Performance of steel-post, W-beam guardrail systems

Ronald K. Faller, Dean L. Sicking, Robert W. Bielenberg, John R. Rohde, Karla A. Polivka, John D. Reid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

On the basis of the proposed changes to the NCHRP Report 350 guidelines, NCHRP Project 22-14(2) researchers deemed it appropriate to first evaluate two strong-post W-beam guardrail systems before finalizing the new crash testing procedures and guidelines. For this effort, the modified G4(1S) W-beam guardrail system and the Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) were selected for evaluation and comparison. Five full-scale vehicle crash tests were performed with the two longitudinal barrier systems, in accordance with the Test Level 3 (TL-3) requirements presented in the NCHRP Report 350 Update. For the modified G4(1S) testing program, two 2,270-kg pickup truck vehicles (2270P vehicles) were used: one 3/4-ton, two-door vehicle and one 1/2-ton, four-door vehicle. For the MGS testing program, two 2,270-kg pickup truck vehicles (2270P vehicles) and one 1,100-kg small-car vehicle (an 1100C vehicle) were used, with both pickup truck configurations being evaluated. On the basis of several findings, the NCHRP Project 22-14(2) researchers determined that the 1/2-ton, four-door pickup truck was better suited for use as a surrogate light truck test vehicle than the 3/4-ton, two-door pickup truck. The modified G4(1S) W-beam guardrail system, mounted at the top rail height of 706 mm, provided acceptable safety performance when it was crashed into by the 1/2-ton, four-door pickup truck vehicle, thus meeting the proposed TL-3 requirements presented in the NCHRP Report 350 Update. Testing of the modified G4(1S) W-beam guardrail system was not successful with a 3/4-ton, two-door pickup truck under the TL-3 impact conditions. The MGS was found to meet the TL-3 criteria presented in the NCHRP Report 350 Update for Test Designations 3-10 and 3-11. Satisfactory safety performance was observed with the MGS with both the 1/2-ton, four-door and 3/4-ton, two-door pickup truck vehicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHighway Facility Design
Pages18-33
Number of pages16
Edition2025
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record
Number2025
ISSN (Print)0361-1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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