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Design and Evaluation of an Energy-Absorbing, Reusable Roadside/Median Barrier

REPORT NUMBER

TRP-03-317-15

AUTHORS

Jennifer Schmidt, Scott Rosenbaugh, Ronald Faller, Bob Bielenberg, John Reid, Karla Lechtenberg, Jim Holloway, Justine Kohtz

PUBLICATION DATE

2015-07-29

ABSTRACT

Further design and evaluation was conducted on an energy-absorbing, restorable and reusable roadside/median barrier, designated the RESTORE barrier. A series of dynamic component tests were conducted on 11⅝-in. (295-mm) tall x 10-in. (254-mm) wide x 15¾-in. (400-mm) long rubber posts to characterize their energy-absorption properties. A hybrid precast concrete beam and steel tube rail was optimized to meet the design criteria for the new system. Several concrete beam splices were evaluated using LS-DYNA to add continuity to the concrete beam segments. A 240-ft (73-m) barrier model was created, and the barrier performance was evaluated with TL-4 impacts with the 1100C, 2270P, and 10000S vehicle models. The 1100C and 2270P vehicle models were successfully captured and redirected, while the 10000S single-unit truck demonstrated likelihood to be contained by the barrier and began to redirect. The occupant risk values for the passenger vehicle impacts were up to 28 percent lower than what occurred in a comparable simulated impact into a rigid concrete barrier. The full-scale system was installed, and the stability of the system was evaluated. The final design is recommended for full-scale crash testing according to the MASH TL-4 criteria.

KEYWORDS

Highway Safety, Crash Test, Roadside Appurtenances, MASH, LS-DYNA, Computer Simulation, Elastomers, Rubber Posts, Energy-Absorbing Barrier, and TL-4

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