Title

DEVELOPMENT OF THE MIDWEST GUARDRAIL SYSTEM

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

mode - rail

Keywords

W beams, Steel posts, Performance, Minicars, Miniature automobiles, Midspan splices, Light trucks, Impact tests, Height, Guiderails, Guardrails, Guard rails, Guard fences, Crash tests, Collision tests, Center of gravity, Bolt slot size, Blockout size

Abstract

A revised guardrail system has been developed that should provide greatly improved performance for high-center-of-gravity light truck vehicles. The barrier incorporates W-beam guardrail and standard W6x9 steel posts. Primary changes to the design include raising the standard rail height to 635 mm, moving rail splices to midspan between posts, increasing blockout size, and increasing the size of post bolt slots. All of these changes were designed to improve the barrier's performance with high-center-of-gravity vehicles. One full-scale crash test was conducted to verify that the guardrail would perform adequately with mini-sized automobiles when raised to 660 mm to the center of the rail. This test proved that the barrier can provide satisfactory performance when mounted at heights ranging from 550 mm (standard guardrail height) up to 660 mm. Hence, the new guardrail design provides approximately 110 mm (4.4 in.) of mounting height tolerance. When installed at the nominal mounting height of 635 mm, a 75-mm pavement overlay could be applied to the roadway without requiring adjustments to the barrier's height.