In order to maintain and improve road safety, road design necessitates the installation of vehicle restraint systems in particular stretches and locations.
These systems are designed to redirect out-of-control vehicles on the basis of specific restraint characteristics and levels related to the amount of energy they must withstand, as per the European standard UNE-EN 1317, by means of real-scale crash tests.
High-restraint parapets are a particular type of restraint system which is installed on the edges of bridges, crests or similar structures where there are large drops and is intended to withstand the impact of heavy vehicles (up to 38t).
In order to guarantee the right performance, in our test facilities we can replicate the conditions existing in bridges, thereby being able to reproduce the interaction between the restraint system and the bridge structure.
Attenuators, terminals and transitions
Our road infrastructure safety lab in divided into different areas in which to evaluate the impact behaviour of these elements, in compliance with the European standard UNE-EN 1317, by reproducing different layout configurations. Together with safety barriers and parapets, impact attenuators, transitions and terminals allow to have well-rounded, safe roadsides.
Thanks to its dimensions, resources and capabilities, in the outdoor lab we can replicate and assess more daring configurations and designs, from which the best solutions for roads will arise: brickwork, runaway truck ramps, inconceivable ditches.
Infrastructure element support structures
To evaluate this aspect, we are certified pursuant to the European standard UNE-EN 12767, which assesses the impact behaviour of this type of elements.
In order to conduct this type of tests, we have a dedicated test track where we have faithfully reproduced real installation conditions and which is provided with human-like dummies fitted with wireless instrumentation.
Certification and support of the CE marking
Our Road Infrastructure Safety Lab is UNE-EN-ISO/IEC 17025-certified as per test standards UNE-EN 1317, UNE-EN 12767 and UNE 135900 (ENAC No412/LE858).
In order to provide support to our clients during the certification process for their products, we collaborate (as notified body No1813) with Spanish Notified Bodies that grant the CE marking of vehicle restraint systems in order as to speed up the additional formalities and testing needed to obtain said mark.
Even though full-scale testing of a restraint system may be considered to be the final step in its development, during the design phase it might become necessary to evaluate different system operation mechanisms, to check whether foundations, anchors and joints behave according to design specifications and to obtain detailed information on the transmission of forces to said elements.
To make this easier, we have a high-energy pendulum for the partial testing of substructures, which are installed on both controlled ground by pile-driving and rigid ground or that mimic bridge decks
Assessing user behaviour
Since one of the fundamental aspects of safety lies with users and their behaviour, the configuration of the different areas in the Road Safety Lab – with over 20,000 paved square metres – allows us to conduct controlled driving tests aimed at assessing the behaviour of users when they are faced with different preventive safety aspects or new signalling or lighting systems which, for safety reasons, cannot be evaluated in real traffic conditions. Therefore, we have at our disposal a controlled environment that reproduces existing road conditions.
If it doesn’t exist we invent it...
Our expertise in testing and standard definition, together with the characteristics of our facilities, enables us to perform a great deal of tests, standardised or not.
Our experienced staff and facilities, in addition to the close to 25ha occupied by the Road Safety Lab – with multiple independent test areas, enable us to control the facilities and perform different impact tests with different types of terrain, ditch geometries, other moving vehicles, and trespass safety systems (ASTM F 2656-07, PAS 68) and thus meet our clients’ needs.