Nitric Acid Tank Cars


Bill Welch
 

Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?

US Holston Ordnance Works USOX 17021 nitric acid tank car 5x7 builder's photo



Bill Welch


Tim O'Connor
 

Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?
Bill I don't know, but it wasn't just nitric acid cars. I have a shot
of UTLX 69024 that is stenciled "transformer oil only" -- which means
PCB's, polychlorinated biphenyls.

By the 1950's if not earlier, new nitric acid cars looked like other acid
tank cars, similar to the Tangent and RCW models.

Tim O'Connor


Jack Mullen
 

It appears that the jacket, shaped sort of like a rural mailbox, or more aptly, a coil-car hood, could be unbolted at the bottom edge and lifted off as a unit. 

I don't know the intent of this hoodie design, but perhaps it was to make it easier to inspect the tank. Or it may have allowed an air space between the tank shell and the insulation. Just speculating....

Jack Mullen


mwbauers
 

While it’s hard to say without knowing the particulars of the type of steel used for the inner tank of this car……….

It could well be the outer shell is another degree of protection against exposure to the weather degrading the main storage tank.

The outer shell will definitely prevent water and ice from degrading the sealing material between the riveted parts of the fabricated inner tank, and greatly reduces the possibility of weather rusting and damaging of the several hundreds of rivets making up the inner tank.

This type of acid might also be very concentrated and perhaps extra containment precaution is worth-while.

Later on….. production changes to different steel alloy sheets, different alloy rivets, sealants, or tougher paint may have made the outer shell unnecessary for newer acid tank cars. Allowing them to look more like the rest of the tank car fleet without that outer shell.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Nov 8, 2015, at 2:00 PM, jack.f.mullen wrote:

It appears that the jacket, shaped sort of like a rural mailbox, or more aptly, a coil-car hood, could be unbolted at the bottom edge and lifted off as a unit. 


I don't know the intent of this hoodie design, but perhaps it was to make it easier to inspect the tank. Or it may have allowed an air space between the tank shell and the insulation. Just speculating....

Jack Mullen


Steve and Barb Hile
 

I am not certain about the nitric acid chemistry, but similar cars used by UTLX (see 85901 on down the list of Ted’s photos) had heater coils outside the tank (and inside the jacket) for warming contents that could not tolerate any water infiltration that could occur with the use of internal steam heating pipes.  They began this practice way back, early, in the 20th Century, equipping a couple of cars with the external heating coils and insulated jackets for cars to carry paraffin wax.

 

Interestingly, a Monsanto car like the one in Ted’s current batch of photos is in the Museum in St. Louis and you can walk through the interior of the car.  But when you look under the jacket, they no longer have (or never have had) external heating pipes.

 

I hope that this is helpful.

 

Regards,

Steve Hile

 


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2015 10:57 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Nitric Acid Tank Cars

 

 

Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?

US Holston Ordnance Works USOX 17021 nitric acid tank car 5x7 builder's photo

 

 

image

 

US Holston Ordnance Works USOX 17021 nitric acid tan...

This is a traditional print from negative, not a digital print . I will combine wins for savings on shipping. I will be listing many photos.

 

Preview by Yahoo

 

 

 

Bill Welch


Dave Parker
 

According to the 1949 CFR, the ICC 103-C spec was reserved for tank cars dedicated to the transport of nitric acid, 65% or greater.  That post-dates this photo by a few years, but I believe to be correct in this case.  (This car is seemingly dedicated to carrying 95% or greater).  To meet 103-C, all metal in contact with the acid had to pass a corrosion test, and was typically a chrome-steel or chrome-nickel alloy specifically formulated for nitric-acid resistance.  I do not know what the -AL suffix refers to here, and don't recall seeing this combination before.

As for the presence of the sheet-metal shroud, that is a mystery.  As Steve said, these can be found on some very early cars with external heating coils (and presumably insulation) used for highly viscous materials like paraffin.  The UTLX 85901 car in Ted's current auction is dedicated to detergent transport, which would seem an unlikely candidate for heating; perhaps it is simply a leftover feature from earlier use.  There is no earthly reason to heat nitric acid -- if anything, you would probably want to cool it.  I am also skeptical that it was added for some extra protection in case of tank failure.  "Conventional" 103-C cars lacking a shroud appear as early as 1932 in Kaminski's ACF tank car book.

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA



On Sunday, November 8, 2015 12:48 PM, "'Steve and Barb Hile' shile@... [STMFC]" wrote:


 
I am not certain about the nitric acid chemistry, but similar cars used by UTLX (see 85901 on down the list of Ted’s photos) had heater coils outside the tank (and inside the jacket) for warming contents that could not tolerate any water infiltration that could occur with the use of internal steam heating pipes.  They began this practice way back, early, in the 20th Century, equipping a couple of cars with the external heating coils and insulated jackets for cars to carry paraffin wax.
 
Interestingly, a Monsanto car like the one in Ted’s current batch of photos is in the Museum in St. Louis and you can walk through the interior of the car.  But when you look under the jacket, they no longer have (or never have had) external heating pipes.
 
I hope that this is helpful.
 
Regards,
Steve Hile
 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2015 10:57 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Nitric Acid Tank Cars
 
 
Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?
 
 
image
 
This is a traditional print from negative, not a digital print . I will combine wins for savings on shipping. I will be listing many photos.
 
Preview by Yahoo
 
 
 
Bill Welch



mwbauers
 

I realize that I’m guessing at this.

But let’s go back to what I wrote. I want to stress that the shroud would be an attempt to further weather-proof the tank. Not to be there in case of a tank failure.

As a function, that can be quite a different matter.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Nov 8, 2015, at 4:12 PM, Dave Parker spottab@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 I am also skeptical that it was added for some extra protection in case of tank failure.  "Conventional" 103-C cars lacking a shroud appear as early as 1932 in Kaminski's ACF tank car book.

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA



Dave Parker
 

If a tank carrying 95% nitric acid were to fail, it would seem most likely to do so from the inside out.  I cannot imagine why getting rained or snowed upon would make a shred of difference.  And if it did, why is is the only acid-carrying tank car sporting the shroud, out of the dozens/hundreds of photos that are out there?

I do not know the purpose of the shroud, so will refrain from guessing.  But the possibilities that have been advanced thus far don't make a lot of chemical sense.

Dave Parker
Riverside, CA


mwbauers
 

Have we considered that it is merely a trial balloon of a car ???

If it proved out as being needed, it would have become the standard for such a load.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Nov 8, 2015, at 4:39 PM, Dave Parker wrote:


If a tank carrying 95% nitric acid were to fail, it would seem most likely to do so from the inside out.  I cannot imagine why getting rained or snowed upon would make a shred of difference.  And if it did, why is is the only acid-carrying tank car sporting the shroud, out of the dozens/hundreds of photos that are out there?

I do not know the purpose of the shroud, so will refrain from guessing.  But the possibilities that have been advanced thus far don't make a lot of chemical sense.


mwbauers
 

I’m reminded of the Red Ball shrouded acid car kits I recently got from The Swaps…….

Isn’t this photo just a similar class of car from a particular builder ???

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Nov 8, 2015, at 4:46 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

 

Have we considered that it is merely a trial balloon of a car ???


If it proved out as being needed, it would have become the standard for such a load.

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Nov 8, 2015, at 4:39 PM, Dave Parker wrote:


If a tank carrying 95% nitric acid were to fail, it would seem most likely to do so from the inside out.  I cannot imagine why getting rained or snowed upon would make a shred of difference.  And if it did, why is is the only acid-carrying tank car sporting the shroud, out of the dozens/hundreds of photos that are out there?

I do not know the purpose of the shroud, so will refrain from guessing.  But the possibilities that have been advanced thus far don't make a lot of chemical sense.


Dick Harley
 

Since the car was used at an ordnance plant, perhaps the shroud was additional protection from damage (and leaking acid) from an external explosion.

Or, perhaps a war-time disguise?


Just a guess,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach, CA


Jon Miller <atsfus@...>
 

On 11/8/2015 2:46 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] wrote:
Have we considered that it is merely a trial balloon of a car ???

    In the early days (50s, grin) M Dale Newton had a model of one of these.  I believe he used a cardboard wrapper.  All my Newton stuff is gone so don't remember the lettering on the car.

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


mwbauers
 

i’ll attach a blow-up clip of the Monsanto acid car wrapper.

It looks like its labeled for '95-percent Nitric Acid Only’, builders date of 6-45.

I expect that the model car kit and its data are from the real thing.

Let me know if you’d like the full scan including the ‘Itstinks and Howe’ chemical wrapper. 600-dpi pdf on those….

Best to ya,
Mike Bauers
Milwaukee, Wi

On Nov 8, 2015, at 5:17 PM, Jon Miller  wrote:


On 11/8/2015 2:46 PM, Mike Bauers mwbauers55@... [STMFC] wrote:
Have we considered that it is merely a trial balloon of a car ???

    In the early days (50s, grin) M Dale Newton had a model of one of these.  I believe he used a cardboard wrapper.  All my Newton stuff is gone so don't remember the lettering on the car.


gary laakso
 

The only other cars that I have seen with this type of covering are UTLX 85704 and UTLX 85925 (page 18 of Tank Car Color Guide Vol. 1) used for the transport of transformer oil.  Perhaps, this car was an add-on to one of those car orders, though neither has the dome platform. 
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock and still shaving rivets
 

Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2015 11:56 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Nitric Acid Tank Cars
 
 

Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?

US Holston Ordnance Works USOX 17021 nitric acid tank car 5x7 builder's photo



Bill Welch


Richard Townsend
 

In the 1940 CBC, reprinted in Train Shed #12, ACF explains with respect to its new nitric acid tank car design,
 
"The  tank is shrouded with an open hearth steel casing, inverted "U" shaped, open at the bottom. The casing is spaced 2 in. from the tank by aluminum brackets. Vents in the dome casing prevent the trapping of acid fumes in the space between tank and casing."
 

They say the tank is aluminum alloy (hence the AL in ICC-103-C-AL) with triple aluminum riveted seams. The dome is of "special design" 
 
Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR 


Richard Townsend
 

Kaminski's ACF book has a 1940 Monsanto tank car similar to the Army one and he again says the casing is designed to prevent the trapping of acid vapors.
 
Don't forget Ambroid's Riverside Oil car, which had a similar casing, but it was corrugated.
 
Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Townsend richtownsend@... [STMFC]
To: STMFC
Sent: Sun, Nov 8, 2015 4:35 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Nitric Acid Tank Cars

 
In the 1940 CBC, reprinted in Train Shed #12, ACF explains with respect to its new nitric acid tank car design,
 
"The  tank is shrouded with an open hearth steel casing, inverted "U" shaped, open at the bottom. The casing is spaced 2 in. from the tank by aluminum brackets. Vents in the dome casing prevent the trapping of acid fumes in the space between tank and casing."
 
They say the tank is aluminum alloy (hence the AL in ICC-103-C-AL) with triple aluminum riveted seams. The dome is of "special design" 
 
Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR 


D. Scott Chatfield
 

Bill Welch asked:

Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?

US Holston Ordnance Works USOX 17021 nitric acid tank car 5x7 builder's photo
http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Holston-Ordnance-Works-USOX-17021-nitric-acid-tank-car-5x7-builders-photo-/371482700008?hash=item567e1828e8:g:b0IAAOSwu-BWP3TO


Because over a certain concentration (35% if memory serves), nitric acid gives off poisonous fumes that are heavier than air. My understanding was the jacket directed the fumes downward away from a worker on the car so they could dissipate. I think a few such tanks were also built for oleum (fuming sulphuric acid). Most such tanks had wooden shells.

Before my time....

Scott Chatfield


Mark Rickert <caboose9792@...>
 

also the jacket was open at the botom to let the product escape rather than be traped between the tank and shell with the insulation acting as a sponge. atmospheric mosture would otherwise react eat though the botom of the jacket and attack things under the car like frame or bolsters weekining them.

I beleve its train shead cylapeda #12 that has an offical explanation and cross sections.

Mark Rickert
caboose9792@...


-----Original Message-----
From: blindog@... [STMFC]
To: STMFC
Sent: 08-Nov-2015 22:50:22 +0000
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Nitric Acid Tank Cars

 

Bill Welch asked:

>Why were Nitric Acid tank cars built this way?
>
> US Holston Ordnance Works USOX 17021 nitric acid tank car 5x7 builder's photo

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Holston-Ordnance-Works-USOX-17021-nitric-acid-tank-car-5x7-builders-photo-/371482700008?hash=item567e1828e8:g:b0IAAOSwu-BWP3TO

Because over a certain concentration (35% if memory serves), nitric acid gives off poisonous fumes that are heavier than air. My understanding was the jacket directed the fumes downward away from a worker on the car so they could dissipate. I think a few such tanks were also built for oleum (fuming sulphuric acid). Most such tanks had wooden shells.

Before my time....

Scott Chatfield


Jon Miller <atsfus@...>
 

    While I looked at the picture I didn't compare to any existing cars or kits.  There might be a place for a resin add on part/s here.  Would have to sell more than two or three however.

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


mwbauers
 

Found on eBay,

A photo of the prototype for the Red Ball Monsanto acid tank car.


Mike Bauers

---In STMFC@..., <richtownsend@...> wrote :

Kaminski's ACF book has a 1940 Monsanto tank car similar to the Army one and he again says the casing is designed to prevent the trapping of acid vapors.
 
Don't forget Ambroid's Riverside Oil car, which had a similar casing, but it was corrugated.
 
Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Townsend 

 
In the 1940 CBC, reprinted in Train Shed #12, ACF explains with respect to its new nitric acid tank car design,
 
"The  tank is shrouded with an open hearth steel casing, inverted "U" shaped, open at the bottom. The casing is spaced 2 in. from the tank by aluminum brackets. Vents in the dome casing prevent the trapping of acid fumes in the space between tank and casing."
 
They say the tank is aluminum alloy (hence the AL in ICC-103-C-AL) with triple aluminum riveted seams. The dome is of "special design" 
 
Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR