Development of guidelines for the aesthetic surface treatment of safety-shaped median barriers
Ness, Jacob Raymond
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Safety-shaped median barriers have long been employed to keep misguided vehicles on the roadway. In recent years there has been a growing national desire for more aesthetically pleasing roadside safety systems. Adding surface texture is one of the most popular ways to make a more aesthetically pleasing barrier. This practice of adding surface texture can potentially reduce the safety performance of the barrier. The purpose of this research was to develop guidelines for the aesthetic surface treatment of safety-shaped median barriers. Numerical simulation was utilized to develop these guidelines. This was done by first validating the vehicle model that was used in this research, which was the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) 2000P Detailed Pickup Truck model. The validity of the vehicle model could be determined by comparing the vehicle dynamics of the simulation to the actual crash test data for the smooth surfaced Single Slope and New Jersey Safety-Shaped barriers. Crash tests involving concrete median barriers most commonly fail crash testing criteria given by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 by excessive Occupant Compartment Deformation (OCD). OCD is excessive deformation of the occupant compartment that would cause severe harm to the occupant. Current simulation vehicle models do not give reliable direct measurement of OCD. To take the place of direct measurement, several parameters were measured to find the best surrogate measure of OCD. The internal energy of the floorboard in the NCAC 2000P Detailed Pickup Truck model gave the best correlation to OCD. By simulating several different past crash tests with passing and failing OCD, limits of internal energy in the floorboard could determine if a simulation had passing, marginal, or failing amounts of OCD. Using the surrogate measure of OCD a parametric study was then evaluated by NCHRP Report 350 standards. The parametric study of 29 simulations varied width and depth of recess between asperities for two different angles of asperities. Guidelines were determined for the 45? and 90? angles of asperities as a curve on depth vs. width of recess between asperities from the results of this parametric study.