Title: Numerical analysis of an H4a heavy containment level transition

Authors: Ali Osman Atahan, Guido Bonin

Addresses: Department of Civil Engineering, Department Head, Mustafa Kemal University, Tayfur Sokmen Campus, 31040, Hatay, Turkey. ' Department of Hydraulics, Transportation and Roads, The University of Roma 'La Sapienza', Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy

Abstract: It is fact that European highway safety personnel are not aware of the significance of transition barriers. As a result, most countries do not use transition designs on their highways. On the other hand, the ones that are currently in use lack adequate detailing and do not provide the required level of protection during a collision event. In this paper, the impact performance of a standard US flared-back guardrail-to-bridge rail transition is evaluated using a 30,000 kg heavy goods vehicle according to European EN1317 test TB71 requirements. A highly acceptable and versatile non-linear finite element code, LS-DYNA, is used for the analysis. Simulation results show that the transition fails to contain the vehicle. The vehicle overrides the transition due to insufficient rail height. To upgrade the impact performance of the transition to H4a, high containment level, an additional rail element was added to the current design to increase the rail height from 810 mm to 1050 mm. Subsequent simulation results show that the modified transition design meets the EN1317 test TB71 requirements. It is therefore recommended that the current US standard flared back guardrail-to-bridge rail transition design should have a minimum of 1050 mm rail height to satisfy European crash testing guidelines for H4a, heavy containment level transition.

Keywords: barriers; crash testing guidelines; design improvements; EN1317; H4a; heavy containment; heavy vehicles; LS-DYNA; NCHRP Report 350; transitions; highway safety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2006.010587

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2006 Vol.13 No.4, pp.351 - 365

Published online: 03 Aug 2006 *

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