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ArcelorMittal first to develop steel median safety barrier for highway use

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ArcelorMittal is announcing that it’s the first to develop a TL-5 rated steel median safety barrier for use on the nation’s highways.

The company is calling the barrier “safer for vehicle occupants and a cost-effective alternative to concrete cast in-place barriers.”

ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development, working in cooperation with U.S. safety barrier manufacturer Gregory Industries, has developed a new, proprietary high-containment steel center median safety barrier for use in North America,” the company said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The new crash barrier is able “to safely contain and redirect a fully loaded 79,000 pound tractor trailer truck, a quad cab pickup truck, and a mid-size car,” ArcelorMittal said. “It is the first Methods for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) Test Level-5 (TL-5) rated steel center median safety barrier developed for the U.S. market.”

“In the early 2000', ArcelorMittal worked with European safety barrier manufacturers to design higher performance safety barriers as a result of new regulations that promoted safety performance instead of specifying set barrier configurations,” said Rich Clausius, projects manager, Global R&D, East Chicago. “This work proved to be quite successful and led to safer roads and increased steel sales in Europe. In 2008, I was asked to determine if the same approach could be done in the US.”

Clausius noted that “there are many benefits” to the new barrier. Among other things, it “results in lower deceleration rates on impact versus concrete, resulting in less damage to the vehicle and injuries to the occupants.” It’s also cheaper than the concrete alternative, he added.

For a TL-5 barrier design to be approved in the US, it has to pass three MASH full scale crash tests, ArcelorMittal said. “The tests include a mid-size car, quad cab pickup truck, and a fully loaded tractor trailer. In all three tests, the vehicles must be contained (can’t go through or over the barrier), be safely redirected, no rollover, no excessive intrusion into the occupancy department, and must have reasonable deceleration rates.”

Results of actual crash tests--following computer modeling-- “were very good,” the company said. “The barrier successfully contained and redirected the car, pickup truck, and tractor trailer. No debris or detached elements penetrated the occupancy compartment. The vehicles remained upright with satisfactory vehicle stability and resulted in satisfactory occupancy risk factors. Overall it was a huge success. And the test performance was very similar to the computer models.”

“We applied for patents and expect to receive approval from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration in early 2017,” added Clausius. As soon as the barrier is approved, Gregory will begin marketing and manufacturing the barrier with ArcelorMittal steel.

 

 

Posted 4/20/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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