On Oct 7, 2005, at 1:46 PM, Montford Switzer wrote:
Please help me and possibly others understand how a single compartment
tank car can be converted to multiple compartments. You refer to a
diaphragm, the wall between the compartments, which I know as a
"bulkhead" with the ends being "heads." Bulkheads could be both single
and double (air space between compartments).
Now, how did they do it? The word diaphragm throws me. Did they
assemble the bulkhead inside the barrel after putting it in through the
dome opening in pieces (doubtful)? Or did they make the conversion by
removing one of the heads (ends of the barrel) and slide the bulkhead
(partition or diaphragm) in the end? I suspect this was the method.
And were rivets were used for both the new bulkheads and the new dome?
A diaphragm was an internal bulkhead, which looked exactly like a tank end because that's what it was. They were fitted in pairs with air space in between (and drain holes at the bottom of the air spaces so that it would be apparent if any of the compartments leaked inside the tank shell). They were riveted in place just like a tank end and, as you infer, the conversion was carried out by removing and replacing one or both tank ends. For a shop equipped to work on tanks, such a conversion was a relatively simple operation.