Numerical analysis of a two-rail steel RHS trafic barrier to vehicle impact

C. Wu, Hong Hao, Andrew Deeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the non-linear finite element code LS-DYNA is used to evaluatethe performance of an existing traffic barrier system in Western Australia in collisions withvehicles. The vehicle types, speeds and impact angles to the barrier specified in the revised BridgeCode AS 5100.2 are adopted in the analysis. Numerical models of three kinds of vehicles, a smallpassenger car, a utility vehicle and a single-unit truck, as specified in the revised Bridge Code, areused for the analysis. The numerical model of the guardrail is set up according to the actual designof the traffic barrier. Before the analysis of barrier response to the vehicle impact can be carriedout, convergence tests on the numerical model of the traffic barrier were conducted, resultingin the selection of the final grid element sizes and the number of spans in the numerical model.Numerical simulations of the performance of the traffic barriers in collisions with vehicles withdifferent speeds, different impact angles, and colliding with the barrier at different locations arecarried out. The adequacy of the steel RHS traffic barrier to meet the required performance levelsis examined. Numerical results indicate that the existing two-rail steel RHS traffic barriers inWestern Australia meet the requirements of the low performance level tests, but fail to satisfy theregular and higher performance levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-76
JournalAustralian Journal of Structural Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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