Safety and comfort

26-07-2023 | Posted by Joaquín Martí

Principia ha tenido la fortuna de participar en muchos de los desarrollos asociados a la evolución del tren, abarcando un amplio arco de áreas tecnológicas

Safety is certainly a paramount consideration. And, consequently, it is the underlying motivation of many of our projects, dealing with earthquakes, impacts, blasts, strong winds, fires, tsunamis, terrorism… The primary purpose of our activities in those areas is to guarantee the safety of humans and the integrity and operability of structures and facilities.

But apart from ensuring that we remain alive and unharmed, we would also like to be comfortable. Thus, even if insufficient to kill us, we don’t want to endure excessive noise, large vibrations, disagreeable odours, strong accelerations, harsh temperatures, sharp pressure changes, or other inconveniences. Increasingly, such considerations also tend to form part of our commission.

Rail transport, whether by metro or by train, provides a good example, both inside and outside the vehicles. Outside the vehicles, the noise and vibrations caused by the passage of trains must be limited, the limitations being a function of the intended use of the affected areas. Inside the passenger vehicles, it is necessary to keep bounds on the accelerations, noise, vibrations, and temperatures, apart from ensuring an appropriate ventilation, especially in these pandemic times.

A particularly interesting problem is the investigation of the air pressure transients induced when high-speed trains enter or leave tunnels, which must also satisfy the corresponding safety and comfort limits.

PRINCIPIA Projects - Suspension cables of a bridge

Road transport also entails very similar problems to those posed by railways. And comfort problems may also arise from the movement of pedestrians on slender bridges or from the dynamics of active audiences in stadiums, discotheques and other crowded spaces. The conscious or unconscious synchronisation of their motions may lead to amplifications that affect comfort and may even affect the structural safety. Think of the Millennium Bridge in London…

All other sources of noise and vibrations have comfort implications as well: machinery, winds, waves… Fortunately, we count on the power of simulation for analysing the associated problems.

We have Abaqus for studying the vibrations, fe-safe for their fatigue consequences, CST Studio Suite for the electromagnetic simulation, 3DEXPERIENCE, XFlow and PowerFLOW for the fluids’ problems, wave6 for the acoustic ones… SIMULIA offers us the tools to deal with all those issues accurately and efficiently.

Principia has done work in all those areas. And, for the future, we plan to continue dedicating our best efforts to guaranteeing human safety, but without disregarding human comfort.

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