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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CABLE GUARDRAIL SYSTEM AND HANGER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/100365
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A hanger for a cable guardrail system is disclosed including a first portion with first and second seats on opposite sides of a post each seat capable of supporting a cable, and a second portion capable of engaging the end of the post. Also disclosed is a cable guardrail system including a plurality of posts, a plurality of hangers attached to at least a portion of the plurality of posts, and at least two cables supported by the seats on opposite sides of the post. The cable guardrail system may redirect an impacting vehicle and dissipate a portion of the impacting vehicle's energy.

Inventors:
MAUER FREDERICK (US)
JAMES DALLAS (NZ)
CONWAY STEVEN J (US)
Application Number:
US2009/033442
Publication Date:
August 13, 2009
Filing Date:
February 06, 2009
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NUCOR CORP (US)
MAUER FREDERICK (US)
JAMES DALLAS (NZ)
CONWAY STEVEN J (US)
International Classes:
E01F15/06; F16B2/02
Foreign References:
KR200228230Y12001-06-15
KR200305609Y12003-02-26
JPH08134861A1996-05-28
US6948703B22005-09-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NABORS, William S. et al. (LLPOne GOJO Plaza, Suite 30, Akron Ohio, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hanger for a cable guardrail system capable of supporting at least two cables traverse a post, the hanger comprising: a first portion having at least two seats each capable of supporting a cable, with first and second seats on opposite sides of a post, and a second portion capable of engaging the end of the post.

2. The hanger of claim 1 , where the first seat is positioned closer to the end of the post than the second seat.

3. The hanger of claim 1, where the seats at least partially encircle the supported cable.

4. The hanger of claim 1 , where the first seat is laterally offset from the post.

5. The hanger of claim 1 comprising a third seat on one side of the post in addition to the first and second seats.

6. The hanger of claim 5 comprising a fourth seat opposite the third seat.

7. The hanger of claim 1 , the second portion comprising a friction enhancing surface.

8. The hanger of claim 1, the second portion comprising opposing sides connected by an arcuate end.

9. The hanger of claim 8, at least one of the opposing sides tapering toward the other.

10. A cable guardrail system comprising: a plurality of posts capable of supporting at least two cables traverse the posts; a plurality of hangers attached to at least a portion of the plurality of posts, each hanger comprising: a first portion having at least two seats each capable of supporting a cable, with first and second seats on opposite sides of a post, and a second portion capable of engaging the end of a post; and

at least two cables supported by the first and second seats on opposite sides of the posts.

11. The cable guardrail system of claim 10 further comprising: a clip attached to each post engaging the hanger.

12. The cable guardrail system of claim 10 further comprising: at least one hook-bolt affixed to at least a portion of the plurality of posts capable of supporting at least one cable.

13. The cable guardrail system of claim 10 comprising two hook-bolts, where a first hook-bolt is capable of supporting a middle cable, and a second hook-bolt is capable of supporting a lower cable.

14. The cable guardrail system of claim 13 where the middle cable and lower cable are on opposite sides of the posts.

15. The cable guardrail system of claim 10 the plurality of posts comprising plain-carbon steel.

16. The cable guardrail system of claim 10 the plurality of posts having a U-channel cross-section.

17. The cable guardrail system of claim 10. where the hanger first seat is positioned closer to the end of the post than the hanger second seat.

18. The cable guardrail system of claim 10, where the hanger seats at least partially encircle the supported cable.

19. The cable guardrail system of claim 10, where the hanger first seat is laterally offset from the post.

20. The cable guardrail system of claim 10, the hanger comprising a third seat on one side of the post in addition to the first and second seats.

Description:

CABLE GUARDRAIL SYSTEM AND HANGER

CROSS-REFERENCE AND RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority to United States provisional patent application serial number 61/027,314, filed on February 8, 2008, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present invention is related to roadway barriers and safety systems, and more particularly, to cable guardrail systems.

[0002] Along many roadways it may be hazardous for a vehicle to leave the roadway. As a result, safety barriers, including guardrail systems, are used along roadways. The guardrail systems may act to contain and redirect an errant vehicle along such roadways. Such guardrail systems may dissipate some of the vehicle's energy. One such guardrail system is a cable guardrail system. Cable guardrail systems may reduce the damage caused to impacting vehicles and the injury to vehicle passengers. Compared with W-beam and thrie beam guardrail systems, cable guardrail systems are often more aesthetically appealing and may increase motorist sight distance. Cable guardrail systems also may reduce snow accumulation on adjacent highways and roadways.

[0003] A cable guardrail system in the past may have included a plurality of cables secured to a plurality of support posts. Various types of cables and wire ropes have been satisfactorily used for cable guardrail systems. Support posts have been made of wood, metal, or a combination of both. Additionally, cable guardrail systems have included cable anchors that fixed the end of the cables to the ground to maintain tension in the cables. Various types of anchor systems have been used including releasable anchors as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,065,738 to Pearce.

[0004] The number of cables in prior cable guardrail systems has varied depending on factors such as the types of vehicles using the roadway and the types of hazards requiring the guardrail system. Cables have been attached to support posts using various attachment mechanisms. Some attachment mechanisms, such as hook-bolts, were used to attach a single cable to a support post. Another prior attachment mechanism attached three cables to one side of a support post as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,398,960 and 7,364,137 to Neusch. Other cable guardrail systems positioned cables on opposite sides of the support posts in order to protect against impact from either side such as might occur when the system was installed in a

highway median.

[0005] The stale of the art in cable guardrail systems has been documented and applied through specifications used by the industry. The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration provides "Standard Specifications for Construction of Roads and Bridges on Federal Highway Projects," including a section for cable guardrail systems and attachment mechanisms. Industry groups such as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America, and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) have developed "A Guide to Standardized Highway Barrier Hardware" that included specifications for cable guardrails and posts. These specifications teach a cable guardrail system having a cable attached by hook-bolts and nuts to one side of a flanged-channel post. Additionally, agencies in both the United States and Europe have established guidelines for impact testing of safety barrier systems.

[0006J Prior cable guardrail systems had several drawbacks. Some cable attachments were difficult or costly to manufacture and install. Installation of cable guardrail systems exposes installation personnel to risks associated with working on or near active highways and roadways. Cable guardrail systems have been developed that reduce installation time thereby reducing the risk faced by installation personnel. There continues to be a need, however, for cable guardrail systems that reduce installation time and cost, and reduce risk to personnel.

[0007] A hanger for a cable guardrail system capable of supporting at least two cables traverse a post is presently disclosed to dissipate a portion of an impacting vehicle's energy and enable an impacting vehicle to be redirected by the system. The cable guardrail system may be installed adjacent a roadway, such as along median strips, roadway shoulders, or any other path that is likely to encounter vehicular traffic.

[0008] The disclosed hanger comprises a first portion having first and second seats each capable of supporting a cable, with the first and second seats on opposite sides of a post, and a second portion capable of engaging the end of the post.

[0009] Additionally, the disclosed cable guardrail system may comprise a plurality of posts capable of supporting at least two cables traverse the posts, a plurality of hangers attached to at least a portion of the plurality of posts, and at least two cables supported by the first and second seats on opposite sides of the posts.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] Presently contemplated embodiments of the present guardrail system are described below by reference to the following figures:

[0011] FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a cable guardrail system;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a side view of a hanger for a cable guardrail system;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternative hanger;

[0014] FIG. 4 is a side view of a second portion of an alternative hanger;

[0015] FIG. 5 is a side view of a second portion of a second alternative hanger;

[0016] FIG. 6 is a side view of a third alternative hanger;

[0017] FIG. 7 is a side view of a fourth alternative hanger;

[0018] FIG. 8 is a side view of a fifth alternative hanger;

[0019] FIG. 9. is a side view of a sixth alternative hanger;

[0020] FIG. 10 is a cross-section view of a cable;

[0021 [ FIG. 11 is a side view of a hook-bolt cable attachment;

[0022] FIG, 12 is a side view of a post;

[0023] FIG. 13 is a cross-section view of a post;

[0024] FIG. 14 is a side view of a clip; and

[0025] FIG. 15 is a side elevation view of an alternative cable guardrail system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0026] Referring generally to FIGS. 1 through 15, a hanger 20 is disclosed for a cable guardrail system 10 operable to dissipate a portion of an impacting vehicle's energy and redirect the vehicle. The cable guardrail system 10 may be installed adjacent a roadway along median strips, roadway shoulders, or at other locations likely to encounter vehicular traffic. As shown in FIG. 1 , the cable guardrail system 10 may comprise a plurality of posts 30, a plurality of hangers 20 attached to at least a portion of the plurality of posts 30, and at least two cables 11 on opposite sides of the posts. As shown in FIG. 2, each hanger 20 may have a first portion 21 having first and second seats 22 each capable of supporting a cable. Each hanger may also have a second portion 25 capable of engaging the end 31 of the post. [0027] When the cable guardrail system 10 is installed along the side of a roadway, the system is capable of dissipating a portion of an impacting vehicle's energy and redirecting the impacting vehicle along the general direction of the roadway. As the vehicle impacts the cable guardrail system 10, the cables 11 and support posts 30 may deflect from the installed position. The deflection of the cables 11 and the support posts 30 may dissipate a portion of

the vehicle's impact energy. Additionally, forces from the vehicle impacting against the cables may cause the hanger 20 to move relative to the support post 30. As a result, the cables 11 may maintain contact with the impacting vehicle dampening yaw, pitch, and roll of the impacting vehicle.

[0028] The cables 11 may be a 3x7 wire rope, as shown in FIG. 10. The wire rope may consist of three cords each consisting of seven strands wound together to form the cable. The diameter of each strand may be approximately three millimeters, and the diameter of the cable may be approximately nineteen millimeters. Alternately, other types of cable designs may be used. The cable 1 1 may also be pre-stressed.

[0029] The hanger 20 shown in FIG. 2 has the first portion 21 and the second portion 25. The first portion has first and second seats 22 each capable of supporting a cable adjacent a post 30. When installed on the post 30 the first and second seats are provided on opposite sides of the post 30 capable of engaging cables. As shown in FIG. 2, the seats 22 may be formed as a rounded loop. Alternatively, the seats 22 may be formed as hooks, rings, or other appropriate shapes capable of supporting a cable. The seats 22 may fully or partially encircle the cable 11. The seats 22 may also comprise features to secure the cable to the seat such as a latch, clasp, or similar mechanism. As shown in FIG. 2, the first portion may include a lead- in 23 having a shape for receiving the cable 11. The lead-in 23 may include a friction area 24 providing resistance to the cable 11 backing out of the seat 22.

[0030] The seats 22 may be formed in multiple ways. The seats 22 may be formed as an integral part of the first portion 21. Alternatively, the seats 22 may be formed as separate pieces and attached to the first portion 21, such as, but not limited to, by welding, crimping, fastening, interlocking, or another suitable attachment technique.

[0031] The second portion 25 of the hanger is capable of engaging the end of the post 30. The second portion 25 may be generally U-shaped as shown in FIG. 2, so that the second portion 25 may slideably engage the end of the post 30 in a top-down installation. The U- shaped second portion 25 may have opposing sides 26, connected by an arcuate end. Other forms of the second portion 25 are also contemplated. For example, the second portion 25 may have straight or tapered sides 26 that are substantially parallel or angular. The sides 26 may taper toward each other such that the sides provide a clamping force on the end of the post. In another example, the second portion 25 may be shaped such that one side is substantially straight while the other side is bent, curved, or angular such as shown in FIG. 5. Various configurations of the second portion 25 are contemplated to adapt to various post configurations such as U-channel, I-beam, box, and other post geometries. Additionally, the

length of the sides 26 may be selected to position the cables at the proper height relative to the top of the post 30. The second portion 25 may include friction enhancing surface characteristics in at least a portion of the area contacting the post 30 such as shown in FIG. 4. Such surface characteristics may also enhance the system's ability to dissipate energy and redirect an impacting vehicle. The friction enhancing surface characteristics may include virtually all types of surface patterns, such as but not limited to a grit blast texture, scored surface, serrated surface, grit-carrying coating, or other friction enhancing surface or coating. [0032] The first portion 21 and the second portion 25 may be formed together out of one piece of material, such as shown in FIG. 2. Alternately, the first portion 21 and the second portion 25 may be separate pieces joined together, such as, but not limited to, by welding, crimping, fastening, interlocking, or other techniques. As separate pieces, the first portion 21 and second portion 25 may be of different materials as desired.

[0033] The hanger 20 may be formed from steel, in the form of sheet, bar stock, tube stock, or wire stock. Alternatively, the hanger 20 may be formed from other metal or non- metal materials of suitable strength. The hanger may be formed from steel of spring and/or other suitable specifications. Additionally, the hanger 20 may have a coating to provide durability and protection against rusting in addition to engagement enhancement. The hanger 20 may be hot-dip coated with zinc, aluminum, zinc-aluminum alloy or other coating to provide protection against the elements. Alternately, the hanger 20 may be coated with a polymer or other paint coating for a protection against the environment. [0034] Other hanger configurations are also contemplated. As shown in FIG. 6, the seats 22 may be positioned such that the first seat is closer to the end of the post 30 than the second seat. In this configuration, the sides 26 of the second portion 25 may be of different lengths. This configuration may allow the cables to be positioned at different heights relative to the ground. Alternatively, if the cable guardrail system 10 is installed on sloped ground the hanger of FIG. 6 may permit the cables 11 on opposite sides of the post 30 to remain at approximately the same height relative to the ground. Another hanger is shown in FIG. 7 in which the first seat is laterally offset from the post 30. This configuration may be useful to provide greater separation between the post and the cables.

[0035] A further alternative hanger is depicted in FIG. 8 which shows a hanger 20 with a third seat in addition to the first and second seats. This configuration permits one cable 11 to be supported on one side of the post 30, while two cables 11 are supported on the opposite side of the post. This hanger 20 may be useful when the cable guardrail system 10 is installed between hazards of different size or height, or when greater protection is required on

one side of the guardrail system. Additionally, this configuration may permit cables to be placed at an appropriate height relative to the ground when the guardrail system is installed on sloped ground. A further alternative hanger is depicted in FIG. 9 which shows a hanger 20 with a fourth seat on positioned on the opposite side of the post from the third seat. Combinations and alterations of the above hanger configurations are also contemplated that may allow a hanger 20 to be adapted to various posts and installation environments. [0036] During installation or maintenance of a cable guardrail system 10, the second portion 25 of the hanger 20 may slideably engage the end of the post 30 in a top-down installation. A first cable and a second cable may then be attached to the hanger 20 on opposite sides of the post. Such an installation may be faster and more efficient than installation of prior cable attachment mechanisms. Faster installations are less costly and reduce the time that installation personnel are exposed to the hazards associated with working alongside roadways. Further, maintenance of a cable guardrail system 10 may be improved because the hanger 20 may be removed and reattached.

[0037] Alternatively, a hanger 20 may be attached to a first cable and a second cable, then attached to a post 30. The second portion 25 of the hanger 20 may then slideably engage the end of the post 30 in a top-down installation. By first attaching the hanger to the cables, the cables may assist in installing the hanger 20 over the end of the post. [0038] As shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, a clip 50 may be slideably attached to the post 30. The clip 50 may assist in securing the hanger 20 to the post 30 during installation. The clip 50 may also assist in preventing the hanger 20 from separating from the post 30 after installation, during maintenance, or during a vehicle impact.

[0039] The clip 50 may be formed from steel, in the form of sheet, bar stock, tube stock, or wire stock. Alternatively, the clip 50 may be formed from other metal or non-metal materials of suitable strength. The clip may be formed from steel of spring and/or other suitable specifications. Additionally, the clip 50 may have a coating to provide durability and protection against rusting and other environment conditions. The clip 50 may be hot-dip coated with zinc, aluminum, zinc-aluminum alloy or other coating to provide protection against the elements. Alternately, the clip 50 may be coated with a polymer or other paint coating.

[0040] As shown in FlG. 15, the clip 50 may be installed over the end of the post 30 after the hanger 20 has been installed. The clip 50 may contact the one side 26 of the second portion 25 of the hanger 20. The clip 50 may also contact the other side 26 of the second portion 25, or alternatively, the clip may also contact the post 30. In one example, the clip 50

may contact both the dextral flange 33 and sinistral flange 34 of a U-channel post. [0041] The cable guardrail system 10, as shown in FIG. 1, is operable to dissipate a portion of the energy of an impacting vehicle and redirect the vehicle along the direction of the roadway. A cable guardrail system 10 may comprise a plurality of posts 30, a plurality of hangers 20 attached to at least a portion of the plurality of posts 30, and at least two cables 11 positioned on opposite sides of the posts. Additionally, a cable guardrail system 10 may comprise more than two cables 11. Additional cables 11 may be supported by seats in a hanger 20 such as that illustrated in FIG. 8. Alternatively, additionally cables 1 1 may be supported by another cable attachment mechanism such as a hook-bolt 40 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 11. One embodiment may include a first hook-bolt capable of supporting a middle cable and a second hook-bolt capable of supporting a lower cable, and alternative embodiments may include some posts where all cables are supported by hook-bolts or other attachment mechanisms. The middle and lower cables may be on the same side or on opposite sides of the post 30 depending upon the hazards requiring installation of the cable guardrail system 10.

[0042] When an errant vehicle impacts the cable guardrail system 10, the post 30 and cables 1 1 at the point of impact may deflect from the installed position. As the defection increases, the hanger 20 may release from the post 30 so that the cables 11 may remain in substantial contact with the errant vehicle. Friction enhancing surfaces on the second portion 25 of the hanger 20 or on the post 30 may increase the energy dissipated as the hanger 20 separates from the post 30. As the cables 11 release from the posts 30, the overall deflection may increase. The spacing of posts 30 and cable anchors (not shown) may be adjusted to maintain the desired deflection of the cable guardrail system 10 during a vehicle impact. [0043] As shown in FIG. 12, the post 30 may be generally defined as a U-channel post having a central web 32 and formed with a dextral flange 33 and a sinistral flange 34 such that the post 30 has a flanged, generally U-shaped cross-section. The post 30 may be of a design similar to the U-channel metal posts currently offered by Nucor Marion Steel under the RIB-BAKĀ® trademark. For example, the U-channel post may be about 2 inches (about 51 millimeters) deep and about 3/4 inches (about 89 millimeters) wide. The weight of the U- channel post may be about 5 pounds per foot (about 7.44 kilograms per meter). Although the post 30 may be shown as having a U-shaped cross-section, other configurations may be used as desired for a particular installation.

[0044] The support post 30 may be constructed of plain carbon steel having carbon content between about 0.4% and 1.0% by weight. Alternately, the plain carbon steel of the

support post 30 may have carbon content in a range between about 0.69% and 0.75% by weight. The support post material may have yield strength between about 60,000 lbs/in 2 and about 100,000 lbs/in , and a tensile strength greater than about 80,000 lbs/in . Alternately, the support post 30 may have a yield strength greater than about 60,000 lbs/in 2 and a tensile strength greater than about 90,000 lbs/in 2 . The yield strength may allow the support post 30 to provide sufficient support to resist the vehicle impact forces associated with an impact, and may then fracture to allow more energy to be absorbed.

[0045] The support post 30 may have a weight between about 2 and 7 pounds per foot of post length (between about 2.9 and 10.4 kilograms per meter). Alternatively, the weight of the support post 30 may be about 5 pounds per foot of post length (about 7.4 kilograms per meter). Prior steel support posts typically featured a weight of 8 pounds per foot of post length (about 11.9 kilograms per meter) or greater. Although these heavier support posts may be used, the support post 30 of the present disclosure may reduce the weight of the support posts and the accompanying cost of the posts.

[0046] By way of example, and not limitation, the support post 30 may be formed from U.S. new-billet steel, rail steel, or other types of steel alloys or other materials with the desired strength for the cable guardrail system 10. Further, the support post 30 may have a coating of polyester to provide durability and protection against rusting. Alternatively, the support post 30 may be hot-dip coated with zinc, aluminum, chromate, zinc-aluminum alloy or other coating to provide protection against the elements.

[0047] Installation of the support posts 30 may be completed using various techniques which are well known in the art. The particular technique used may depend upon the type of soil conditions and other factors associated with the roadway, and the type of road and other hazards involved in installation of the cable guardrail system 10. The support posts 30 may be installed with or without the use of metal foundation tubes or a concrete foundation. [0048] While the invention has been described with detailed reference to one or more embodiments, the disclosure is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive. Modifications and alterations will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading and understanding of this specification. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations in so far as they come within the scope of the claims, or the equivalents thereof.