Soil Based Design of Highway Guardrail Post Depths Using Pendulum Impact Tests
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CitationÖrnek, M., Atahan, A.O., Türedi, Y., Erdem, M.M., Büyük, M. (2019). Soil based design of highway guardrail post depths using pendulum impact tests. Acta Geotechnica Slovenica, 16 (2), pp. 77-89. https://doi.org/10.18690/actageotechslov.16.2.77-89.2019
Guardrails are passive road restraint systems (RRS) used at roadsides and medians to improve road safety. In the case of inadequate post embedment depth of soil driven posts may not function as intended and design cannot provide adequate safety nor security for the impacting vehicles. In general, the height of the steel guardrails varies between 1600 and 2400mm. However, the characteristics of the soil where the guardrails are driven are not taken into consideration. In other words, a constant depth ofguardrail is used regardless of the type of soil. Post embedment depths (PED) in steel guardrail systems are currently determined based on strong soil properties. The crash performance of these designs may not be appropriate for locations where soil conditions are weaker than tested conditions. In this study, a series offield impact tests were performed on soil embedded posts to determine optimum PED for three different soil conditions, namely hard, medium hard and soft soil. A pendulum device is used to perform dynamic impact tests on C type (C120x60x4), H type (H150x90x6) and S type (S100x50x4.2) posts. Seven different PED values were used for each type of soil. A total of 63 impact tests proved that increased soil stiffness resulted reduction in PED for the posts. Optimum PED values are determined based on energy absorption of posts. With the use of optimum length guardrail posts considerable amount of installation time, labor and material savings are expected.
SourceActa Geotechnica Slovenica