Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Cody Stolle

Second Advisor

Ronald Faller

Third Advisor

Carrick Detweiler

Date of this Version



Ammon, T.J. (2018). Evaluation of Deformable Posts in the ZOI and Rigid Posts in Stiff Soil. (Master's Thesis)


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Under the Supervision of Professor Cody Stolle. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Thomas J. Ammon


Debris fences are commonly used by states, in conjunction with a concrete parapet, to protect railway tracks. Their use limits the intrusion of debris that could damage tracks or clutter rail lines. Due to a lack of previously crash-tested systems, the safety performance of such designs are largely unknown. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) desired that researchers at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) design a crashworthy debris fence mounted on top of a concrete parapet to meet the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) TL-3 crash test conditions. Part 1 of this thesis details the literature review and design of a crashworthy debris fence.

Part II of this thesis details the results and analysis of 17 bogie tests that were conducted in support of the development of a non-proprietary barrier. These dynamic tests were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the modified Midwest Guardrail System (MGS) in both strong and weak soils. The bogie tests were conducted using steel tubes with varying cross-section geometries, embedment depths, and two different soil types. These parameters were investigated to evaluate their importance on the overall post-soil interaction forces.

Advisor: Cody Stolle