Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-2012


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, Under the Supervision of Professor John D. Reid. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Ryan John Terpsma


Cable guardrail systems have been increasing in popularity in recent years due to several perceived benefits over the commonly used W-beam guardrail. A non-proprietary design was desired as an alternative to the many proprietary designs available. A non-proprietary, high-tension cable end terminal was necessary to accompany the non-proprietary, high-tension cable guardrail system under development.

The objective of this research project was to develop design recommendations for a non-proprietary, high-tension cable end terminal. An analysis of several cable guardrail end terminals was undertaken to identify any common features that may prove to be beneficial or detrimental to end terminal designs. Next, a study of the non-proprietary low-tension system was conducted to determine the cause of vehicle instabilities in full-scale testing. Since the high-tension and low-tension cable end terminal designs are similar, it is likely that any issues with the low-tension design will also be evident in testing of the high-tension design.

LS-DYNA modeling of current cable terminal anchor hardware was then accomplished and compared to bogie testing results. The anchor model proved to be sufficiently accurate to preliminarily analyze alternative cable anchor designs.

A final, optimized, high-tension cable anchor design was produced along with alternative terminal post recommendations for continuing development of the non-proprietary, high-tension cable end terminal.

Advisor: John D. Reid