CRASH TESTING AND EVALUATION OF ATTENUATING BRIDGE RAILING SYSTEM

The results of the analysis (using computer program BARRIER IV) of an idealized vehicle barrier system indicate that the barrier which was designed to prevent penetration by a standard-size automobile weighting 4,000 to 5,000 lb and impacting at 25 deg. and 65 mph, would meet the desired criteria. A key feature of this steel bridge rail design is the function of the attenuator that supports the two rails of gectangular structural tubing. It is designed to absorb energy as it deforms on impact; the resisting force builds up, yeilds plastically and remains at a relatively constant level around 13 kips through about 36 in. of deformation. Three full-scale vehicle crash tests were conducted and the results are summarized in a table. Two attenuators were subjected to static force-deformation tests to document their energy absorbing characteristics, and to dynamic pendulum tests for the same purpose. Although attenuator design does not meet current AASHTO specifications, the railings may be exempted from conforming because they have been successfully tested by full-scale impact tests. The attenuating bridge railing concept is concluded to be a very attractive simple system providing excellent driver visibility, and is recommended for immediate application.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131354
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM