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Title:Flexible Highway Barriers
Authors:Jordan Jarrett, C.J. Riley, David Sawahata, and Paul Heyliger
University:Colorado State University
Publication Date:May 2008
Report #:MPC-08-198
Project #:MPC-273
TRID #:01105012
Keywords:barriers (roads), deformation, energy absorption, flexible structures, highway safety, strength of materials
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications


Highway barriers exist in part to protect life and property from excessive danger as part of normal road usage. Typically, these barriers can be characterized as stiff and passive. In this study, we report on the potential use of highly flexible materials that maintain the effective resistance to load of passive structures, but do so in a much more flexible manner. In this regard, these flexible barriers are softer, and have the potential to limit damage. The initial focus of this work is on inexpensive one-dimensional networks of biological or metallic elements that can undergo large deformations but still remain as viable barrier candidates. The intent is to explore the levels of energy absorption and global strength, with eventual barrier prototypes constructed and tested.

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