Dynamics and safety assessment of a truck impact onto various types of roadside concrete barriers on curved roads

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Parvatikar, Prasanna K.
Lankarani, Hamid M.
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Every vehicle manufacturing company invests time and money in researching all the possible ways of eliminating the serious injury to the occupants. These efforts are concentrated on making the vehicle structure and interior robust enough to absorb all the impact loads, as well as development of means to contain the occupants by seatbelts and airbags, thereby reducing the possibilities of impact injuries. The approach might vary but the intent will always remain the occupant safety. The objective of this study is to analyze the barrier design safety performance deployed on the highway roadsides. Having many different designs of roads, it is impossible to have similar kind of roadside barriers on all locations. Some barriers will perform better on particular road designs and some will not. Hence, a detailed study is conducted here to analyze and document the behavior of vehicles after impact onto different types of design barriers at different road conditions. A finite element analysis is conducted using the LS-DYNA finite element (FE) code with a modeling tool HYPERMESH. The analytical results from simulation are compared with the test results from literature. Next, the influence of many different parameters such as road curvature, slope on barrier design, vehicle speed etc., on the occupant safety are studied. The study also focuses on analyzing the effect of these parameters on vehicle lift, roll, occupant impact velocity, occupant ride-down acceleration and angular acceleration. The results from this study indicate that even though New Jersey barrier design increases the vehicle lift and occupant impact velocity, it makes sure that the vehicle does not vault the barrier and enter the other side of the traffic. The study also identifies the impact angle to be more critical than the road curvature. Hence, deploying the proper barrier designs based on the road curvature will ensure occupant safety.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Wichita State University
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