Impact Performance Testing of Roadway Safety and Security Barriers

A testing facility for temporary longitudinal barriers was constructed at Colorado State University's Engineering Research Center which will allow manufacturers the opportunity to test their safety barriers prior to full-scale federal testing. This facility enables manufacturers to subject their products to a simplified, yet standard test according to federal regulations at a much lower cost. This simplified test gives the manufacturers the opportunity to observe the likely performance of their product and make any necessary improvements before subjecting their products to federal tests. The facility consists of a 14.3-meter (46-foot) high ramp built on the side of a hill out of recycled materials and concrete. This facility has room for a line of up to 11 barriers to be placed on a rough concrete pad at the base of the ramp. During the testing a vehicle released from the top of the ramp gains speed by rolling down the incline, makes a transition to a horizontal position at the base, and then impacts the barriers. The testing site allows a manufacturer to observe two of three appraisal factors listed in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 350: structural adequacy of the barrier, and post-collision vehicle trajectory. The test described in this report involved the testing of an "E-Z Barrier," a product of Safety Barriers Corporation of Colorado. The E-Z Barrier is a low-density polyethylene shell that is noted for being lightweight when empty and can easily be set up and filled with water and/or sand with less effort than placing heavy concrete barriers. The main objectives of the test were to ensure the facility was adequate and sound and to observe how closely the facility came to implementing the intended simplified vehicle impact testing procedures. Overall, the ramp proved to be structurally sound for vehicle acceleration, the trail test exceeded expectations when the test vehicle impacted the barriers at a higher energy than predicted, and the facility allowed enough room at the base of the ramp to observe both the structural adequacy of the barriers as well as the vehicle's path of trajectory after impact. The facility is available and capable of testing roadside safety features. A few minor improvements are being planned as well.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 38p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010904
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC Report No. 05-172
  • Files: UTC, TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 1 2005 7:32AM