The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 149 [Completed (IDEA)]

Use of Energy Absorbing Breakaway Posts for W-Beam Guardrail in Frozen Soil Conditions
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: Safety by Design Co.
Principal Investigator: King K. Mak
Fiscal Year: 2009

This project will develop, test, and demonstrate the application of breakaway posts with energy absorbing capability to enhance the safety performance of W-beam guardrail in frozen soil conditions. The project is being carried out in two stages. Work in Stage 1 will focus on developing, evaluating, and identifying candidate breakaway post designs. New designs and concepts will be explored, screened, and ranked using computer simulation, manufacturing cost analysis, and evaluation on the basis of drivability, installation and maintenance. At least three top-ranked conceptual designs will be further evaluated using computer simulation. Prototypes of the selected designs will be fabricated and evaluated with bogie and drivability testing. The most promising prototypes will be further developed and tested in Stage 2 that will involve a full-scale crash test followed by field testing of the post system. The selected design will be first subjected to an on-site full-scale crash test to verify its impact performance. If warranted, further design modifications will be made to alleviate any problems identified during testing. Following crash test and any necessary refinements, field tests will be conducted in the states of Nebraska and Wisconsin to identify any potential problems with installation and to demonstrate the economic viability of the post system with regard to field performance and maintenance. The final report will summarize all data and results along with plans for implementation of the post system by highway agencies.

The final report is available.

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