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    Crash Barriers


    What is a crash barrier?


    In general, crash barriers are a catchall term that refers to vehicle barriers that protect people and infrastructure from errant driver accidents or hostile vehicle attacks. The crash barrier category consists of both traffic barriers and anti-ram barriers.  Such products could be guardrails or Jersey barriers for traffic protection or cement anti-ram barriers or ballistic resistant concrete barriers for protection from hostile vehicle attacks.


    What is an anti-ram crash barrier?


    Anti-ram barriers are designed to high security crash standards like ASTM F2656, DoD K-ratings, PAS68 and IWA-14. The goal of these rated products is to stop a hostile invading vehicle as quickly as possible in order to protect personnel and property. This type of immediate termination of forward progress is typically highly destructive to the hostile vehicle. As such, occupant safety is not generally a primary consideration. Some anti-ram crash barriers are approved by the Department of Defense (DoD) for use in government construction and military facilities. You can find these products on Protogetic’s new completely searchable DoD Vehicle Barrier List.


    On the Protogetic website, what qualifies as a crash barrier?


    Since Protogetic supports the protective design industry, our site focuses primarily on crash barrier products that are anti-ram tested and certified to ASTM F2656, DoD K-rating, IWA-14 and PAS68 standards. Not to be confusing, Protogetic does carry some unrated traffic barriers as well. We define our “crash barrier” category as products that are primarily configured for anti-ram purposes using high-strength concrete, with or without steel reinforcement. In addition, some crash barriers can be portable, although this typically requires a heavy forklift and flatbed truck transport.


    Is a K-rail or Jersey barrier the same as an anti-ram crash barrier?


    Not really. Their primary function is considered to be a traffic barrier. Developed in the late 1940’s, K-rails were created by the California Department of Transportation to separate oncoming traffic from having head-on collisions. In the 1950’s, the New Jersey Department State Highway Department developed “Jersey barriers”.  Both K-rails and Jersey barriers are cement barriers or walls that delineate traffic lanes while their angled sides are designed to redirect vehicles from entering oncoming traffic.  In this way, Jersey barriers and K-rails are traffic safety products. In some situations, they can prevent vehicle intrusion, but in general they are not specifically deployed for anti-ram puposes and have a complately different rating standard.


    What is the difference between a traffic barrier and an anti-ram barrier?


    Traffic safety barriers, sometimes called crash attenuation barriers, are designed to protect the occupants of the vehicle AND civilians and other drivers on or proximate to the roadway.  These concrete barrier walls are designed to prevent oncoming vehicles from crossing lanes and causing head-on collisions. Traffic barrier design is governed by a testing standard called MASH that was developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).  Unlike anti-ram barriers, they are not designed to terminate a vehicle’s forward progress as fast as possible in order to protect lives.


    How does a traffic barrier work?


    Generally, a traffic barrier is designed to absorb the vehicle’s kinetic energy upon impact in order to protect vehicle occupants. This includes directing the trajectory of the vehicle away from interacting with other cars or into a clear space area. This redirection prevents additional damages and injuries.


    What is a MASH rating?


    Whereas most anti-ram products are tested to the ASTM F2656 standard, traffic crash barriers have their own separate distinct ratings called MASH – Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware.  Similar to anti-ram standards, MASH rating test type and weight of vehicles traveling at required speeds and angles of impact.  However, MASH standards do not incorporate the most important component of an anti-ram standard – penetration distance.


    MASH ratings are designated by six levels:


    MASH TL-1                 Passenger cars and pickup trucks (31 MPH)

    MASH TL-2                 Passenger cars and pickup trucks (44MPH)

    MASH TL-3                 Passenger cars and pickup trucks  (62MPH)

    MASH TL-4                 Passenger car, pickup (62MPH), single unit truck (56MPH)

    MASH TL-5                 Passenger car, pickup (62MPH), tractor-van trailer (50MPH)

    MASH TL-6                 Passenger car, pickup (62MPH), tractor-tank trailer (50MPH)


    Where can I find anti-ram rated crash barriers?


    Protogetic carries steel-reinforced concrete crash barriers that are anti-ram rated. You can find them instantly using our groundbreaking search filter. Visit Protogetic today and get your work done faster.