said base.

10. The loading rack of claim 8, wherein said shelf is staked or mechanically attached to said shelf support.

11. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein the loading rack comprises the following: a first support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg, a third support leg, a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said first support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg; a second support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg, a third support leg, a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said first support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg; a third support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg, a third support leg, a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said first support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg; a first shelf support having at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said first support structure; a second shelf support having at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said second support structure; a third shelf support having at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said third support structure; a first base mounted to said first support structure opposite said first shelf support; a second base mounted to said second support structure opposite said second shelf support; a third base mounted to said third support structure opposite said third shelf support; and at least one shelf engaged to said at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said first shelf support, said second shelf support and said third shelf support.

12. The loading rack of claim 11, wherein each of said support legs are welded to each of said bases and each of said shelf supports.

13. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said loading rack supports a first critical buckling load of no less than about 12.4 times said 6,000 pound vertical load in a first critical buckling mode, a second critical buckling load of no less than about 14.6 times said 6,000 pound vertical load in a second critical buckling mode, and a third critical buckling load of no less than about 22.7 times said 6,000 pound vertical load in a third critical buckling mode.

14. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said plurality of support legs comprise aluminum tubes.

15. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said at least one base and said shelf support both comprise aluminum or an aluminum alloy.

16. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said at least one shelf comprises any one of the following materials: plastic and composite materials.

17. The loading rack of claim 16, wherein said plastic comprises at least one of the following: thermoplastic materials and thermoset materials; and said composite materials comprise at least one of the following: fiber reinforced resin, thermoplastic materials, thermoset materials, foam materials, polyester based polymers and urethane based polymers.

18. The loading rack of claim 1, wherein said shelf further comprises a first end optionally having at least one mechanical fastener and a second end optionally having said at least one mechanical fastener.

19. The loading rack of claim 1, further comprising at least one loading area having an area sufficient to accommodate at least one skid and defined by a first support structure, said surface of said shelf and a second support structure.

20. The loading rack of claim 1, further comprising a loading area having an area sufficient to accommodate at least one skid and defined by a first support structure and said surface of said shelf.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to railcars and, more particularly, to railway car loading racks.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Loading racks for railway cars are typically constructed with steel or other high strength alloys in order to provide the strength and durability required to support tons of cargo. Although such racks meet the requisite structural requirements to support cargo, these steel racks exhibit several disadvantages.

First, steel racks are heavy by virtue of their material. According to regulations promulgated by the Association of American Railroads, a person must be able to manually lift and set a rack in place. The regulations state each section of loading racks, that is, a single loading rack, must weigh no more than 40 pounds. To compensate additional steel racks of smaller size must be used which incurs additional materials, increased loading time and worker's hourly time, and their related expenses.

Secondly, steel racks and their cargo, like any items being transported, inevitably move to some extent and damage the railway car's interior. Railway cars fitted with insulation material or other coverings cannot afford to experience such damage. Damaged insulation material, e.g., paneling, causes thermal shorts and the railway car's internal temperature increases as a result. In addition, the cargo may also become compromised. Moreover, the railway car must be fixed immediately to prevent the overall UA value from falling below the regulations promulgated by the Association of American Railroads.

Consequently, there exists a need for a loading rack design that permits the double loading of cargo in a railway car.

There also exists a need for a loading rack design that permits loading cargo in a loading area above the racks within a railway car without requiring loading cargo beneath the racks.

There further exists a need for a loading rack design that will maximize the amount of loadable cargo space within the railway car and still maintain the requisite weight limits.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure, a loading rack broadly comprises at least one support structure having a plurality of support legs; at least one shelf support disposed in connection with each of the at least one support structures; at least one shelf having a surface disposed in connection with each of the shelf supports; and at least one base disposed in connection with each of the at least one support structures and opposite each of the shelf supports, wherein the loading rack supports a vertical load of no less than about 6,000 pounds.

In accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure, the loading rack broadly comprises a first support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a second support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a third support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a first shelf support mounted to said first support structure; a second shelf support mounted to said second support structure; a third shelf support mounted to said third support structure; a first base mounted to said first support structure opposite said first shelf support; a second base mounted to said second support structure opposite said second shelf support; a third base mounted to said third support structure opposite said third shelf support; and at least one shelf mounted to said first shelf support, said second shelf support and said third shelf support.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the present disclosure, the loading rack broadly comprises a support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg and a third support leg; a shelf support mounted to said support structure; a base mounted to said support structure opposite said shelf support; and at least one shelf mounted to said shelf support.

In accordance with still yet another aspect of the present disclosure, the loading rack broadly comprises a first support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg, a third support leg, a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said first support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg; a second support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg, a third support leg, a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said first support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg; a third support structure having a first support leg, a second support leg, a third support leg, a first bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said first support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said third support leg, and a second bracing member disposed transversely from a first end of said third support leg across said second support leg to an opposing end of said first support leg; a first shelf support having at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said first support structure; a second shelf support having at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said second support structure; a third shelf support having at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said third support structure; a first base mounted to said first support structure opposite said first shelf support; a second base mounted to said second support structure opposite said second shelf support; a third base mounted to said third support structure opposite said third shelf support; and at least one shelf engaged to said at least one pair of shelf bracketing members and mounted to said first shelf support, said second shelf support and said third shelf support.

The details of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a representation of a loading rack of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a representation of another loading rack of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a representation of yet another loading rack of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a representation of a second support leg of the loading rack of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a representation of a first or third support leg of the loading rack of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a representation of a shelf support for the second support leg of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a representation of a shelf support for the first or third support leg of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a representation of a shelf for use with all the loading racks of the present disclosure;

FIG. 9 is a representation of an end view of the shelf of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a flowchart representing a process of manufacturing a loading rack of the present disclosure;

FIG. 11 is a flowchart representing a process of loading a railway car utilizing a loading rack of the present disclosure;

FIG. 12 is a photograph of a loading rack of the present disclosure being installed within a railway car;

FIG. 13 is a photograph of the loading rack of FIG. 2 having a first skid disposed within a first loading area and a second skid disposed with a first loading area;

FIG. 14 is a photograph of the loading rack of FIG. 2 having a first skid disposed within a second loading area; and

FIG. 15 is a representation of a plurality of loading racks having a plurality of skids loaded within a plurality of first loading areas and a plurality of second loading areas;

FIG. 16 is a representation of another exemplary embodiment of a plurality of loading racks having a plurality of skids loaded within a second loading area;

FIG. 17 is a representation of an exemplary embodiment of a mounting device(s) for use with the loading racks of the present disclosure described herein; and

FIG. 18a is a representation of a loading diagram for a railway car utilizing the loading racks of the present disclosure;

FIG. 18b is another representation of the loading diagram of FIG. 18a;

FIG. 18c is yet another representation of the loading diagram of FIG. 18a;

FIG. 19 is a representation of a computer-generated structural analysis profile of the loading rack design of FIG. 1;

FIG. 20 is a representation of a first buckling mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a representation of a second buckling mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 19;

FIG. 22 is a representation of a third buckling mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 19;

FIG. 23 is a representation of another computer-generated structural analysis profile of the loading rack design of FIG. 1;

FIG. 24 is a representation of a deformation mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 is a representation of a stress mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 23;

FIG. 26 is a representation of a computer-generated structureal analysis profile of the loading rack design of FIG. 2;

FIG. 27 is a representation of a first buckling mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 2;

FIG. 28 is a representation of a second buckling mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 2;

FIG. 29 is a representation of a third buckling mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 2;

FIG. 30 is a representation of another computer-generated structural analysis profile of the loading rack design of FIG. 2;

FIG. 31 is a representation of a deformation mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 30; and

FIG. 32 is a representation of a stress mode of the loading rack design of FIG. 30.

Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As used herein, the term “railway car” means a freight car, boxcar, hicube boxcar, refrigerator car, flatcar, conflat (United Kingdom), lowmac (United Kingdom), well car and any other freight car capable of being loaded through a side door or an end door.

As used herein, the term “skid” means a skid, pallet or other portable platform having a substantially flat or flat surface for storing or moving goods that are stacked on it.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, representations of loading racks of the present disclosure are shown. Referring specifically to FIG. 1, a loading rack 10 may generally comprise a first support structure 12, a second support structure 14 and a third support structure 16. Each support structure 12, 14, 16 may comprise a plurality of legs 24, 26, 28 disposed in connection with a base 18 at one end and a shelf support 20 at the opposing end. The first support structure 12 and third support structure 16 may be disposed at either end of the shelf 22, while the second support structure 14 may be disposed at a substantially centered area of the shelf 22 and between the first support structure 12 and third support structure 16. A shelf 22 may be disposed upon the shelf supports 20. The shelf 22 may comprise a single continuous shelf or more than one piece of shelving disposed across the first, second and third support structures 12, 14, 16 as shown in FIG. 1. The shelf 22 may comprise a plurality of hollow composite pieces aligned side-by-side and attached together using any one of a number of techniques known to one of ordinary skill in the art. Each shelf 22 may include a first edge 27 and a second edge 29 that are each designed to engage a mounting device (See FIG. 16), which will be discussed below in further detail.

The loading rack 10, along with a railway car, may generally define a first loading area 35 located above the shelf 22 and at least one second loading area 31, 33 located beneath the shelf 22. A first loading area 35 may be defined by the shelf 22, a first sidewall, a first endwall, a second sidewall and a ceiling of the railway car. The second loading area 31 may be defined by the first support structure 12, the shelf 22, the second support structure 14 and a floor of the railway car. Another second loading area 33 may be defined by the second support leg 14, the shelf 22, the third support structure 16 and the floor of the railway car.

Referring specifically now to FIG. 2, another representative loading rack of the present disclosure is shown. A loading rack 40 may generally comprise a first support structure 42 having a plurality of legs 43, 45, 47 disposed in connection with a base 50 at one end and shelf support 48 at the opposing end. A shelf 52 may be disposed upon the shelf support 48. The shelf 52 may comprise a single continuous shelf or, in the alternative, may comprise more than one piece of shelving disposed across the first support structure 42. In another alternative embodiment, the shelf 52 may include at least one skid support 54 comprising a substantially flat surface. Generally, the shelf 52 may include a first edge 56 and a second 58 that are each designed to engage a mounting device, such as a slide rail, (See FIG. 16) of a railway car, which will be discussed in further detail.

The loading rack 40, along with a railway car, may generally define a first loading area 55 located above the shelf 52 and at least one second loading area 51, 53 located beneath the shelf 52. A first loading area 55 may be defined by a shelf 52 of the loading rack 40 and a first sidewall, a first endwall, a second sidewall and a ceiling of the railway car. The second loading area 51 may be defined by the support leg 44 and shelf 52 of the loading rack 40 and a floor, a first sidewall and a first endwall of the railway car. Another second loading area 53 may be defined by the support leg 44 and shelf 52 of the loading rack 40 and a floor, a second sidewall and a first endwall of the railway car.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-9, yet another representative loading rack of the present disclosure is shown. A loading rack 60 may generally comprise a first support structure 62, a second support structure 64 and a third support structure 66. Each support structure 62, 64, 66 may comprise a plurality of support legs 63, 65, 67 disposed in connection with a base 68 or 69 at one end and a shelf support 70, 75 at an opposing end. The plurality of legs 63, 65, 67 may be reinforced by a pair of bracing members 72, 74 as illustrated in FIGS. 3-5. The first bracing member 72 may be disposed transversely from a first end of the first support leg 63 across a second support leg 65 to an opposing end of the third support leg 67. The second bracing member 74 may be disposed transversely from a first end of the third support leg 67 across the second support leg 65 to an opposing end of the first support leg 63. Each shelf support 70, 75 may include a pair of shelf bracketing members 71, 73 designed to hold the shelf 76 in place and prevent its movement during transport. The shelf 76 may be disposed upon the shelf supports 70, 75. The shelf 76 may comprise a single continuous shelf or more than one piece of shelving, e.g., two pieces of shelving disposed across the first, second and third support structures 62, 64, 66. The shelf 76 may comprise a solid piece of composite material, a plurality of hollow composite pieces aligned side-by-side as illustrated in FIG. 1, or a plurality of solid and hollow composite pieces disposed side-by-side as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. The plurality of solid and hollow composite pieces may be attached together using any one of a number of techniques known to one of ordinary skill in the art. Generally, shelf 76 may comprise a first edge 67 and a second edge 69 that are each designed to engage a mounting device (See FIG. 16), which will be discussed in further detail.

The loading rack 60, along with a railway car, may generally define a first loading area 78 located above the shelf 76 and at least one second loading area 80, 82 located beneath the shelf 76. The first loading area 78 may be defined by the shelf 76 and a first sidewall, a first endwall, a second sidewall and a ceiling of the railway car. The second loading area 80 may be defined by the first support structure 62, shelf 76, second support structure 64 and a floor of the railway car. Another second loading area 82 may be defined by the second support structure 64, the shelf 76, the third support structure 66 and the floor of the railway car.

To support a vertical load of about 6,000 lbs. or greater the loading racks 10, 40, 70 may be composed of a combination of materials. The support legs may be constructed of a metal or alloy and have a substantially tubular structure. Each support leg may comprise three substantially tubular metal structures that are welded at their first ends to the base support and at their second ends to the shelf supports. For example, each substantially tubular metal structure may comprise aluminum tubes. The base supports and shelf supports may also comprise a metal or alloy, such as aluminum or an aluminum alloy. Other metals and alloys may be employed, particularly metals or alloys that may be staked or ultrasonically welded as known to one of ordinary skill in the art. The shelves may generally comprise a plastic, e.g., thermoset, thermoplastic, and the like, or composite material, e.g., a fiber reinforced resin, thermoset, thermoplastic, foam, and, in particular, polyester and urethane based polymers, combinations comprising at least one of the foregoing, and the like. The shelves may be constructed from the aforementioned materials using processes such as vacuum infusion, resin transfer molding (RTM), scrim, pultrusion, combinations comprising at least one of the foregoing processes, and the like. With respect to plastic materials, shelves constructed using urethane based polymers are more robust in strength and exhibit greater durability than shelves constructed from other plastics.

Referring specifically now to FIG. 10, the loading racks of the present invention may be manufactured according to the process(es) illustrated in the flowchart(s) of the present disclosure. In preparation of being affixed, the metal or alloy-based parts may be abrasively cleaned at step 90 as known to one of ordinary skill in the art. Afterwards, the abrasively cleaned parts may be washed in a mild detergent at step 92, and then rinsed off at step 94. A shelf support may be affixed to the first end of each support structure at step 96 of FIG. 10. The shelf support may be welded to the first end using any one of a number of welding techniques known to one of ordinary skill in the art based upon the metal or alloy being employed. The base may be affixed to the second end of a support structure at step 98 of FIG. 10. The foot may also be welded to the second end using any one of a number of welding techniques known to one of ordinary skill in the art based upon the metal or alloy being employed. The shelf may be affixed upon the shelf supports at step 100 of FIG. 10. Generally, the shelf may be affixed to the shelf supports using any one of a number of techniques for attaching together parts composed of different materials, e.g., plastic or composite (of the shelf 22, 52, 76) and a metal or an alloy (of the shelf support 20, 48, 70). In particular, a plastic or composite-based shelf may be affixed to a metal-based shelf support using a staking technique or ultrasonic welding operation. Suitable staking techniques may include cold staking, heat staking, thermostaking, ultrasonic staking, and the like. In the alternative, the plastic or composite-based shelf may be mechanically attached to the metal-based shelf support. Suitable mechanical attachments may include any one of or a combination of mechanical fasteners including but not limited to dowels, brackets, staples, screws, bolts, nails, rivets, adhesives, sealants, combinations comprising at least one of the foregoing, and the like.

Referring now to FIGS. 11-16, a flowchart representing a process(es) for double loading a railway car of the present disclosure is shown. Generally, the exemplary process described herein may be utilized when double loading a railway car equipped with a side door. However, the exemplary process may be adapted to double load a railway car equipped with an end door as well without the need for additional loading equipment.

The aforementioned loading racks 10, 40 or 70 may be employed in the exemplary process described herein. Prior to loading the railway car, at least one loading rack may 10, 40, 70 be installed at step 110 of FIG. 11. For example, the support structures 12, 14, 16 may be disposed within the railway car as shown in the photograph of FIG. 12. In particular, the first support structure 12 may be placed upright upon a floor 120 and adjacent to a first sidewall 122 and first endwall 124 of the railway car. The third support leg 16 may be placed upright upon the floor 120 and adjacent to a second sidewall 126 and first endwall 124 of the railway car. The second support structure 14 may be placed upright upon the floor 120 and adjacent to the first endwall 124 as shown and substantially centered between the first support structure 12 and third support structure 16. In this embodiment, the shelf 22 has yet to be mounted to the support structures 12, 14, 16. Referring now to FIG. 13, the shelf 22 may be mounted upon the shelf supports 20 of each support structures 12, 14, 16, such that the shelf 22 may be disposed against the first endwall 124.

Referring now to FIGS. 11, 13 and 14, once the loading rack 10 is installed, at least one skid 130 may be loaded in the first loading area 35 at step 112 of FIG. 11. The skids 130 may be placed in a first loading area 35 located above the shelf 22 of the loading rack 10 (See FIG. 13). Generally, skids 130 with stacked cargo 98 of FIG. 14 may be loaded into the railway car in accordance with Standards RP-810, RP-811, and RP-812 of the Association of American Railroads Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, publ. The Association of American Railroads, Washington, D.C., Section N (Feb. 2, 2007) at steps 114 and 116 of FIG. 11. When employing loading racks 40, the skids may be placed in a first loading area 55. When employing loading racks 70, the skids may be placed in loading areas 78 as described with respect to loading skids with loading racks 10.

In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 16, the loading racks 10, 40 and 70 may be pre-assembled and installed within the railway car. As described above, the shelves 22, 52, 72 of the loading racks 10, 40, 70 may include first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, and 67, 69 respectively. These first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 are designed to engage a mounting device 99 affixed to the first sidewall 122 and second sidewall 126 of the railway car. The mounting device may include a ledge, groove, slot and the like, extending the entirety of each sidewall 122, 126 and disposed at a height sufficient to engage the first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 of the shelves 22, 52, 72. The first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 may slideably engage each ledge, groove, slot and the like, and slide along the mounting device 99 until making contact with the first endwall 122 or another loading rack 10, 40, 70.

In yet another alternative embodiment, the loading racks 10, 40, 70 may be pre-assembled and installed within the railway car. As described above, the shelves 22, 52, 72 of the loading racks 10, 40, 70 may include first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 respectively. These first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 are designed to engage a mounting device 160 affixed to the first sidewall 122 and second sidewall 126 of the railway car. The first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 may include a male/female component of a mechanical fastener. The mounting device may include a component complimentary to the male/female component of the edges. Referring specifically now to FIG.. 17, the mounting device may include any one of or a combination of mechanical fasteners including but not limited to brackets, joints, combinations comprising at least one of the foregoing, and the like. The mounting devices may be disposed along the first and second sidewalls 90, 94 at a distance apart from each other sufficient to accommodate each loading rack 10, 40, 70 being installed and loaded, and at a height sufficient to engage the first and second edges 27, 29, 57, 59, 67, 69 of the shelves 22, 52, 72.

Referring now to FIG. 15, once at least one or a plurality of first skids 140 are loaded in the first loading area 35 additional first skids 140 may be double loaded as known to one of ordinary skill in the art into at least one second loading area 31, 33 beneath the loading rack 10. Again, skids 140 stacked with cargo 142 may be loaded into the railway car in accordance with Standards RP-810, RP-811, and RP-812 of the Association of American Railroads Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, publ. The Association of American Railroads, Washington, D.C., Section N (Feb. 2, 2007). When employing loading racks 40, the skids 140 may be placed in second loading areas 51, 53.

When loading a railway car equipped with a side door, the railway car may be divided into three sections, e.g., a first half 150 beginning from a first edge of the side door to the first endwall, a second half 152 beginning from a second edge of the side door to the second endwall, and an area 154 in front of the side door (see FIGS. 18A, 18B and 18C). The skids may either be loaded via the side door into the first half 150 or the second half 152 of the railway car according to the loading diagram of FIG. 16. After loading each half 150, 152 of the railway car, additional skids may be loaded into the area 154 in order to maximize the amount of space remaining in the railway car.

In the alternative, the railway car may be equipped with an end door. Rather than dividing the railway car into halves, the entire length of the railway car may be utilized. The loading racks 10, 40, 70 may be installed and/or loaded one at a time into the railway car until reaching a second end wall, or another loading rack, followed by a plurality of skids being loaded into the first loading areas and second loading areas. For example, a loading rack may be installed or loaded into the railway car until being disposed against the second end wall. A first plurality of skids may then be loaded into the railway car into the first loading area of the loading rack. A second plurality of skids may then be loaded into the railway car into the second loading areas of the loading rack. Another loading rack may then be loaded into the railway car until being disposed against the first loading rack. And, the process may be repeated until the entire railway car is loaded, or double loaded, according to the specifications set forth by the customer, manufacturer, etc., as illustrated in FIGS. 18A, 18B and 18C.

EXAMPLES

Structural Analysis of First Loading Rack Design

The first loading rack design was built in SolidWorks®, commercially available from SolidWorks Corporation, Concord, Mass., and then transferred to ANSYS®10.0, commercially available from ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, Pa., for analysis. The first loading rack was designed to use aluminum tubes measuring 1.5 inches in diameter and 65.25 inches in height.

Load Case 1

Using ANSYS®, the horizontal members were free to move horizontally but were constrained vertically. A 6,000 lbs. vertical load was applied. The primary goal was to determine the critical buckling loads of the design. FIG. 19 illustrates the loads and constraints applied to the design.

The first buckling mode was observed when a critical buckling load was achieved at 5.9 times the 6,000 lbs. vertical load being applied. FIG. 20 illustrates the minimum and maximum deflection points of the design. The displayed deflection was amplified in order to easily see the first buckling mode shape.

The second buckling mode was observed when a critical buckling load was achieved at 8.5 times the 6,000 lbs. vertical load being applied. FIG. 21 illustrates the minimum and maximum deflection points of the design. Again, the displayed deflection was amplified in order to easily see the second buckling mode shape.

The third buckling mode was observed when a critical buckling load was achieved at 8.8 times the 6,000 lbs. vertical load being applied. FIG. 22 illustrates the minimum and maximum deflection points of the design. Again, the displayed deflection was amplified in order to easily see the third buckling mode shape.

Load Case 2

Using ANSYS®, the legs were constrained in only the vertical direction. A 6,000 lbs. vertical load was applied in each instance. The primary goal was to determine the amount of deformation and stress the composite material of this design is able to withstand. FIG. 23 illustrates the loads and constraints applied to the design.

The maximum total deformation of the composite material in the Y-direction=0.161 inches as shown in FIG. 24.

The equivalent (von-Mises) stress experienced by the composite material was equal to 3,633 pounds per square inch as shown in FIG. 25.

The first loading rack design displayed a minimum safety factor in buckling of 5.9 times in the most conservative restraint situation when employing a 6,000 pound vertical load. In use, friction will be present between the legs and floor of the railway car which will increase the buckling safety factor. The maximum stresses (3,633 psi) and deflections (0.161 inches) are well below any material or application deformation limits as can be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art.

Structural Analysis of Second Loading Rack Design

The second loading rack design was built in SolidWorks® and then transferred to ANSYS® for analysis. The second loading rack was designed to use an aluminum tube measuring 1.5 inches in diameter and 65.25 inches in height. The primary goal was to determine the critical buckling loads of the design.

Load Case 1

Using ANSYS®, the horizontal members were free to move horizontally but were constrained vertically. A 6,000 lbs. vertical load was applied. The primary goal was to determine the critical buckling loads of the design. FIG. 26 illustrates the loads and constraints applied to the design.

The first buckling mode was observed when a critical buckling load was achieved at 12.4 times the 6,000 lbs. vertical load being applied. FIG. 27 illustrates the minimum and maximum deflection points of the design. The displayed deflection was amplified in order to easily see the first buckling mode shape.

The second buckling mode was observed when a critical buckling load was achieved at 14.6 times the 6,000 lbs. vertical load being applied. FIG. 28 illustrates the minimum and maximum deflection points of the design. Again, the displayed deflection was amplified in order to easily see the second buckling mode shape.

The third buckling mode was observed when a critical buckling load was achieved at 22.7 times the 6,000 lbs. vertical load being applied. FIG. 29 illustrates the minimum and maximum deflection points of the design. Again, the displayed deflection was amplified in order to easily see the third buckling mode shape.

Load Case 2

Using ANSYS®, the center leg and ends of horizontals were constrained in only the vertical direction. A 6,000 lbs. vertical load was applied in each instance. The primary goal was to determine the amount of deformation and stress the composite material of this design is able to withstand. FIG. 30 illustrates the loads and constraints applied to the design.

The maximum total deformation of the composite material in the X-direction=0.092 inches as shown in FIG. 31.

The equivalent (von-Mises) stress experienced by the composite material was equal to 4,369 pounds per square inch as shown in FIG. 32.

In structural analysis, the second loading rack design displayed a minimum safety factor in buckling of 12.4 in the most conservative constraint situation using the 6,000 pound vertical load. In use, friction will be present between the leg and the floor of the railway car which will increase the buckling safety factor. The maximum stresses (2,800 psi) and deflections (0.092 inch) are well below any material or application deformation limits as can be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art.

One or more embodiments of the present invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.