In early December an X-350 TL-3 End Terminal from CSP Pacific was severely impacted just south of Auckland by a 1440kg vehicle (including the weight of the occupants) which had been travelling northbound when the driver fell asleep leaving the carriageway. The front end of the vehicle impacted the X-350 at approximately 118kph (based on post-crash analysis) and as a result telescoped two complete guardrails with the friction plate fully engaged. Remarkably both occupants of the vehicle survived the crash.
“This is one of the biggest hits that CSP Pacific and I have seen in service both here in New Zealand and in other countries that use the X-350,” says Brendon Morgan, General Manager for Armorflex International Limited, the developer of the system. “Even when compared with the extreme product crash testing conducted, which is meant to demonstrate impacts that are larger than what can be expected in real life incidents, this was an extremely large collision.”
CSP Pacific and Armorflex were able to assist the police with their crash investigation in determining the impact speed of the vehicle using the impact energy.
The X-350 is a leading edge technology terminal end for W-beam guardrail and works differently to all other products available on the market. The X-350 is a ‘tension’ based system whereas other systems rely on ‘compression’ based technology to dissipate energy which can be less reliable, in particular with angled impacts. The X-350 has an integral braking mechanism that works in ‘tension’ and when required at impact, the system can telescope while bringing the errant vehicle to a controlled stop.
|“This is a great result at 18km faster than the carriageway's posted speed limit and design requirement of a Test Level 3 (TL-3) system. The X-350 has exceeded expectations in this impact,” adds Brendon.|