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Title: Investigations of plastic composite materials for highway safety structures
Authors: United States. Federal Highway Administration.
Dutta, Piyush K.
Keywords: Breakaway supports
Crush cushions
Highway barriers
Highway safety structures
Highway engineering
New materials
Recycled plastics
Roadside safety
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 98-7.
Description: CRREL Report
Abstract: This report presents a basic overview and assessment of different concepts and technologies of using polymer composites in structures generally used for highway safety. The structural systems included a highway barrier guardrail with its posts and blockouts, sign posts, concrete reinforcing rebars, breakaway couplers, and crushable plastic cushions to protect errant drivers from roadside sign and utility posts, and small trees. The composites included fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) in laminated and bar forms, and commercially available recycled and reconstituted structural plastic composites. Commercially available FRP composites, recycled plastic composites, and several conceptual designs and prototype components were assessed and tested. The results showed many potential advantages of using composites in almost all the structures considered, but one-to-one replacement of conventional materials was not always found attractive. For deriving maximum benefits from fiber composites, the basic performance of the given structures should be reassessed and then composites should be designed at the materials level using innovative fiber architecture and appropriate manufacturing technologies that can meet those performance requirements.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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