Transportation and traffic managers have had to deal with increased liability issues regarding containing vehicles during impact with protective barriers. Today’s security environment has a heightened need for means of stopping vehicles in controlled manner for security and liability purposes. Using strain energy absorption via annealed steel cables has proven to be a commercial success. Gated vehicle barrier applications using this mechanism range from safely stopping runaway vehicles at railroad crossing in compliance with National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 to stopping a potential attacker at an industrial plant in compliance with Nuclear Regulation (NUREG) CR-6190. This paper will examine different applications of this mechanism for controlling vehicle impact, analyze the nonlinear interactions at work, and develop operating parameters for using annealed steel wire rope for these applications.

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