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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A BARRIER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/072272
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A barrier comprising a floor, a barrier wall attached to the floor and a chamber operable to receive a fluid and thereby transform a foldable barrier into an operational barrier. The barrier is located by a barrier system which comprises a vehicle on which the barrier is stored in a storable configuration on a reel, carried by the vehicle. The barrier is rolled off the reel, off the back of the vehicle, and anchored before the vehicle is moved forwards to unroll the barrier onto the ground. As the vehicle moves, a fluid is introduced into the barrier to thereby cause the barrier to be arranged into an operational upstanding barrier.

Inventors:
STORI, Leopoldo Gasparetto (Via San Quirino, I-Pordenone, 11-33170, IT)
GARLAND, Matthew (Mill Haven, GrangeKnockbridge, Dundalk, Co. Louth, IE)
Application Number:
EP2011/006083
Publication Date:
June 07, 2012
Filing Date:
December 05, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BARRIER SAFETY SYSTEMS LIMITED (Mill Haven, Grange,Knockbridge,,Dundal, Co. Louth ., IE)
STORI, Leopoldo Gasparetto (Via San Quirino, I-Pordenone, 11-33170, IT)
GARLAND, Matthew (Mill Haven, GrangeKnockbridge, Dundalk, Co. Louth, IE)
International Classes:
E01F15/14
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009148434A1
Foreign References:
GB2451286A
FR2772804A1
DE10108586A1
DE3141701A1
US20050141960A1
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMAS, Sean (Harrison IP Limited, Box Tree HouseNorthminster Business Park,Northfield Lan, York YO26 6QU, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A barrier comprising a floor, a barrier wall attached to the floor and a chamber operable to receive a fluid and thereby transform a foldable barrier into an operational barrier.

2. A barrier as claimed in claim 1, wherein the chamber is an expandable chamber operable to receive a fluid and thereby to cause the barrier wall to rotate, relative to the floor, into an operational configuration to thereby provide an operational barrier.

3. A barrier as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the barrier wall and the floor are foldable into a substantially parallel arrangement relative to each other when the chamber is substantially empty of fluid, such that the barrier is selectively adaptable between a storage configuration and an operational configuration.

4. A barrier as claimed in claim 2 or 3, wherein the expandable chamber is disposed between the floor and the barrier wall.

5. A barrier as claimed in claims 2 to 4, further comprising chamber retaining means operable to retain the expandable chamber between at least portions of the barrier wall and the floor.

6. A barrier as claimed in claim 5, wherein the chamber retaining means comprises one or more retaining members having a first end attached to the barrier wall and a second end attached to the floor .

7. A barrier as claimed in claim 5 or 6, wherein the chamber retaining means is made of a flexible material and, in use, is capable of forming around the expandable chamber during expansion thereof.

8. A barrier as claimed in any of the preceding claims further comprising screen attachment means. 9. A barrier as claimed in claim 8, wherein the screen attachment means is disposed on the barrier wall.

10. A barrier as claimed in any of the preceding claims, further comprising a screen extending upwardly from the barrier wall, when the barrier is in an operational configuration.

11. A barrier as claimed in claims 10, wherein the screen is foldable into a substantially parallel arrangement relative to the barrier wall.

12. A barrier as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein, in the operational configuration, in use, the barrier wall is inclined inwardly in an upward direction.

13. A barrier as claimed in any of the preceding claims, further comprising coupling means operable to couple the barrier to at least one vehicle.

14. A storage reel comprising a barrier as claimed in any of the preceding claims stored thereon in a storable configuration.

15. A barrier safety system comprising a barrier as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13.

16. A barrier safety system as claimed in claim 15, further comprising a first vehicle and a second vehicle wherein the barrier is attachable between the first and second vehicles.

17. A barrier safety system as claimed in claim 16, wherein the barrier is detachably attachable to at least one of the first and second vehicles.

18. A barrier safety system as claimed in claim 15 or 17, wherein the length of the barrier is extendable between the first and second vehicles.

19. A barrier safety system as claimed in claims 15 to 18, further comprising means to determine an impact upon the barrier. 20. A barrier safety system as claimed in claims 19, further comprising means to reduce a tensile force applied to the barrier, responsive to an impact upon the barrier being determined.

21. A barrier safety system as claimed in claims 14 to 20, wherein the barrier is storable in a storage configuration on the first vehicle.

22. A barrier safety system as claimed in claim 21, wherein the barrier is stored on a reel disposed on the first vehicle.

23. A barrier safety system as claimed in claims 14 to 22, further comprising stabilising means for engaging solid ground.

24. A barrier safety system as claimed in claim 23, wherein the stabilising means is disposed on at least one of the vehicles and is operable to apply a force in a direction substantially towards the solid ground.

25. A method of locating a barrier comprising providing a barrier, as claimed in claims 1 to 12, storing the barrier on a first vehicle, attaching an end of the barrier to a second vehicle, moving the second vehicle relative to the first vehicle and thereby extending the length of barrier to a desired length and introducing fluid into the chamber of the portion of barrier extending between the first and second vehicles to thereby cause the barrier wall to be arranged into an a position which provides an operational barrier.

26. A method as claimed in claim 25, further comprising providing stabilising means and enabling the stabilising means to stabilise the first and second vehicles.

27. A method as claimed in claim 25 or 26, further comprising providing barrier monitoring means operable to monitor the barrier for an impact force and monitoring the barrier for an impact force.

28. A method as claimed in claim 27, further comprising providing means for reducing tensile force and, upon the monitoring means detecting an impact force, enabling the means for reducing tensile force.

Description:
A Barrier

The present invention relates to a barrier for general use in the barrier system for general use and particularly to a safety barrier and safety barrier system.

The present invention may be used to cordon off an area of ground or surface of water. In particular, the present invention may, for example, be used to provide a roadside safety system to protect people working adjacent to a stream of traffic. Known barrier systems use relatively heavy barriers which require a significant amount of time to assemble and are limited to particular applications, such as, for example, fixed roadside barriers.

It is desirable in the industry for there to be a relatively lightweight and mobile barrier system which is easily assembled and which can be used for a variety of applications. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide such a barrier and barrier system.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a barrier comprising a floor, a barrier wall attached to the floor, and an expandable chamber operable to receive a fluid and thereby to cause the barrier wall to angularly rotate, relative to the floor, into an operational configuration to thereby provide an operational barrier.

The barrier wall and the floor are advantageously foldable into a substantially parallel arrangement relative to each other when the expandable chamber is substantially empty of fluid, such that the barrier is selectively adaptable between a storage configuration and an operational configuration.

The expandable chamber is advantageously disposed between the floor and the barrier wall. The barrier advantageously further comprises chamber retaining means operable to retain the expandable chamber between at least portions of the barrier wall and the floor.

The chamber retaining means may comprise one or more retaining members having a first end attached to the barrier wall and a second end attached to the floor. The chamber retaining means may be made of a flexible material and, in use, may be capable of forming around the expandable chamber during expansion thereof.

The barrier advantageously further comprises screen attachment means.

The screen attachment means may be disposed on the barrier wall.

The barrier advantageously further comprises a screen extending upwardly from the barrier wall, when the barrier is in an operational configuration.

The screen is advantageously foldable into a substantially parallel arrangement relative to the barrier wall.

In the operational configuration, in use, the barrier wall is advantageously inclined inwardly in an upward direction.

The barrier advantageously further comprises coupling means operable to couple the barrier to at least one vehicle.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a storage reel comprising a barrier according to the first aspect of the present invention.

The storage real advantageously comprises two rollers.

According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a barrier safety system comprising a barrier according to the first aspect of the present invention.

The barrier safety system advantageously comprises a first vehicle and an anchor means wherein the barrier is attachable between the first vehicle and the anchoring means.

The anchoring means is advantageously a second vehicle.

The barrier may be detachably attachable to at least one of the first vehicle and the anchoring means. The length of the barrier is extendable between the first vehicle and the anchoring means.

The barrier safety system advantageously further comprises means to determine an impact upon the barrier.

The barrier safety system advantageously further comprises means to reduce a tensile force applied to the barrier, responsive to an impact upon the barrier being determined.

The barrier may be storable in a storage configuration on the first vehicle.

The barrier may be stored on a reel disposed on the first vehicle.

The barrier safety system may further comprise stabilising means for engaging solid ground. The stabilising means may be disposed on at least the first vehicle and is operable to apply a force in a direction substantially towards the solid ground.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of locating a barrier comprising providing a barrier, according the first aspect of the present invention, storing the barrier on a first vehicle, attaching an end of the barrier to a second vehicle, moving the second vehicle relative to the first vehicle and thereby extending the length of barrier to a desired length and introducing fluid into the expandable chamber of the portion of barrier extending between the first and second vehicles to thereby cause the expandable chamber to expand and cause the barrier wall to be arranged into an a position which provides an operational barrier.

The method advantageously further comprises providing stabilising means and enabling the stabilising means to stabilise the first and the anchoring means. The method advantageously further comprises providing barrier monitoring means operable to monitor the barrier for an impact force and monitoring the barrier for an impact force. The method advantageously further comprises providing means for reducing tensile force and, upon the monitoring means detecting an impact force, enabling the means for reducing tensile force. By coupling the barrier to the vehicle, the barrier may be moved in a fast and convenient manner.

The method may involve coupling the barrier to the first vehicle and coupling the barrier to a second vehicle to extend the barrier from the first vehicle to the second vehicle. The method advantageously further comprises the step of adjusting a longitudinal dimensional of the barrier. In this manner, the size of an area of, for example, ground or water may be adjusted. Preferably, the longitudinal dimensional of the barrier is adjusted by moving the first vehicle relative to the second vehicle. One of the vehicles may be stationary or both of the vehicles may be moving.

The method may comprise the step of applying a tensile force to the barrier. Tensioning the barrier provides resistance against an impact, for example from a vehicle, in a manner similar to a vehicle safety belt reaction principle. Preferably, the method comprises the step of determining a tensile force applied to the barrier and monitoring the barrier to determine any impact thereon. More preferably, the method comprises the step of reducing a tensile force applied to the barrier, responsive to an impact upon the bar area being determined. In this manner, body which has impacted upon the barrier element, for example a vehicle, is cushioned by the barrier rather than being deflected back into a stream of traffic. The barrier reacts upon impact of a vehicle absorbing the energy of the errant vehicle.

The method may further comprise the step of configuring the barrier between a storage configuration and an operational configuration, whereby the barrier is deployed as an operational barrier when it is in the operational configuration. The method may further comprise the step of applying force to a stabilising foot part disposed on at least one of the first and second vehicles to engage the foot part with the ground. In this manner, the frictional force acting between the foot part on the ground is maximised to thereby minimise any slippage of the foot part over the ground. The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a side view of a safety barrier system according to the invention;

Figure 2 is an enlarged side view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is an enlarged side view of a friction pad part of the safety barrier system of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is an enlarged side view of a webbing an inflatable cushion part of the safety barrier system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 5 is an enlarged side view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 6 is a plan view of the safety barrier system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 7 is an enlarged plan view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is an enlarged plan view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 6;

Figure 9 is an enlarged plan view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 6;

Figure 10 is an enlarged side view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 1 ;

Figure 11 is an enlarged side view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 10;

Figure 12 is an enlarged side view of part of the safety barrier system of Figure 10;

Figure 13 is a view along line A-A in Figure 12 of a cross section webbing and bottom inflatable cushion barrier;

Figure 14 is an enlarged and view of part of the barrier of Figure 13;

Figures 15 to 18 are side views of the safety barrier system figure 1 in use in various stages of deployment;

Figures 19 to 24 are views similar to those of figures 13 and 14 of other safety barrier systems according to the present invention;

Figure 25 is a cross section view through a preferred embodiment of a barrier according to the present invention, in an operational configuration;

Figure 26 is a cross section view through the barrier of Figure 25, in a storage configuration; Figures 27a and 27b are front and rear perspective views of the barrier of Figure 25; and Figure 28 is a schematic drawing of a barrier system according to the present invention, deploying the barrier of Figure 25.

Referring to the drawings, a safety barrier system 1 comprises a front vehicle 2, a safety barrier device 3, and a rear vehicle 4. The safety barrier device 3 comprises an elongate safety barrier 9, means to couple the barrier 9 to the front vehicle 2, and means to couple the barrier 9 to the rear vehicle 4 to extend the barrier 9 from the front vehicle 2 to the rear vehicle 4, as shown in figure 1. The barrier 9 comprises a screen comprising an upper webbing 19, a support net 10, a webbing screen 11, a base 12, and a foot 13 for engagement with the ground, as shown in figure 13. The upper webbing 19 and the lower webbing 1 1 are made from a material such as a fibre reinforced plastics material or rubber plastics material. The base 12 comprises a hollow interior space 14 stop the base 12 is inflatable by passing a fluid, such as air, into the interior space 14. However, it will be appreciated that other fluids, such as for example water, could also be used. When inflated, the base 12 comprises two inclined side walls, 15 and 16. Each sidewall, 15 and 16, may be inclined inwardly in an upward direction. When inflated, the base 12 is triangular shaped in cross section in this particular embodiment. In other embodiments, the base 12 maybe oval shaped, or near circular shaped, or shaped similar to a mattress. In this case the base 12 is of a fibre reinforced rubber material.

The foot 13 is of a slip resistant material. Alternatively, the foot 13 may comprise a system which is activated upon impact by a vehicle or part of the vehicle, such as a wheel.

The barrier 9comprises the bottom inflatable cushion 12 and the vertical net 10. The bottom inflatable cushion 12 is a near triangular shape fibre reinforced plastic element, the purpose of which is to redirect a colliding vehicle wheel.

The barrier cushion 12 is stored on a horizontal axis drums fitted on the vehicle frame. The barrier cushion 12 performs the action owing to its shape and its friction is increased with the specific high friction bottom surface or device 13. The top vertical net 10 is a polyester or similar high-strength plastic reinforced element. The purpose of which is to connect and support the containing webbing is 11 and 19 inside a suitable working width. The net 10 performs as a chain fixed to the two vehicles, 2 and 4. The barrier nine selectively arrangeable between a storage configuration and an operational configuration. In the storage configuration the barrier nine is wrapped in a coil on the front vehicle 2. In the storage configuration the base 12 of the barrier 9 is collapsed and deflated. In the operational configuration, the barrier element 9 is extended from the front vehicle 2 to the rear vehicle 4. In the operational configuration the base 12 of the barrier element 9 is expanded and inflated.

The barrier 9 is stored on board of the front vehicle 2, where a group of drums are installed with horizontal and vertical axis.

The longitudinal dimension of the barrier 9, extending from the front vehicle 2 to the rear vehicle 4, is adjustable.

The safety barrier 3 also comprises means to apply a tensile force to the barrier in 19 and means to determine the tensile force applied to the barrier 9. The safety barrier 3 further comprises means determine an impact upon the barrier in 19, for example a vehicle impacting upon the barrier 9. Responsive to an impact upon the barrier 9 being determined, the tensile force applied to the barrier 9 is automatically reduced. The front vehicle 2 comprises a stabilising foot 5 for engagement with the ground, as shown in figure 2. The foot 5 is of a slip resistant material 6 or slip resistant device. The foot five comprises a plurality of downwardly protruding needle members 7 for engagement with the ground. The front vehicle 2 comprises a hydraulic piston or Jack to apply a downward force to the foot 5 to engage the foot 5 with the ground.

The front vehicle 2 also comprises a windings coil 17 to selectively move the barrier 9 between the storage configuration and the operational configuration, and a compressor 18 to expand and inflate the base 12 of the barrier 9. Similarly, the rear vehicle 4 comprises a foot 5 for engagement with the ground, as shown in figure 5. The foot 5 is of a slip resistant material 6. The foot 5 comprise a plurality of downwardly protruding needle members 7 for engagement with the ground. The rear vehicle 4 comprises a hydraulic piston to apply a downward force to the foot 5 to engage the foot 5 with the ground. The rear vehicle 4 also comprise a crash cushion 8.

The rear vehicle 4 is fitted with the vehicle mounted crash cushion 8 to dissipate any energy should a vehicle strike the rear vehicle 4 or close to the lead vehicle 2.

The vehicles, 2 and 4, act as fixed points to anchor, support, contain, dissipate and absorb the energy resulting from a vehicle impact reaction forces. The vehicles, 2 and 4, are of a suitable weight which can be increased with appropriate ballast in order to achieve the required inertial mass. The high friction pads 5 fitted on the vehicles, 2 and 4, and pushed into the asphalt surface by means of the hydraulic jacks increase the friction and reaction forces to support the colliding vehicle forces and energy arriving from the net 10.

The safety barrier 3 is mobile, adjustable in length, and removable. The safety barrier 3 is inflatable for its fast deployment. The safety barrier 3 achieves a safe working environment because workers do not need to be located in exposed positions on or near roadways.

In use, using the windings coil 17 of the front vehicle 2, the barrier 9 is moved from the storage configuration, in which it is wrapped in a coil on the front vehicle 2, to the operational configuration, that is, extended from the front vehicle 2 to the rear vehicle 4. The base 12 of the barrier 9 is inflated by passing a fluid into the interior space 14 using the compressor 18. The barrier 9 is coupled to the front vehicle 2 and coupled to the rear vehicle 4 to extend the barrier 9 from the front vehicle 2 to the rear vehicle 4, as shown in figure 1.

The longitudinal dimension of the barrier 9, extending from the fund vehicle 2 to the rear vehicle 4 may be adjusted by moving the front vehicle 2 relative to the rear vehicle 4. One of the vehicles, 2 or 4, maybe stationary during this adjustment. Alternatively, both of the vehicles, 2 and 4, may be moving at different speeds during this adjustment. This arrangement automatically maintains the webbing is, 11 and 19, and the inflated cushion 12 tensioned.

An example maximum length of the mobile barrier 9 may be approximately 100m, and example minimum required length may be approximately 6m to allow proper chain behaviour during collision. When the front vehicle 2 is stationary, a downward force is applied to the foot 5 of the front vehicle 2 to engage the foot 5 with the ground. Similarly, when the rear vehicle 4 is stationary, a downward force is applied to the foot in five of the rear vehicle 4 to engage the foot 5 with the ground.

An example combined minimum weight of both vehicles, 2 and 4, may be approximately 20 tonnes. In certain situations this may not be sufficient to prevent the vehicles, 2 and 4, from pulling together when the net is struck by a large vehicle. To prevent this, a frame is fitted to the underside of the vehicles, 2 and 4. The hydraulically operated piston forces down the frame with the feet 5 at the bottom. The feet 5 having leading edge with the spikes 7, that taking to the road surface. This provides additional resistance to movement. The frame on the lead vehicle 2 is opposite to that on the rear vehicle 4. The overall resistance to movement is raised to a much higher level. In situations where an extremely high containment is required secondary vehicles may be added. These vehicles may be connected to the primary vehicles by net/rope and may be connected to the main control and secondary slaves. Each of these vehicles may also be fitted with frames.

The safety barrier 3 is thus located in a desired location to protect people working adjacent to stream of traffic, for example along a roadside.

The movable and extendable safety barrier 3 protects people working along the road while the nearby traffic is still active at reduced speed in accordance with safety procedures, such as traffic management procedures. Typical roadside operations required and the relocation of activities along the road lane for safety barrier replacement or maintenance. The mobile safety barrier 3 is moved it during the site activities following and in coordination with the progress of the same. People are always protected while moving on. A tensile forces applied to the barrier 9. Responsive to an impact upon the barrier 9 been determined, the tensile force applied to the barrier 9 is automatically reduced.

The barrier 3 contains any colliding vehicle and the working length of the safety barrier 3 is suitable to protect the site from major impact consequences. The fully mobile barrier safety system 1 uses the two vehicles, 2 and 4. One vehicle 2 is the lead vehicle and the other vehicle 4 is the rear vehicle. Both vehicles, 2 and 4, may be fitted with hydraulic drums. Alternatively, only one of the two vehicles may be fitted with drums. The drums are fitted with tension sensors. Tension sensors are also fitted along the barrier to monitor the correct containment performance thereof. A wire or fibre net or rope is pulled from the first vehicle 2 with the drum and fix to the second vehicle 4. A computer-controlled tensioning system maintains a constant tension to the net/rope. In the event that a vehicle strikes the net, the tension sensors detect the strike and the drum releases a small amount of rope and then re-tensions, thus preventing the errant vehicle being deflected straight back into the carriageway and possibly causing a secondary collision with other vehicles structures. Drums are fitted on an adjustable support which may be utilised to maintain the correct tension during any operation. The communication coordination system allows the lead vehicle 2 to act as the master and the rear vehicle 4 to act as a slave. This allows both vehicles, 2 and 4, to move slowly in unison whilst maintaining a constant tension to the rope. The barrier deploying sequence may be as follows. Both vehicles, 2 and 4, approach the site position along the road. The lead vehicle 2 may load the barriers 3 onto the drums and the rear vehicle 4 follows. When the initial point of site operational area is close, and automatic projecting awkward device is released from the rear truck 4 and fastens the barrier fixing 3 to the rear truck supporting devices, as shown in figure 15. After the barrier 3 is attached, the lead vehicle 2 accelerates and the rear vehicle 4 slows down in order deploy the barrier 3, as shown in figure 16. When the barrier 3 is fully deployed, the vehicles, 2 and 4, slowly stop with normal safety procedure and stabilise the position with the high friction pads 5, as shown in figure 17. The tension is controlled automatically by means of a computer and maintained automatically by means of sensors.

In the case of stationary operation, prior to starting the lead vehicle 2 is designated as the master and the rear vehicle 4 acts as the slave. The control box is identical in each vehicle, 2 and 4, thereby making each vehicle fully adaptable. The control box in the master vehicle is set to allow the cable to be pulled out from the drum manually and fed through the various guides fitted to each vehicle, 2 and 4. These guides and mounted on the rear, side in front of each vehicle to prevent the cable from fouling on their wheels.

Once the cable has been fixed to the second vehicle 4, the control box is set to allow tension to be applied automatically to the cable to a predetermined limit. A different setting on the control box allows the lead vehicle 2 to slowly move away whilst the rear vehicle 4 remains stationary. Various sensors monitor and control the speed of the lead vehicle 2, the speed of the drum and the tension of the cable, thus maintaining a constant tension. Should the tension sensors detect a vehicle strike, the control system immediately stops the lead vehicle 2 and activates the drum to release an amount of cable and re-tension, allowing the errant vehicle to safely run along the length of the cable.

Once the desired length of cable has been achieved, the control box sets to a stationary mode. Once again, the tension sensors continually check the cable for the correct tension and just as required.

In the case of mobile operation, the setup is similar to the stationary operation except that the master vehicle is able to control the speed of both vehicles, 2 and 4, constantly monitor the cable tension and adjust as required. If the system 1 text the vehicle strike, both vehicles, 2 and 4, stop immediately and the drum lets out a small amount of cable and re-tensions as described above.

The invention provides a temporary crash barrier. The invention provides a mobile vehicle restraint system.

Using the lead vehicle 2 is the master, additional slave vehicles may be added, allowing for additional lengths of cable to be used. Where additional cable lengths are not possible through single span, the system works the same as with previous sector is, with the master controller monitoring each slave and adjusting the tension as required.

In further detail, figure 1 illustrates the lead track 2, the ballast, the windings coil 17, the compressor 18, the rubber inflatable shape and 12, double fibre reinforced fabric tape 19 and 11, the extendable temporary barrier 9 the rear vehicle 4, the ballast and the crash cushion 8. Referring to figure 3, there is illustrated the fiction plate 5, -fiction material 6 and the steel needles 7. Referring to figure 6, there is illustrated in the lead vehicle 2, the ballast, the windings coil 17 the compressor 18, the windings coil, the rubber inflatable shape 12, the working area, the double fibre reinforced fabric tape 19 and 1 1, the extendable temporary barrier nine, the rear vehicle for, the ballast and crash cushion 8. Referring to figure 10, there is illustrated the adjustable sliding device, the windings coil 17, the air compressor 18 for the rubber inflatable shape 12, the rubber inflatable shape 12, the windings coil, the inflated barrier, fibre reinforced fabric tape 19 and 11, the support net 10 and diaphragm. Referring to figure 13, there is illustrated fibre reinforced fabric tape 19 and 11 , the support net 10 and the fibre reinforced rubber inflatable shape 12. Referring to figure 14, there is illustrated the rubber inflatable shape 12 and the high friction material 13. The high friction material or high friction device may be activated upon impact by a vehicle.

Referring to figure 15, there is illustrated the positioning of the rear vehicle 4 and hooking of the extendable barrier 3. Referring to figure 16, the lead vehicle 2 is moved along the working area into a position in which it is rested at the end of the working area, for example after travelling 50m, as shown in figure 17. The working area can then be advanced by moving the rear vehicle 4 to a new position as shown in figure 18. It will be appreciated that the Fort 13 of the barrier 9 may be of any suitable slip resistant material. For example, the foot 13 may comprise an upper layer of neoprene rubber and a lower layer of neoprene rubber foam, as shown in figures 19 and 20.

It will be appreciated that the base 12 of the barrier 9 may be of any suitable shape. For example, when inflated, the base 12 may have an elongate oblong shape in cross-section, as shown in figures 21 and 22. In this case, the longitudinal axis of the oblong shape is arranged substantially parallel to the ground. For example, when inflated, the base 12 may have a semi-circular shape in cross-section, as shown in figures 23 and 24. In this case, the flat side of the semicircle is arranged substantially parallel to the ground.

Referring to Figure 25 to 28, a preferred embodiment of a barrier 103 is shown as an elongate barrier extending along a predetermined length of ground (or water). The barrier 103 comprises a base 1 12 having a foot 1 13, for engagement with the ground. The base 112 has a barrier wall 116, an expandable chamber 1 14 and means for retaining the expandable chamber in the form of a plurality of retainer members 1 15. However, it will be appreciated that the means for retaining the expandable chamber may alternatively be a single retaining wall extending at least substantially along the entire length of the barrier. The barrier 103 also has a screen 1 10 which extends along the length of the barrier 103 to provide protection in the cordoned area. The screen 1 10 may be integrally formed with the barrier 103 or may be detachably attachable to an upwardly extending peripheral attachment portion 121 of the barrier wall 1 16. The screen 1 10 may have high visibility portions and/or safety lighting extending along its length. Additionally, or alternatively, the screen 110 may have regions for posting information or advertising.

The foot 1 13 and the barrier wall 1 16 are made from a reinforced rubber facing material. The retainer members 1 15 are made from a material capable of flexing to form around the expanded chamber 1 14 when it is in an expanded state.

The expandable chamber 1 14 is operable to receive a fluid and to thereby expand. The preferred fluid is air, although it will be appreciated that other gases and liquids maybe equally applicable.

Referring particularly to Figure 26, in a storable configuration the expandable chamber 114 is substantially empty of fluid and the screen 110, the foot 113, the expandable chamber 1 14 (in a collapsed sate), and the retainer members 1 15 are configured into an arrangement in which they are in a substantially parallel relationship relative to each other.

In the storable configuration (as shown in Figure 26), the barrier 103 is stored on a reel 1 17, wherein the reel 1 17 is carried by a vehicle 102, as shown in Figure 28.

Figures 27a and 27b show different views of the barrier 103 in a deployed operational configuration in which it provides an operational barrier.

In use, the barrier 103, according to this preferred embodiment, is deployed in a similar manner to the previously described barrier embodiments. Referring to Figure 28, the barrier 103 is stored, in its storable configuration, on a reel 1 17 which is carried by a vehicle 102. As previously described with reference to the deployment of the other embodiments of the barrier, a short length of the barrier 103 is unrolled from the reel 1 17, off the back of the vehicle 2, and the end is attached to anchoring means, which may be at the front of a second vehicle positioned behind the first vehicle. The first vehicle 2 is then driven slowly forwards whereby the stored barrier 103 is rolled off the reel 117 and led onto the ground immediately behind the first vehicle 102, with the foot 1 13 positioned flat on the ground. As the barrier 103 is unrolled off the reel 1 17, a compressor 1 18, carried by the vehicle 102, introduces air into the expandable chamber 1 14 of the barrier 103, thereby causing the barrier wall 116 to rotate into an inclined position relative to the floor 113. The angle between the floor 1 13 and the barrier wall 1 16 is between the range of 20° and 40° and more preferably 30°. Also, as the expandable chamber 1 14 expands it is held between portions of the floor 113 and the barrier wall 1 16 by the plurality of retainer members 1 15, such that the integrity of the shape and structure of the barrier 103 is maintained.

Once the barrier has been deployed between the vehicles it can be moved in the same manner as previously described previously with respect to other barrier embodiments. The barrier system also comprises means for monitoring the barrier and determining an impact upon the barrier, and also means to reduce a tensile force applied to the barrier, responsive to an impact upon the barrier, as has previously been described with respect to other embodiments of the barrier.

The present invention is not limited to the embodiments hereinbefore described, with reference to the company and drawings, which may be varied in construction in detail. Also, it will be appreciated that although the present invention has been described in relation to providing a barrier at a roadside, the barrier of the present invention may be applied to other uses such as, for example, providing a barrier on the surface of water such as on the sea, on a river or on the lake.