Design and Finite Element Analysis of a MASH 31-inch W-Beam Guardrail System for Placement on 3:1 Sloped Terrain Configuration (602951)

Problem Statement No. 2014 WV-62

Final Report: Design and Finite Element Analysis of a 31-inch W-Beam Guardrail System for Placement on 3H:1V Sloped Terrain Configuration

TTI Research Supervisor:
Chiara Silvestri Dobrovolny, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-3135
(979) 845-8971
[email protected]
Pooled Fund Technical Representative:
Donna J. Hardy, P.E.
Mobility and Safety Engineer
West Virginia Department of Transportation
1900 Kanawha Blvd E.
Charleston, WV 25305-0430
(304) 558-9576
[email protected]


In locations where a traversable slope is located at the edge of the shoulder, there may be a desire to offset the barrier to minimize impacts. A longitudinal system that can be placed on 3H:1V slopes would provide this flexibility. The purpose of this research was to develop a 31-inch W-beam guardrail system to be placed with a 3H:1V slope in front of the barrier.

The structural capacity and the occupant risk factors of such proposed guardrail system was evaluated with respect to MASH TL-3 criteria. Being able to place W-beam guardrail with a 3H:1V slope in front of the barrier would reduce the number of impacts on the system and would provide flexibility in the placement of W-beam systems.

Three barrier designs for placement on a 3H:1V slope were suggested for evaluation through predictive computer simulations. All systems appear to be crashworthy and likely to pass safety evaluation criteria required for MASH. Depending on the desired system post distance location from the 3H:1V slope break, the researchers recommend evaluation of selected design through full-scale crash testing according to MASH TL-3 criteria.


3H:1V 2270P 1 ft No Rubrail-Failure-Rod:


3H:1V 2270P 2 ft No Rubrail-Failure-Rod:

3H:1V 2-ft Added Rubrail-1100C


3H:1V 2-ft Added Rubrail-2270P