Re: Corroded hoppers (UNCLASSIFIED)

Gatwood, Elden J SAD

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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It would be interesting to know how geographic/regional this issue was, and
how it evolved over time. I recall seeing discussion on effects of corrosion
early in the twentieth century, but the issue for my time period (late 20th
C) seems to have been overshadowed by the effects of overloading or over-use
rather than corrosion-induced failure. Perhaps this was from the use of
better steel, or just that corrosion was not that much of an issue relating
to the coal found in my area of the country.

That being said, I remember seeing corrosion on the slope sheets and lower
insides, of many hoppers I personally climbed into, but it never appeared to
have been the cause of failure of either, and sorry, I did not take photos of
it, either.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 4:30 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Corroded hoppers

Richard Townsend wrote:

I am looking for photos of steam era hoppers with corroded slope
sheets and bottom sheets as a result of hauling (high-sulfur) coal or sulfur.
Anybody know of any?

I know of two seminal articles about steel freight used by the B&ORR that
have illustrations of corrosion to early open-top cars; hoppers and gondolas
used in coal service. The first article discusses B&O gondolas class O-12,
O-14, and O-17, and hoppers class N-8, N-9, N-10 and N-10A.
It describes and illustrates the types of failures and the "repairs"
made to to "fix" the problems. The second articles mostly describes the
failures to the B&O class W-1 (similar to the PRR H21) and how these coke
hoppers were repaired and rebuilt in 1923. It especially notes that copper
bearing steel showed less corrosion. Both articles describe corrosion damage
to steel cars that were in service for 7 to 10 years.

1. Maintenance and Repair of Steel Freight Cars, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad,
American Engineer and Railroad Journal (became Railway Locomotive & Cars),
vol. 81, p. 161, May 1907, (18 page article).

2.Reducing the Corrosion in Steel Cars, Steel containing a small percentage
of copper adopted to prevent rapid deterioration, J.J. Tatum, Superintendent
Car Department, Baltimore & Ohio, Railway Mechanical Engineer, vol. 97, no.
7, July 1923, pp.413-416.

If you have access to a large university engineering library you should be
able to locate these two articles. I haven't checked recently, but PDFs of
some railroad journals are in Google Books.

I would offer to copy these articles for you, but my copies are from 45 years
ago when copy machines could not copy half-tone photographs in journals so a
second generation copy would be unreadable.

I hope this helps. This has been discussed in the past on this list so
possibly others have better copies of these articles.


Bob Witt

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