Nebraska LTAP


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Schmidt, T.L., Faller, R.K., Schmidt, J.D., Reid, J.D., Bielenberg, R.W., and Rosenbaugh, S.K. "Development of a Transition Between an Energy-Absorbing Concrete Barrier and a Rigid Buttress" (2017) Nebraska Department of Transportation Research Report.


From 2010 to 2015, MwRSF researchers developed the RESTORE barrier, which is a restorable MASH TL-4 median barrier with a steel and concrete rail supported by elastomer posts and steel skids. The research effort reported herein describes the initial development of a transition from the RESTORE barrier to a rigid TL-4 concrete buttress.

The previously-developed RESTORE barrier LS-DYNA model was validated against three full-scale vehicle crash tests. Several design concepts were generated through a series of brainstorming efforts. The primary transition concept consisted of a pin and loop connection between the RESTORE barrier and rigid concrete buttress, which was designed and evaluated with LS-DYNA computer simulation. Vehicle and system behavior were investigated using MASH test designation nos. 4-20, 4-21, and 4-22. Six horizontal gusset plates and drop-down pin allowed for limited deflection and rotation at the transition joint, but provided shear continuity between the two systems. A rounded-edge cover plate mitigated vehicle snag on the transition joint hardware. Eleven impact points were evaluated with each vehicle model to determine critical impact points for use in a future full-scale crash testing program. All occupant risk measures and vehicle stability were within MASH limits. Further design modifications are recommended to limit stresses in the transition joint hardware and to reduce excessive occupant compartment deformation that occurred when the small car impacted the concrete buttress end.