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International Journal of Automotive Technology > Volume 4(1); 2003 > Article
International Journal of Automotive Technology 2003;4(1): 31-40.
DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF SCALED-DOWN W-BEAMS UNDER IMPACT
T. X. YU, T. Y. J. HUI, H. H. RUAN
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
ABSTRACT
W-beam guardrail system has been the most popular roadside safety device around the world. Through large plastic deformation and corresponding energy dissipation, a W-beam guardrail system contains and re-directs out-of-control vehicles so as to reduce the impact damage on the vehicle occupants and the vehicles themselves. In this paper, our recent experiments on 1:3.75 downscaled W-beam and the beam-post system are reported. The static and impact test results on the load characteristics, the global response and the local cross-sectional distortion are reveled. The effects of three different end-boundary conditions for the beam-only testing are examined. It is found that the load characteristics are much dependent on the combined contribution of the local cross-sectional distortion and the end-supporting conditions. The energy partitioning between the beam and the supporting posts in the beam-post-system testing were also examined. The results showed that the energy dissipation partitioning changed with the input impact energy. Finally, a simple mass-spring model is developed to assess the dynamic response of a W-beam guardrail system in response to an impact loading. The model's prodition agrees well with the experimental results.
Key Words: Guardrail system, W-beam, Dynamics characteristics, Energy partitioning, Cross-section distortion, Mass-spring model
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