GUARDRAIL CRASH TEST EVALUATION/NEW CONCEPTS AND END DESIGNS

ACCIDENT REPORTS AND TEST EXPERIENCE HAVE SHOWN THAT MANY OF THE CURRENT GUARDRAIL TERMINAL DESIGNS, IN PARTICULAR THE UPSTREAM INSTALLATION END, ARE HAZARDOUS ROADISDE FEATURES AND MAY LAUNCH OR SPEAR AN IMPACTING VEHICLE. ALSO POOR STRUCTURAL TRANSITIONS BETWEEN APPROACH GUARDRAIL AND BRIDGE RAIL HAVE CAUSED FATAL ACCIDENTS WHEN IMPACTING VEHICLES ARE POCKETED AT THE JUNCTURE. THE TWO OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH WERE TO: (1) FORMULATE NEW TRAFFIC BARRIER TERMINAL AND TRANSITION CONCEPTS AND (2) EVALUATE BY FULL-SCALE CRASH TESTS SELECTED TRAFFIC BARRIER CONCEPTS. SERVICE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAFFIC BARRIER TERMINALS WERE FORMULATED, AND TWELVE TERMINAL AND THREE TRANSITION CONCEPTS WERE DEVELOPED. FROM THESE CONCEPTS, THREE FOR TERMINAL AND ONE FOR TRANSITION WERE SELECTED FOR FURTHER DESIGN AND EVALUATION EFFORT. THREE FULL-SCALE CRASH TESTS WERE CONDUCTED ON THE FINALIZED GUARDRAIL TERMINAL DESIGN, WHICH HAD BEEN JUDGED TO BE MOST PROMISING AND WAS ASSIGNED TOP PRIORITY. END-ON CRASH TESTS OF THE TERMINAL WITH AND WITHOUT A HORIZONTAL FLARE WERE CONDUCTED. RESULTS OF THE TESTS INDICATE THAT BOTH CONFIGURATIONS DEMONSTRATED ADEQUATE PERFORMANCE IN VIEW OF CRASH SEVERITY; HOWEVER, THE FLATED TERMINAL DEMONSTRATED BETTER PERFORMANCE CONSIDERING VEHICLE DYNAMIC STABILITY. A 15-DEG ANGLE IMPACT IN THE SECOND SPAN FROM THE END DEMONSTRATED THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NEW TERMINAL AS AN ANCHOR; THE VEHICLE WAS SATIFACTORILY REDIRECTED, WITH NO DAMAGE OR DISTRESS IN THE BARRIER ANCHOR ASSEMBLY. ALL THREE TERMINAL TESTS RESULTED IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE SERVICE REQUIREMENTS THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN FORMULATED. THE BREAKAWAY CABLE TERMINAL IS RECOMMENDED FOR IMMEDIATE FIELD USE ON A TRAIL BASIS. FOUR FULL-SCALE CRASH TESTS WERE CONDUCTED ON THE CHRISTIANI & NIELSEN HYDRAULIC POST TRAFFIC BARRIER SYSTEM, WHICH HAD BEEN DEVELOPED AND TESTED IN ENGLAND. A RAIL ELEMENT CONSISTING OF EITHER A W-BEAM OR A 4- IN.-DIAMETER TUBE WAS MOUNTED TO THE UNIQUE POST, WHICH FEATURES AN ENERGY ABSORBING UNIT. THE TUBULAR RAIL SYSTEM PERFORMED WELL IN A MEDIUM-SPEED TEST, BUT WAS PENETRATED TWICE IN STANDARD TESTS (4,000-LB VEHICLE, 60 MPH, 25 DEG). THE W-BEAM SYSTEM PERFORMED ADEQUATELY UNDER THE SEVERE CONDITIONS. ACCORDINGLY, ONLY THE W-BEAM SYSTEM IS RECOMMENDED FOR TRIAL USE; ITS USE IS SUGGESTED FOR LOCATIONS WHERE NUMEROUS MODERATE IMPACTS OCCUR.

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    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
  • Authors:
    • Michie, J D
    • Bronstad, M E
  • Publication Date: 1972

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 89 p.
  • Serial:
    • NCHRP Report
    • Issue Number: 129
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0077-5614
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00203644
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 2 1973 12:00AM