In order to maintain and improve road safety, road design requires the installation of vehicle containment systems in particular sections and locations.
These systems are designed for the reconduction of uncontrolled vehicles based on specific characteristics and containment levels, related to the amount of energy they must resist, in accordance with the European Standard UNE-EN 1317, by means of full-scale crash tests.
High containment parapets
High containment parapets are a particular type of containment system, arranged at the edge of bridges, crest walls or similar structures where there is a vertical drop, and intended to withstand the impact of heavy vehicles (up to 38 Tons). In order to guarantee correct behaviour, it is possible to reproduce in our test facilities the conditions existing on bridges, thus allowing the interaction of the containment system with the bridge structure to be reproduced.
Crash cushions, terminals and transitions
Safety barriers and parapets contain out-of-control vehicles leaving the roadway. However, difficulties arise in resolving the connection points between different systems, as well as at barrier ends.
Cidaut, in the road infrastructure safety laboratory, has different areas in which to evaluate the impact behaviour of these elements in accordance with the European standard UNE-EN 1317, reproducing the different configurations of the layouts. Together with safety barriers and parapets, impact attenuators, transitions and terminals, they make it possible to complete safe margins on roads.
Safety barriers and parapets offer generic solutions for mass use in the protection of errant vehicles. However, there are unique areas that need for particular solutions.
In Cidaut's outdoor laboratory, thanks to its dimensions, resources and capacities, we can evaluate the most risky configurations and designs, from which the best solutions for roads will emerge: special constructions, braking beds, unthinkable ditches,…
Support structures for road equipment
In the event of an accident, lighting poles, signs, and supporting structures in general, can pose a serious risk to the occupants of the vehicle, if not properly protected, or specifically designed to deform or break safely for users.
In order to evaluate this aspect in Cidaut's facilities, we are accredited to carry out tests in accordance with the European Standard UNE-EN 12767, which evaluates the impact behaviour of this type of elements.
In order to extend the protection of containment systems to more vulnerable users such as cyclists and motorcyclists, in 2005 - with the scientific and technical support of CIDAUT - the UNE 135900 Standard on motorcycle protection systems was published in Spain; the first Standard of this type to be published internationally and an absolute reference since then.
To carry out this type of test, CIDAUT facilities have a specially dedicated test track, with faithful reproduction of the actual installation conditions and anthropomorphic wireless instrumentation mannequins.
Certification and support of the CE marking
The Road Infrastructure Safety Laboratory has UNE-EN-ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for the UNE-EN 1317, UNE-EN 12767, UNE 135900, NCHRP-350 and MASH testing standards. (ENAC Nº 412/LE858).
In order to support its customers in the certification process of their products, CIDAUT collaborates with the Spanish Notified Bodies that grant the CE marking of Road Restraint Systems to speed up the procedures and additional tests necessary to obtain this marking.
While full-scale testing of a containment system may be understood as the final step in its development, in the design phase it may be necessary to evaluate different mechanisms of operation of the systems, check whether foundations, anchors and joints behave according to design specifications, or obtain detailed information about the transmission of forces to these elements.
To facilitate this work, we have a high energy pendulum, which allows partial tests to be carried out on substructures, installed both on controlled soil, or rigid soil (bridge deck reproductions).
Evaluating user behaviour
As one of the fundamental aspects of safety is on the side of users and their behaviour, the configuration of the different areas, with more than 20,000 m2 asphalted in the Road Safety Laboratory, allow controlled driving tests to be carried out, aimed at evaluating the behaviour of users in the face of different aspects of preventive safety, or new signaling or lighting systems, which for safety reasons would not be evaluated with real traffic. This provides a controlled environment that reproduces the existing conditions on the road.
Our experience in the execution of tests and the definition of standards, together with the characteristics of our facilities allow us to deal with a wide spectrum of standardised and non-standardised tests.
The nearly 25 hectares that the facilities of the Road Safety Laboratory have, with multiple independent test areas, together with our expert personnel and our own means of installation, allow the control of the installation of the systems (>150m long) and the carrying out of different impact tests against containment systems, both for vehicles (up to 38 Tons and speeds >120km/h) and for motorcyclists, with different types of terrain, ditch geometries and other moving vehicles, anti-intrusion security systems (ASTM F 2656-07, PAS 68)…