How do crash barriers work?

Crash barriers are designed to protect buildings, pedestrians, racking and anything else important from the impact caused by a...

Crash barriers are designed to protect buildings, pedestrians, racking and anything else important from the impact caused by a collision with a moving object. Should a forklift go astray in a warehouse for example, it’s the barrier protecting the racking and preventing it being damaged, collapsing and causing serious damage to employees and stock.

Crash barriers are also used in areas such as building sites and other industrial zones where it might be important to protect people and objects from heavy moving machinery. But how do crash barriers work?

Spread the impact

The traditional equation of force = mass x acceleration can be applied when a moving vehicle collides with something of equal or greater force, such as a tree or building and the damage that is caused can be catastrophic.

The difference with crash barriers is that they are designed to spread the force of the impact and reduce it, thereby lessening the damage caused. Much of the effects of a collision come from the force of the impact and the time it takes to occur. The way crash barriers are designed makes them better at slowing a vehicle down, because, by absorbing some of the energy, it has less of an impact.

Crash barriers are also designed to redirect the object along their length, so that it doesn’t flip over or be jettisoned back off, again, preventing further damage or risk to life. This method of absorbing the impact and controlling what happens afterwards is referred to as containment.

What type of crash barrier?

When you’re looking to have a crash barrier installed, there are certain things that should be taken into consideration. The width of the barrier and the containment level that you need as well as the potential effect on the occupants of the vehicle.

For instance, are you looking for something that can contain a standard weight forklift hitting the barrier at a 20-degree angle at around 5mph, or would you need a higher containment barrier that could withstand the impact of a lighter commercial vehicle which was moving faster?

There are several types of barrier that can be used in the UK which have different levels of performance and different reactions upon impact. They can be made of flexible or solid materials, as long as they meet the testing standards required.

It’s extremely important, when choosing a crash barrier, to ensure that it’s the correct one for what it’s needed for, in order to minimise damage and risk to life.

Order your Armco crash barriers today

All of our Armco crash barriers are UK made to the highest quality standards. They are available in stock and we can ensure speedy delivery so you have the right crash barriers for your needs installed exactly when you need them.

Get in touch with us for more information or to order your Armco crash barriers today.