Midwest Roadside Safety Facility researchers conducted a rare-but-successful crash test Dec. 8 to assess a newly designed and significantly shorter concrete barrier's performance when it is contacted at 50 mph by an 80,000-pound tractor-tanker truck.
It was the first test in more than 30 years of a Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) Test Level 6 truck (one pulling a tanker and not a box trailer), and its primary purpose was to evaluate a 62-inch tall concrete barrier that would be significantly cheaper to manufacture and install on roadways.
The tractor-trailer hit the barrier at a "worst-case scenario" angle of 15 degrees, the tanker rolled slightly over the top of the barrier and slid for about a second before the truck was uprighted and rolled on to its side. It was a result that pleased the research team.
"Overall it's an excellent containment and the barrier worked is designed to pass the criteria," said Cody Stolle, research assistant professor at MwRSF and in mechanical and materials engineering.