Experimental and numerical investigation on deflection and behavior of portable construction barrier subjected to vehicle impacts

Chen Fang, Jennifer D. Rasmussen, Robert W. Bielenberg, Karla A. Lechtenberg, Ronald K. Faller, Daniel G. Linzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental and numerical investigations were conducted on impact performance and deflection of precast, portable concrete construction barrier, referred to as a portable concrete barrier (PCB), with a free-standing and a box-beam stiffened configuration. A 61-m long PCB system, consisting of ten 6.1-m long PCBs, was initially evaluated with two full-scale crash tests in a free-standing configuration and a box-beam stiffened configuration according to safety performance guidelines in Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2016 for Test Level 3 (TL-3). Finite element models were developed using LS-DYNA and validated with these crash tests to ensure their feasibility to estimate barrier deflections and evaluate safety performance. The validated numerical models were used to conduct numerical simulations and investigate effects of concrete constitutive models and barrier length on the performance of PCB system with a box–beam stiffened configuration. Numerical results provided information on the selection and use of concrete constitutive models for evaluation of reinforced concrete barrier impact performance. Furthermore, the reduced-length analysis demonstrated that a reduction in the total system length resulted in decreased dynamic barrier deflection during impact events, as the ends of each system were pinned. This reduced-length analysis provided useful guideline on PCB system design and application for traffic control plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112071
JournalEngineering Structures
StatePublished - May 15 2021


  • Concrete barrier impact
  • Concrete model
  • Crash performance
  • Crash test
  • Finite element modeling
  • Portable concrete barrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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