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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CRASH BARRIER BEAM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/062196
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A crash barrier beam (10) suitable for temporary placement on a road comprises a housing (18) which, in profile, has a laterally extending base (12) for contact with the road. The beam has a narrower central element (14) upwardly extending from the base that terminates in a top portion (16). The exterior of the housing provides a continuous impact surface to an oncoming vehicle and the profile provides stability to the beam on impact. The crash barrier beam (10) has a length defined by a first end (24) and a second end (26, 28). At least one of the first and second ends comprises formations (32, 34) for engagement with corresponding formations (38, 40) on an end of an adjacent beam (10') so as to facilitate joining of the beams to one another. The formations are configured for the beams to be substantially self-aligning with respect to each other.

Inventors:
RIDDELL, Mark (4 Foxhill Court, Crowthorne RoadBracknell, Berkshire RG12 7DH, GB)
WALL, Leslie, J. (16 Naseby, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 7HD, GB)
WILKINSON, Peter, J. (8 Shadymoor Drive, AmblecoteBrierley Hill, West Midlands DY5 3YF, GB)
ADDY, John, L. (Beild Cottage, 13 Royal TerraceLinlithgow, West Lothian EH49 6HQ, GB)
REYNOLDS, Mark, G. (98 Huntington Terrace Road, ChadsmoreCannock, Staffs WS11 5HB, GB)
Application Number:
GB2007/004464
Publication Date:
May 29, 2008
Filing Date:
November 21, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HILL & SMITH HOLDINGS PLC (Springvale Business and Industrial Park, Bilston WV14 0QL, GB)
RIDDELL, Mark (4 Foxhill Court, Crowthorne RoadBracknell, Berkshire RG12 7DH, GB)
WALL, Leslie, J. (16 Naseby, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 7HD, GB)
WILKINSON, Peter, J. (8 Shadymoor Drive, AmblecoteBrierley Hill, West Midlands DY5 3YF, GB)
ADDY, John, L. (Beild Cottage, 13 Royal TerraceLinlithgow, West Lothian EH49 6HQ, GB)
REYNOLDS, Mark, G. (98 Huntington Terrace Road, ChadsmoreCannock, Staffs WS11 5HB, GB)
International Classes:
E01F15/08
Foreign References:
EP0462307A11991-12-27
EP1001090A22000-05-17
EP1693519A12006-08-23
EP1418274A12004-05-12
FR2745596A11997-09-05
EP1063357A12000-12-27
EP0462307A11991-12-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHNSON, Carrie-Anne (Marks & Clerk, Alpha TowerSuffolk Street Queensway, Birmingham B1 1TT, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A crash barrier beam suitable for temporary placement on a road, the beam comprising a housing which in profile has a laterally extending base for contact with the road and a narrower central element upwardly extending therefrom to terminate in a top portion, wherein the exterior of the housing provides a continuous impact surface to an oncoming vehicle and the profile provides stability to the beam on impact.

2. The beam of claim 1, wherein the impact surface between the base and top portion is substantially planar in profile with a deflection along the length of the beam for providing stiffness to the housing.

3. The beam of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the top portion extends laterally away from the beam relative to the central element adjacent thereto to form a step running along the length of the beam.

4. The beam of claim 3, wherein the gradient of the impact surface is such that an impacting vehicle wheel is restrained in a vertical direction by said step.

5. The beam of claim 1, wherein the top portion is substantially rectangular in profile.

6. The beam of any preceding claim, wherein the housing is hollow.

7. The beam of claim 6, further comprising one or more strengthening webs, linkages or bars spanning the internal space between opposite sides of the central element of the housing.

8. The beam of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the profile is formed from opposing mirror image sheets of metal, secured together at the top portion of the housing.

9. The beam of any preceding claim, wherein said laterally outwardly extending

base portion terminates in an inwardly extending return portion for supporting the beam on the road, a cavity being defined between the outwardly extending base portion and said return portion.

10. The beam of any preceding claim, further comprising one or more feet provided on the underside thereof for placement on a road surface.

1 1. The beam of claim 10, further comprising one or more rubber feet are bonded to the underside of the one or more feet.

12. The beam of claim 1 1 , wherein the one or more rubber feet substantially extend across the width of the base of the beam.

13. The beam of claim 12, wherein said feet and/or said rubber feet comprise one or more openings for enabling said beam to be fixed to a road surface.

14. The beam of claim 13, wherein said one or more openings are elongate along the direction of the length of said road, so as to allow for expansion/contraction of said road due to changes in temperature.

15. The beam of any of claims 1 1 to claim 14, wherein said rubber feet comprise one or more recesses or indentations for facilitating even contact with the road surface.

16. The beam of any of claims 10 to 15, wherein the base of said beam and/or said one or more feet comprise drainage channels that enable water to pass from one side of the beam to the other.

17. The beam of any of claims 10 to 16, wherein said one or more feet comprise an aperture for use with lifting equipment, whereby said beam can be lifted via said aperture.

18. The beam of any preceding claim, wherein the beam is provided with a plurality of lifting means enabling lifting of the beam and said lifting means are

configured to enable lifting of the beam into position from any orientation of the beam.

19. The beam of claim 18, wherein the lifting means are located on or within the top portion and/or base portion of the beam.

20. The beam of any preceding claim, having a length defined by a first end and a second end, at least one of the first and second ends comprising formations for engagement with corresponding formations on an end of an adjacent beam so as to facilitate joining of the beams to one another, the formations being configured for the beams to be substantially self-aligning with respect to each other.

21. The beam of claim 20, wherein said first end thereof is provided with one or more male connectors engageable within respective one or more female connectors provided on a second end of another beam.

22. The beam of claim 21 , wherein the one or more male connectors and respective one or more female connectors are provided along substantially the full height of the beam to reduce the risk of adjacent beams becoming separated on impact by an errant vehicle.

23. The beam of claim 21 or claim 22, further comprising one or more male connectors provided at the base of said first end of said beam, said male connectors being engageable within one or more female connectors provided at the base of a second end of an adjacent beam.

24. The beam of any of claims 21 to 23, wherein any or all of said male connectors comprise a j -shaped connector engageable within a corresponding j- shaped female connector.

25. The beam of any of claims 21 to 24, wherein said male and female connectors are of substantially the same configuration and mounted in a mirror-image fashion on their respective beam ends with respect to each other, so as to be engageable within each other.

26. The beam of any of claims 21 to 25, wherein the female connector protrudes from the end of the housing of the first end of the beam and the male connector is housed substantially within the second end of the beam.

27. The beam of any of claims 21 to 26, wherein the ends of the beam are configured such that the exterior surfaces of adjacent beams are flush with respect to each other on attachment.

28. The beam of any of claims 21 to 27, wherein each of the female and male connectors are mounted on jointing assemblies secured at the first and/or second ends of the beam.

29. The beam of claim 28, wherein the jointing assemblies for each of the male and female connectors are substantially identical.

30. The beam of claim 28 or 29, wherein said jointing assemblies are substantially flat and comprise a central plate spanning the space between the walls of the housing and a toe sized to fit within said cavity.

31. The beam of any of claims 20 to 30, wherein said first end of said beam is provided with one or more male connectors engageable within respective one or more female connectors provided on an end of another beam and said second end of said beam is provided with a jointing assembly securable to a like jointing assembly provided on another beam.

32. The beam of any of claims 20 to 30, wherein said first end of said beam is provided with one or more female connectors engageable within respective one or more male connectors provided on an end of another beam and said second end of said beam is provided with a jointing assembly securable to a like jointing assembly provided on another beam.

33. The beam of any of claims 1-19, each end of which is provided with ajointing assembly securable to a like jointing assembly provided on another beam.

34. The beam of any of claims 31 to 33, wherein said jointing assemblies are substantially flat and comprise a central plate spanning the space between the walls of the housing and a toe sized to fit within said cavity.

35. The beam of claim 30 or claim 34, wherein said plate and said toe are integrally formed or fixed together.

36. The beam of claim 30, 34 or 35, wherein portions of said plates are cut away, to facilitate energy absorption by the beam in the event of any impact.

37. A barrier section comprising a first beam according to claim 31 , a second beam according to claim 32 and one or more third beams according to claim 33, provided therebetween, said third beams being securable together via respective jointing assemblies, and each free end of said group of joined third beams being securable with jointing assemblies to jointing members of said first and second beams.

38. A barrier comprising a plurality of barrier sections according to claim 37, the one or more male connectors of a first beam being engageable with said one or more female connectors of a second beam.

39. The barrier section of claim 37 or the barrier of claim 38, wherein one or more gussets are provided where two beams are connected at their respective jointing assemblies, said gussets providing a flow path for distributing force from an impact up and/or down the length of the barrier in the event of an impact thereon.

40. The beam of claim 31 or claim 32, the barrier section of claim 37 or the barrier of claim 38, further comprising a locking unit for securing two adjacent beams together.

41. The beam, barrier section or barrier of claim 40, wherein said locking unit is slidable between the housings of adjacent beams,

42. The beam, barrier section or barrier of claim 41, wherein said beams are secured together when said locking unit bridges the junction between adjacent beams.

43. The beam, barrier section or barrier of any of claims 40 to 42, wherein said locking unit is initially completely housed within the housing of one beam without protruding beyond the edge of the housing.

Description:

CRASH BARRIER BEAM

The present invention relates to a crash barrier beam and, in particular but not exclusively, to interlocking crash barrier beams suitable for use as a temporary road barrier.

Crash barriers are provided along the centre or verge of vehicle carriageways for restraining impacting vehicles along their length, by absorbing energy from the collision. Whilst permanent crash barriers are provided on motorways, for example, it may be desirable in some situations, perhaps during road works, to provide temporary crash barriers to section off a part of a road or a hazard in the road.

Permanently deployed crash barriers are designed to withstand collisions and restrain errant vehicles, some of the impact energy being absorbed by the supporting posts, which are set into the ground. This is harder to achieve with temporary crash barriers, as it is sometimes desirable to deploy these without securing them to the bed of the road by pins or the like. There is also a need to balance barrier strength and stability with ease of assembly on site and the desire to keep costs of manufacture and assembly down. There is therefore a need to provide an improved road crash barrier which can be temporarily deployed. The present invention has been devised with the foregoing in mind.

A known temporary road barrier shown in Figure 0 comprises a base 100 that rests on a road surface, the base having spaced apart posts 102 extending vertically therefrom to a top rail 104. For vehicles such as pick-up trucks, which are built on chasses, the chassis rails of a pick-up truck may engage with the vertical posts of the known barrier on impact, causing unwanted deflection of the barrier. These known barriers are also expensive to manufacture and difficult to deploy.

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a crash barrier beam suitable for temporary placement on a road, the beam comprising a housing which in profile has a laterally extending base for contact with the road and a narrower central element upwardly extending therefrom to terminate in a top portion, wherein the exterior of the housing provides a continuous impact surface to an

oncoming vehicle and the profile provides stability to the beam on impact.

It is an advantage that the profile of the crash barrier beam - i.e. a narrow central element and a wider base - provides stability to the beam since the beam has a low centre of gravity and a vehicle wheel riding up onto the base will assist in stabilising the beam against deflection thereof. Furthermore, the profile allows the beam to be deployed closer to traffic than known prior art barriers. The continuous impact surface is particularly adapted for restraining and redirecting impacting vehicles such as pick-up trucks, whose chassis rails could otherwise engage with posts of known barriers.

Preferably, the impact surface between the base and top portion is substantially planar in profile with a deflection along the length of the beam for providing stiffness to the housing. More preferably the top portion extends laterally away from the beam relative to the central element adjacent thereto to form a step running along the length of the beam. The gradient of the impact surface may be such that an impacting vehicle wheel is restrained in a vertical direction by said step.

The overall profile advantageously assists in redirecting vehicle wheels back onto the carriageway and reduces the chance of vehicles lifting on impact with the barrier (compared with known barriers).

In an embodiment, the top portion is substantially rectangular in profile. Preferably, the housing is hollow.

One or more strengthening webs, linkages or bars may span the internal space between opposite sides of the central element of the housing. The webs may be shaped to fit the internal profile of the central element of the housing, with parts cut away to keep the weight of the webs down and enable the barrier to crumple to absorb energy in the event of an impact. Alternatively, one or more solid profile stiffening webs may be provided, shaped to fit the internal profile of the central element of the housing.

In a preferred embodiment, the profile is formed from opposing mirror image sheets

of metal, secured together at the top portion of the housing. It is an advantage that the profile is continuous, and formed from a single sheet of metal, thus facilitating manufacture and minimising weaknesses in the construction. The opposing sheets of metal or steel may be joined (preferably by welding) so as to provide a flush surface on top of the top portion of the housing. Forming the body of the beam in this way advantageously keeps the manufacture simple and the cost thereof to a minimum.

The laterally outwardly extending base portion may terminate in an inwardly extending return portion for supporting the beam on the road, defining a cavity between the outwardly extending base portion and the return portion.

The beam may further comprise one or more feet provided on the underside thereof for placement on a road surface. Preferably, one or more rubber feet are bonded to the underside of the one or more feet. Conveniently, the one or more rubber feet substantially extend across the width of the base of the beam. In an embodiment, the feet and/or the rubber feet comprise one or more openings for enabling the beam to be fixed to a road surface. Preferably, the one or more openings are elongate along the direction of the length of said road, so as to allow for expansion/contraction of the road due to changes in temperature. The rubber feet may comprise one or more recesses or indentations for facilitating even contact with the road surface. The base of the beam and/or the one or more feet comprise drainage channels that enable water to pass from one side of the beam to the other. The one or more feet may comprise an aperture for use with lifting equipment, whereby said beam can be lifted via said aperture.

Advantageously, the rubber feet increase the frictional grip of the beam with the road thus reducing deflection of the barrier during impact. Furthermore, the rubber feet assist in spreading the load (of the beam and any impacting vehicles) across the road and reduce the chance of the metal beam sinking into the road surface (which can be problematic in countries with hot climates).

In an embodiment, the beam is provided with a plurality of lifting means enabling lifting of the beam. Advantageously any form of lifting equipment can be used, e.g. forklift trucks or lifting by chains, lifting straps etc. The lifting means are preferably

configured to facilitate lifting of the beam into position from any orientation of the beam. Preferably, the lifting means are located on or within the top portion and/or base portion of the beam.

The beam has a length defined by a first end and a second end. In an embodiment, at least one of the first and second ends comprises formations for engagement with corresponding formations on an end of an adjacent beam so as to facilitate joining of the beams to one another. Desirably, the formations are configured for the beams to be substantially self-aligning with respect to each other. It is an advantage that adjacent beams can be easily joined together, without the need for additional tools or loose component parts (e.g. nuts and bolts).

In a preferred embodiment, the first end of the beam is provided with one or more male connectors engageable within respective one or more female connectors provided on a second end of another beam. The one or more male connectors and respective one or more female connectors are provided along substantially the full height of the beam. This advantageously reduces the risk of adjacent beams becoming separated on impact by an errant vehicle. Additionally, the beam may further comprise one or more male connectors provided at the base of the first end of the beam, the male connectors being engageable within one or more female connectors provided at the base of a second end of an adjacent beam. Any or all of the male connectors may comprise a j-shaped connector engageable within a corresponding j -shaped female connector. Conveniently, the male and female connectors are of substantially the same configuration, and mounted in a mirror-image fashion on their respective beam ends with respect to each other, so as to be engageable within each other. This advantageously facilitates manufacture and construction/installation of the beam. In an embodiment, the female connector protrudes from the end of the housing of the first end of the beam and the male connector is housed substantially within the second end of the beam. The ends of the beam are advantageously configured such that the exterior surfaces of adjacent beams are flush with respect to each other on attachment.

Each of the female and male connectors may be mounted on jointing assemblies secured at the first and/or second ends of the beam. Preferably, and advantageously,

the jointing assemblies for each of the male and female connectors are substantially identical. The jointing assemblies may be substantially flat and comprise a central plate spanning the space between the walls of the housing and a toe sized to fit within said cavity. Preferably, the plate and toe are integrally formed or fixed together. Portions of the plates may be cut away, to facilitate energy absorption by the beam in the event of an impact. The toes may conveniently be formed from the cut away parts of the plate. In an alternative embodiment, separate toe infills may be provided to provide additional strength and rigidity to the base of the beam.

A first beam may be provided, at its first end, with one or more male connectors engageable within respective one or more female connectors provided on an end of another beam. The second end of the beam is preferably provided with a jointing assembly securable to a like jointing assembly provided on another beam.

A second beam may be provided, at its first end, with one or more female connectors engageable within respective one or more male connectors provided on an end of another beam. The second end of the beam is preferably provided with a jointing assembly securable to a like jointing assembly provided on another beam.

A third beam may be provided, each end of which is provided with a jointing assembly securable to a like jointing assembly provided on another beam.

The jointing assemblies of any or all of the first, second and third beams are preferably substantially flat and comprise a central plate spanning the space between the walls of the housing and a toe sized to fit within said cavity. It is an advantage that like jointing assemblies can be utilised for each of the first, second and third beams. Preferably, the plate and toe are integrally formed or fixed together. Portions of the plates may be cut away, to facilitate energy absorption by the beam in the event of an impact. The toes may conveniently be formed from the cut away parts of the plate. In an alternative embodiment, separate toe infills may be provided to provide additional strength and rigidity to the base of the beam.

A barrier section may comprise the first beam, the second beam, and one or more third beams provided therebetween. The third beams may be secured together via

respective jointing assemblies. Each free end of the group of joined third beams may be secured with jointing assemblies to jointing members of the first and second beams.

A barrier may comprise a plurality of such barrier sections, the one or more male connectors of a first beam being engageable with the one or more female connectors of a second beam.

It is an advantage that a length of barrier can be constructed from any combination of first, second and third beams, and barrier sections, depending on the situation. Any number of third beam sections may be provided between the first and second beams, or a first beam may be connected straight to a second beam. The groups of beam may be joined together off site (e.g. in a factory) or on site during construction of the barrier. A barrier may alternatively only comprise a series of third beams joined together.

One or more gussets may be provided where two beams are connected at their respective jointing assemblies. The gussets advantageously provide a flow path for distributing force from an impact up and/or down the length of the beam and/or barrier in the event of an impact thereon.

In an embodiment, a locking unit is provided for securing two adjacent beams together. Preferably, the locking unit is slidable between the housings of adjacent beams. The beams may thus be secured together when the locking unit bridges the junction between adjacent beams. The locking unit may initially be completely housed within the housing of one beam without protruding beyond the edge of the housing. Instead of, or in addition to the locking unit, an insert may be provided within the end of the hollow top portion, to strengthen the beam. It is an advantage that the stiffened top portion and the stable base strengthen the whole beam structure.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a crash barrier beam suitable for temporary placement on a road, the beam having a length defined by a first end and a second end, at least one of the first and second ends comprising formations for engagement with corresponding formations on an end of an

adjacent beam so as to facilitate joining of the beams to one another, the formations being configured for the beams to be substantially self-aligning with respect to each other.

It is an advantage that adjacent beams are easily joined together, without the need for additional tools or loose component parts (e.g. nuts and bolts).

Preferably, the first end of the beam is provided with one or more male connectors engageable within respective one or more female connectors provided on a second end of another beam. Alternatively, the first end of the beam is provided with one or more flanges engageable within respective slots provided on an end of the adjacent beam. The one or more male and female connectors / flanges and respective slots may be provided along substantially the height of the barrier to reduce the risk of adjacent housings becoming separated on impact by an errant vehicle. The ends of the beam may be configured such that the exterior surfaces of adjacent barrier sections are flush with respect to each other on attachment.

It is an advantage that incorporating the male and female connectors / flanges into the joint between adjacent beams increases the joint stiffness and strength, and therefore this reduced the chance of the beam deflecting when a vehicle impacts thereon.

In an embodiment, the beam comprises laterally extending base portions for supporting the beam on the road. The base portions may be provided with one or more connectors (e.g. interengaging connectors) / flanges for engaging respective connectors / slots provided in the base portions of an adjacent beam.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a crash barrier beam suitable for temporary placement on a road, the beam comprising a housing which in profile has a laterally outwardly extending base portion and a return portion for supporting the beam on the road, a cavity being defined between the outwardly extending base portion and return portion, wherein the cavity comprises an infill for increasing the strength of the barrier. Preferably, the outwardly extending base portion and the return portion are integrally formed from sheet metal.

It is an advantage that the infill reinforces the beam housing where it would otherwise be vulnerable to damage from the road and impacting vehicles, as well as helping to maintain the profile of the housing.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a metal crash barrier beam suitable for temporary placement on a road, the beam comprising a housing which in profile has a laterally extending base portion and a narrower top portion, wherein one or more rubber feet are bonded to the underside of the base of the housing.

Preferably, the one or more rubber feet substantially extend the width of the base.

Advantageously, the rubber feet increase the frictional grip of the beam with the road thus reducing deflection of the barrier during impact. Furthermore, the rubber feet assist in spreading the load (of the beam and any impacting vehicles) across the road and reduce the chance of the metal beam sinking into the road surface (which can be problematic in countries with hot climates).

According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a crash barrier beam suitable for temporary placement on a road, the beam comprising a housing which in profile has a laterally extending base portion and a narrower top portion, wherein the beam is provided with a plurality of lifting means for lifting the barrier section and lifting means are configured to lift the barrier section into position from any orientation of the beam.

The lifting means are preferably located on or within the top portion and/or base portion of the barrier section. Advantageously any form of lifting equipment can be used, e.g. forklift trucks or lifting by chains, lifting straps etc. Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of examples with reference to the drawings, in which:

Figure 0 shows end, side and underneath views of a prior art temporary crash barrier; Figures Ia and Ib are isometric views of a crash barrier beam according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a representation of one half of the profile of a crash barrier beam according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 3a and 3b are isometric views of a central crash barrier beam section according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 4a to 4d show a female end crash barrier beam section according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 5a to 5d show a male end crash barrier beam section according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 6a and 6b show jointing plates that can be incorporated into embodiments of the present invention;

Figure 7a is a detailed view of the junction between the central beam of Figures 2a and 2b and an adjacent end beam section;

Figure 7b shows a gusset that can be used at the junction shown in Figure 7a;

Figure 8 shows a locking unit that can be incorporated into embodiments of the present invention;

Figures 9a to 9c show, in assembled and unassembled form, a lifting point for a crash barrier beam according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 10 shows a rubber foot that can be incorporated into embodiments of the present invention; and

Figure 1 1 shows a strengthening web that can be incorporated into embodiments of the present invention.

Referring to Figures Ia and Ib, an elongate 'Zoneguard ® ' crash barrier beam 10 is shown. The beam 10 has a base 12 that generally extends laterally with respect to the length of the beam 10. A narrower central wall 14 is upwardly extending from the base 12. The wall 14 has a form generally of an inverted V-shape tapering towards a top section 16. The top section 16 preferably has a box-like cross section. Together, the base 12, wall 14 and top box 16 form a hollow housing 18. By way of example, the housing may have a height of 0.8m, the width of the largest part of the base being 0.6m and the top box section may have a width of 0.13m. In an alternative embodiment, the width of the largest part of the base is substantially 0.7m and the top box section is substantially 0.16m.

The beam 10 is preferably comprised of a central beam section 10c, and two end

beam sections 1 Om, 1 Of located either side thereof. In the embodiment shown in Figures Ia and Ib, ends 17c of the central beam section 10c are each provided with a flat joint assembly 20c secured to the housing 18 e.g. by welding. The joint assembly 20c (see e.g. Figures 3a, 3b) is securable to a similar assembly 20c provided at a first end 17c of an end beam section lOm/lOf. In the embodiment shown, the end assemblies 20c of the central and end beam sections 10c, 10m/10f can be secured together with bolts 19 via corresponding apertures 22 (see also Figures 4c and 5c) to form a joint or junction 24, as shown in Figures Ia, Ib and 7a. This provides the advantage that the connecting bolts 19 are concealed (and cannot therefore be easily dislodged in the event of an impact or otherwise). The use of flat joint assemblies 20c means that the edges of the first ends 17c of the beams 10c, 10m/ 1Of meet so that the outer surfaces of adjacent beams 10c, 1 OnVl Of are flush with respect to each other.

The beam 10 of Figures Ia and Ib is comprised of a first end beam section 10m joined to a central beam section 10 which, in turn, is joined to a second send beam section 1Of. A second end 17m of the first beam section 10m is configured to interlock with a second end 17f of the second end beam section 1Of. This enables multiple beams 10 to be secured together to form the full length of crash barrier required, as will be described in greater detail below.

In a preferred embodiment, the three beam sections 10m, 10c, 1Of are each of 4m in length, and joined together to form a beam 10 that is 12m in length. The second end 17m of the first end beam section 10m is provided with male connectors interlockable with corresponding female connectors on the second end 17f of the second end beam section 1 Of (or the male/female connectors may be provided on the second/first end beam 1 Of/1 Om). This allows one beam 10 comprising three such beam sections 10m, 10c, 1Of to be connected to another beam comprising another three such beam sections 10m, 10c, 1Of. In another preferred embodiment, the three beam sections 10m, 10c, 1Of are each of 5.08m (16.67 feet) in length, and joined together to form a barrier section 15.24m (50 feet) in length.

It will be appreciated that other configurations of beam sections with flat joint assemblies and/or interlocking connectors can also be utilised. In an alternative embodiment (not shown), there is no central beam section 1 Oc, but two end sections, a

male beam section 10m and a female beam section 1Of, are joined together at their first ends 17c via assemblies 20c in a manner similar to that described above and are interlockable at their second ends 17m, 17f via interengaging connectors. Each beam section 10m, 1Of may have a length of 7.5m and so the barrier section 10 has a length of about 15m. It will further be appreciated that other beam lengths are contemplated, for example in the range 5- 10m. Alternatively, a plurality of central beam sections 10c could be provided between end male and female sections Om, 1Of, or a single beam section could be provided with a male connector at one end and a female connector at the other end.

Referring now to Figure 2, the overall profile of half of the housing 18 is shown in cross section, the other half being substantially a mirror image (considering manufacturing tolerances etc.).

The base 12 comprises an outwardly extending flange 12a relative to the length of the beam 10) that is generally flat or inclined at a small angle to the horizontal. At its outermost limit, the base 12 is shaped such as to extend downwardly 12c and then back towards the central axis A-A of the housing 10, to form a cavity 13. The lowermost part 12b of the base 12 is substantially horizontal for placement on a road (B). The lowermost (and outermost) corner 12c of the base 12 is formed at an angle that will allow a vehicle wheel to ride up onto the base flange 12a.

The central wall 14 extends generally upwardly from the base flange 12a such that a lower portion 14a of the wall 14 extends at a relatively steep angle with respect to the base 12a. An upper portion 14b of the wall extends at approximately the same angle towards the top box 16. A step or shoulder 14c is provided between the lower wall portion 14a and the upper wall portion 14b, the step 14c providing a jump or discontinuity in the gradient of the otherwise planar wall 14. At the top of the upper wall portion 14b, the housing 18 extends outwardly, away from the central axis A-A, to form another step or lip 15. This is also shown in Figures Ia and Ib, which additionally shows that the lip 15 runs along the length of the beam 10. In the embodiment shown in Figure 2, the angles of the shoulder 14c and lip 15 with respect to the horizontal are symmetrically opposite, and preferably shallow with respect to the horizontal. This provides for ease of manufacture. In an alternative embodiment

(not shown), the angle of the shoulder 14c is steeper with respect to the horizontal than that of the lip 15.

By way of example, the step 14c may extend a distance of about 15mm between the upper and lower walls 14, 14b and the lip 15 may extend a distance of about 15mm between the upper wall 14b and the top box section 16.

The housing 18 then widens from the upper wall 14b into the top portion 16. The hollow housing 18 is preferably formed in two halves, a left skin as shown in Figure 3 and a mirror-image right skin (not shown). Together, the two halves form a substantially symmetrical housing 18. The half-profiles of the housing 18 are shaped from (e.g. by bending or pressing) a sheet of material (e.g. metal and preferably steel) into the formation previously described. That is to say, each half-profile is a single, integrally formed, unit. At the centre 16a of the top portion 16, means (not shown) may be provided for linking the two halves of the profile together. In a preferred embodiment, the two skins are welded together. Alternatively, the housing 18 could be constructed as a single integral component.

An advantage of using sheets of metal to form the housing 18 is that the lip 15 and shoulder 14c that are bent into the sheet to profile the housing 18 add strength to the structure, without the need to add additional strengthening members, for the sheet/panel half-profile.

Several housings 18 and/or beams 10 may be stacked top-to-tail next to each other, i.e. by inserting one inverted housing 18 / beam 10 between two adjacent upright housings 18 / beams 10. Instead or as well, the housing shells (i.e. with no or few additional component parts provided internally thereof) may be configured to be stacked vertically on top of and within one another.

Referring to Figures 3a and 3b, a 'central' beam section 10c is shown. The central beam section 10c is provided at each end 17c with a jointing assembly 20c. The jointing assembly 20c of the central beam section 10c is attachable to a jointing assembly 20c of either a male end beam section 10m or a female end beam section 1Of. That is to say, the jointing assemblies 20c provided at each end of the central

beam section 10c are substantially the same (i.e. within manufacturing tolerances), and they are also substantially the same (i.e. within manufacturing tolerances) as the jointing assemblies 20c of the male/female beam section 10m, 1Of to which the central beam section 10c is to be attached. In an alternative embodiment (not shown), two or more beam sections 10c may be joined together using jointing assemblies 12c with end beam sections 10m, 1Of provided at either end thereof, to create a larger sectional barrier.

As mentioned above, the end beam sections 10m, 1Of are configured to interlock with each other. Conveniently, the end beam sections 10m, 1Of are provided (at the second ends thereof) with complementary male and female members that are inter- engageable with each other.

Figures 4a to 4d show the features of the 'female' end beam section 1Of. The second end 17f of the female beam section 1Of is provided with longitudinal connecting members 32 provided along the extremity of the wall portion 14 of the housing 18. The members 32 are j-shaped in cross-section, there being a channel 33 therewithin. The j-shaped members 32 extend along the majority of the length the wall 14. It is convenient to use two connectors 32 on each upwardly extending side of the wall 14, one provided on the lower wall portion 14a and one on the upper wall portion 14b, but any number of connectors 32 may be provided. Additional j-shaped connecting members 34 are provided along the lower surface of the base flange 12a. Figure 4d shows a side view of the female end beam section 1Of, from which it can be seen that the connectors 32, 34 protrude longitudinally beyond the end of the housing 18. The connectors 32, 34 do not, however, protrude laterally beyond the edge of the housing 18.

The connectors 32, 34 of the female beam section 1Of are bolted to the joint assembly 2Of with bolts 19 via apertures 22. The joint assembly 2Of may be welded within housing 18 to secure it in place therewithin.

Figures 5a to 5d show the 'male' end beam section 10m. The male beam section 10m is provided with longitudinal connecting members 38 along the extremity of the wall portion 14 of the housing 18, as shown in Figures 5a and 5b. The connecting

members 38 are j-shaped in cross-section, there being a channel 39 therewithin. The channels 39 of the j-shaped members 38 are sized to receive the connectors 32 of a female beam section 1Of. The connectors 38 extend along the majority of the length the wall 14 and two members 38 are provided on each upwardly extending side of the wall 14, one provided on the lower wall portion 14a and one on the upper wall portion 14b. Additional j-shaped longitudinal members 40 are provided along the lower internal surface of the base flange 12a.

The connectors 38, 40 of the male beam section 10m are bolted to the joint assembly 20m with bolts 19 via apertures 22. The joint assembly 20m is welded within housing 18 to secure it in place therewithin. The connectors 38, 40 of the male beam section 10m do not protrude longitudinally beyond the end of the housing 18. Thus, the male connectors 38, 40 are housed within the housing 18.

Each of the male and female connectors 32, 38 are of substantially the same configuration, but oriented symmetrically and in a mirror-image manner with respect to each other. That is to say, the connectors 32, 38 of the male and female beam sections 10m,10f respectively are mutually receivable within each other, to secure the two adjacent beam sections 10m, 1Of together. The channel 33 of a female beam section 1Of can receive the free end of the j-shaped member 38 of a male beam section 10m and, simultaneously, the channel 39 of the male beam section 10m can receive the free end of the j-shaped member 32 of the female beam section 1Of.

Each of the additional connectors 34, 40 are also of substantially the same configuration, arranged in opposite orientations on each of the male and female beam sections 10m, 1Of. In the embodiment shown in Figures 4a-4d and 5a-5d, the channel formed by the j-shaped member 40 of the male beam section 10m opens downwardly and the channel formed by the j-shaped member 34 of the female beam section 1Of opens upwardly. The j-shaped members 34, 40 are mutually receivable within each other, in a similar manner as previously described for the j-shaped members running along the wall 14 of the housing 18.

In an embodiment, the base j-shaped members 34, 40 may be shaped specifically to fit the left-hand and right-hand female beam section 1 Of as shown in Figure 4b and the

left-hand and right-hand male beam section 10m as shown in Figure 5b. Alternatively, although not shown in the Figures, the same base j -shaped members 34, 40 may be used in each of these situations.

The j-shaped connectors 32, 34, 38, 40 are preferably formed from steel. It is desirable to coat the connectors 32, 34, 38, 40 with Geomet ® or another similar product. The Geomet ® coating advantageously provides for a more rapid changeover of damaged components compared with galvanised components. This is because, in the event of an impact on a barrier with galvanised components, there is a tendency for the components to adhere to each other - due to the back shock from the impact. This can make replacing damaged components difficult. By contrast, Geomet ® has a low coefficient of friction, which means that, in the event of an impact, back shock does not cause the components to stick together - thus facilitating replacement of damaged parts. Furthermore, the process of coating components with Geomet κ is environmentally friendly, since Geomet ® contains no hexavalent chromium, and it is also applied by baking it on to steel components at low temperatures. A further advantage is that Geomet ® coatings are thinner (6-8 microns) than galvanised coatings. The various fixings (e.g. screws, nuts, bolts, washers) utilised in the construction of the barrier may also be coated with Geomet for the same reasons.

Figure 6a shows a joint assembly 20c for provision at either end of a central beam section and/or at the first end of the male and female beam section 10m/ 1Of. The joint assembly 20c comprises a central joint plate member 23c and two toes 25c. The central joint member 23c is joined to the toes 25c, preferably by welding. The outer profile of the joint assembly 20c substantially corresponds to the interior hollow of the housing 18. That is to say, the central plate 23c fills the space between the walls 14 and the top section 16. The toes 25c fill the cavities 13. When a central beam section 10c and a male/female beam section lOm/lOf are joined together, their respective plates 23c are bolted together using bolts through the apertures 22. The plates 23c, which are welded around their edges to the interior of the housing 18, also provide a means for preventing the two halves of the housing 18 from disengaging. Advantageously, the same central joint member 23c can be used for each of the central beam sections 10c and the first ends of the male and female beam sections 10m, 1 Of. The central joint 23c is also symmetrical about axis A-A (see Figure 2),

meaning that it can be used either way round with respect to the axis A-A, thus facilitating installation within the housing.

Figure 6b shows a joint assembly 20m, 2Of for provision at the second end 17m, 17f of a male/female beam section 10m, 1Of. The joint assembly 20m, 2Of is similar to that of the central beam section 1Of, with a central joint plate member 23m, 23f and two toes 25m, 25f. The central member 23m, 23f is again joined to the toes 25m, 25f, preferably by welding. The outer profile of the assembly 20m, 2Of substantially corresponds to the interior hollow of the housing 18. That is to say, the central plate 23m, 23f fills the space between the walls 14. The toes 25m, 25f fill the cavities 13. However, there is no plate section to fill the top box part 16 of the housing 18.

Advantageously, the same central joint member 23m, 23f can be used for each of the second ends of the male and female beam sections 10m, 1Of. It is symmetrical about axis A-A (see Figure 2), meaning that it can be used either way round with respect to the axis A-A, thus facilitating installation within the housing.

The toes 25c, 25m, 25f are common to each of the central, male and female beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of. It is thus convenient that the same toes 25c, 25m, 25f can be welded to each of the central joint members 23c and 23m, 23f.

The central plates 23c, 23m, 23f are partially cut away to provide openings 27c, 27m, 27f. This aids in keeping the mass of the plates 23c, 23m, 23f down. It also enables the barrier to crumple in the event of an impact thereon, to absorb energy therefrom, so as to ensure the barrier is not too stiff to cause a danger in the event of an impact. The toes 25c, 25m, 25f may be manufactured from the portion of material removed to form the opening 27c, 27m, 27f in the plate 23c, 23m, 23f.

Figure 7a shows the junction 24 between ends 17c of a central beam section 10c and an end beam section 10m. The joint assemblies 20c of each beam section 10c, 10m are bolted together with bolts 19. Gussets 21 are provided to reinforce the connection between the two beam sections 10c, 10m, and to create a flow path to dissipate load/force up and down the barrier in the event of an impact. As can be seen from Figure 7b, the gussets 21 are generally triangular in shape, with tabs 21t that fit into

slots 2 Ij in the joint assemblies and slots 21h in the housing 18. The central beam section 10c is joined to a female beam section 1Of in the same way as described above for joining the male beam section 10m to the central beam section 10c.

It is very convenient that each of the male and female connectors for adjacent beams are formed from commonly shaped component parts (the jointing plate 23m, 23f and the j -shaped connectors 32, 38.

The interlocking between a male beam section 10m and a female beam section 1Of is such that on attempting to engage a male beam section 10m with a female beam section 1Of, the beam sections 10m, 1Of are substantially self-aligning with respect to each other. Since the female connectors 38, 40 protrude from the end of the housing 18 and the male connectors 32, 34 are housed within the housing 18, the external surfaces of the housings 18 of joined beam sections 10m, 1Of are substantially flush.

The self-aligning, end-to-end engagement of adjacent beam sections 10m, 1Of provides the advantage that no tools are required in the joining thereof, and no loose component parts are required to fix them together. In order to connect the two beam sections 10m, 1Of together, the male beam section 10m is lifted onto the connectors 32 of the female beam section 1Of. Since the base 12 of the male beam section 10m is wider than the upper parts 14, 16 of the female beam section 1Of, there is no need to accurately locate one onto the other - the female connectors 32, 34 and male connectors 38, 40 will tend to locate themselves with respect to each other. Once in position, the male and female wall connectors 32, 38 interlock and the male and female base connectors 34, 40 interlock. The two sets of male / female connections ensure that the beam sections 10m, 1 Of are laterally and vertically positioned correctly with respect to each other. Furthermore, additional barrier strength is provided on interlocking male and female beam sections 10m, 1Of because the joint stiffness is increased.

Furthermore, since the connectors 32, 34, 38, 40 are simply bolted onto the joint assemblies 20m, 2Of, the connectors 32, 34, 38, 40 are easy to replace if necessary, and a wide range of connectors 32, 34, 38, 40 of various shapes and sizes can be interchanged between different beam sections, for example. This also allows

alternative interfaces to be fitted, such as to provide attachment to other components such as crash cushions etc. Furthermore, these components are simple and inexpensive to manufacture.

Figure 8 shows a locking unit 70, which may be provided within the open ends of the box section 16 of adjacent male and female beam sections 10m, 1Of. The locking unit 70 is configured to bridge the join of adjacent male and female beam sections 10m, 1Of, to aid alignment thereof and to retain them in their correct positions. The locking unit 70 comprises a location member 72 and a guidance member 74 connected via legs 76. Conveniently, the locking unit 70 sits fully within the top box section 16 of a female beam section 1Of and, when a male beam section 10m is placed adjacent thereto, the locking unit 70 is slidable into the top box section 16 of the male beam section 10m. The locking unit then bridges the top box sections 16 of the male and female beam sections 10m, 1 Of.

The location member 72 is u-shaped in cross section, and the legs 76 are attached to each free end of the u-shaped location member 72. The guidance member 74 is attached to the free ends of the legs 76 and extends upwardly, perpendicular with respect to the legs 76. The location member 72 comprises opposing surfaces 72a, the corners 72b of which are chamfered to assist in auto-alignment with an adjacent male beam section 10m. The upstanding guidance member 74 protrudes through an aperture 48 in the housing of the female beam section 1Of (see Figure 3a). The aperture 48 is elongate, and the guidance member 74 can be moved along the length of the aperture 48 to move the locking member 70 from a position in which it is fully retracted within the female beam section 1Of to a position in which it bridges adjacent male and female beam sections 10m, 2Of.

Referring to Figures 1 a, 3a, 4a and 5a, lifting points 46 are shown, provided in the uppermost portion 16a of the top box housing 16. Each lifting point 46 is configured so that a hook, chains, ropes etc. can be attached thereto, for lifting the beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of into and out of position on the road or otherwise.

The lifting point 46 comprises the aperture 48 in the uppermost surface of the top box section 16. A lifting bar 50 extends laterally outwardly with respect to the central axis

A-A of the beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of. The bar 50 is located within the top box section 16, and secured to the opposing sides thereof e.g. by bolts, studs 52 or the like. The concealment of the lifting point 46 within the box section 16 reduces the likelihood of damage to impacting vehicles and reduces the likelihood of damage by a vehicle to the lifting point 46. The lifting bar 50 further adds strength to the box section 16, and aids in preventing crushing of the box section in the event of an impact. The lifting bar 50 also acts as a stop for movement of the locking unit 70, to prevent the locking unit being pushed too far out of the female beam section 1Of.

As can be seen form Figure Ia, three lifting points 46 are provided spaced along the length of each of the beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of. When the three beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of are joined together (as in Figure Ia), the beam 10 will have nine lifting points 46. The lifting points 46 may be configured for use with multiple forms of lifting and handling equipment. In the embodiment shown, each beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of may be lifted by the central lifting point 46, as a pivot during assembly to level the beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of and to lift over obstacles such as hills etc.

In an alternative embodiment (not shown) comprising two beam sections connected to provide male and female connectors at the ends thereof, each of the two beams may again be provided with lifting points 46. For example, two lifting points 46 may be provided spaced along the length of each beam section, providing four lifting points for the assembly. In this embodiment it is convenient to lift the barrier using the inner lifting points 46 of the outer two beams, as this enables the beam to be lifted by just two lifting points 46, whilst spanning the majority of the length of the assembled beams. It will be appreciated that any number of lifting points may be provided on at least one, some or all of the beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of.

Referring to Figures 9a, 9b and 9c, a lifting insert 54 is shown. This insert 54 is designed to be secured (preferably by welding) within a drainage channel 53 (as shown in Figures Ia and 2a, for example). The drainage channels 53 are provided in the base 12, extending through the full lateral width of the beam 10. These allow water to pass from one side of the barrier to the other.

The insert 54 has a passage 57 defined by a base 55 underneath a central bridge 59,

the passage 57 extending from one side of the insert 54 to the other and therefore, when welded into the base 12 of a beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of, from one side of the beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of to the other. The beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of may be lifted from its upright position by a fork lift truck, the fork(s) being insertable into either side of the passage 57 of the lifting insert 54.

An aperture 58 is provided in the base 55 of the lifting insert 54. When in its inverted form, a beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of may be lifted using a lifting dog that passes through the aperture 58. Alternatively, the insert 54 may be provided with tongues (not shown) that are welded to and extend outwardly from each side of the central bridge 59 of the insert 54, in the direction of the length of the beam section 10c, 10m, 1 Of. The tongues facilitate centring of lifting straps or chains and to ensure that the lifting straps/chains do not slip during lifting. The tongues therefore ensure that the beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of/ beam 10 is maintained in a stable position during lifting thereof. Alternatively, the tongues 58 are provided only on one side of the insert 54. This provides the advantage that the overall insert can be used in either orientation within the housing by simply rotating it by 180°. saving materials in production whilst still providing guide means for lifting where needed.

Lifting the beam section 10c, 10m, 1Of or beam 10 via the inserts 54 allows the beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of or beam 10 to be lifted from an inverted position or a position in which it is lying on its side. The insert 54 may be constructed from a single box section. However, in the embodiment shown in Figure 9a, the insert 54 is manufactured from a long piece of metal to form the lower part 55 of the insert 54, and a shorter piece of metal 59 welded on top of the lower piece 55. Production in this way is more efficient, as simply shaped pieces of metal may be used, meaning that there is little wastage in production.

Apertures 56 are also provided in the insert 54, for optionally anchoring the barrier to a road or other surface. Preferably, the apertures 56 are elongate (e.g. slots) in a direction transverse to the direction of the lifting insert 54 (i.e. run parallel with the longitudinal direction of the road). The slots 56 allow for expansion and/or contraction of the road due to temperature fluctuations that cause the road surface to expand/contract.

The inserts 54 are preferably formed from metal, such as steel, and are preferably galvanised. Apertures 59a are provided in the bridge 59, for galvanising drainage during manufacture of the lifting insert 54. The inserts 54 advantageously provide the functions of providing means 53 for drainage and means for lifting the beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of (from an upright position using a fork lift truck or from any other position using lifting dogs/straps/chains), as well as strengthening the base 12 of the beam sections 1 Oc, 1 Om, 1 Of.

Referring again to Figure Ib, the underside of a beam 10 is shown. Rubber feet or pads 60 (as also shown in Figure 10) may be provided on the underside of the insert 54, for contacting the road surface. The rubber feet 60 are preferably bonded directly to the metal insert 54, to ensure maximum strength of the connection therebetween. The rubber feet 60 extend the lateral width of the housing 18, and increase the frictional grip of the beam 10 with the road surface, to minimise deflection of the barrier on impact from a vehicle (in comparison to a metal surface being in contact with the road surface). Furthermore, the rubber feet 60 minimise the chance of the beam sinking in to the road surface, as they act to spread the load of the barrier and reduce the pressure applied to the road by and through the barrier at the points of contact therebetween. This is particularly so in hot climates. Attaching rubber feet 60 to the underside of the inserts also raises the height of the barrier with respect to the road surface, thus improving drainage, and minimise the chance of water corroding the metal barrier.

The rubber pads 60 as shown in Figure 10 are injection moulded, single-piece rubber pads. Recesses 61 of varying shapes and thicknesses are provided within the rubber pads. The recesses 61 help to ensure good contact with the road surface, even though there might be debris such as stones loose on the road that may otherwise reduce the contact of a flat rubber surface with the road. Apertures 56a, 58a, corresponding to the apertures 56, 58 in the feet 54 are also provided.

Figure 1 1 shows a strengthening web 62, which is provided within the cavity defined by the opposing walls 14 of the housing 18 (as shown in Figures Ib and 3b). The web 62 is sized to fit the internal profile defined by the opposing walls of the housing 18,

this being dictated by the lower and upper walls 14a, 14b and the shoulder 14c. The web 62 provides additional stiffness to the profile, and supports the sidewalls 14 in the event of an impact. In the embodiment shown in Figure 1 1, cut-outs 63 are provided within the web 62, similar to those provided in the joint assembly plates 23c, 23m, 23f. This aids in keeping the mass of the plates webs 62 down. It also enables the barrier to crumple in the event of an impact thereon, to absorb energy therefrom, so as to ensure the barrier is not too stiff to cause a danger in the event of an impact.

In an embodiment, and as shown for example in Figures Ia, Ib, 3a and 3b, cavities or apertures 80 may be provided within the housing 18, allowing access to the interior of the housing. This enables a person manufacturing the beam sections 10, 10' to weld the web 62 within the housing from outside the housing 18.

Various references have been made above to fixing components together with bolts. It is desirable to use Scotchgrip™ resin, or a similar product, on the bolts. The Scotchgrip™ resin is a two-part adhesive, which is mixed together when the bolt is being screwed into place. Providing the holes into which a bolt is being screwed with a countersink aids in the mixing by providing a surface against which the two parts can be pressed. This creates an adhesive on the threads of the bolts to provide additional strength to the fixings.

In use, the crash barrier beam sections 10m, 10c, 1Of are joined together by fixing together adjacent central and end plates 20c, 20m; 20c, 2Of at ends 17c thereof and/or a plurality of beams 10 are interlocked at corresponding ends 17m, 17f thereof which mate together as described above. The resulting structure (referred to from now on as the barrier) is placed on a road, by lifting the individual beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of and/or beams 10 as discussed earlier and securing them together on site.

The barrier is thus particularly suited to temporary use, for example at road works, to cordon off a particular area of road or divide vehicle carriageways for contraflows etc. The combined weight of the individual barrier beam sections 10c, 10m, 1 Of and beams 10 act together to stabilise the barrier in the desired position. Furthermore, the relative sizes of the base 12 to the central walled portion 14 and top portion 16 provide stability to the lengths of beams/barrier, thus providing a lesser 'working

width' in comparison to known temporary road barriers. That is to say, the beams 10 have a wide base onto which a vehicle wheel can ride, but the lateral width that the 'fence' part of the beam 10 occupies is smaller. The beam sections 10c, 10m, 1 Of/beams 10 have a low centre of gravity, resulting in a reduced net gain in energy by an impacting vehicle when it rolls over the base 12. This arrangement provides the further advantage that the barrier may be deployed closer to traffic lanes than barriers with wider bases. In the embodiment shown in the Figures, the centre of gravity is very low (about 0.32m above the ground), due to the presence of more material below the centre of gravity than above it. This is achieved by the provision of the cutout apertures 27c, 27m, 27f in the jointing assemblies 20c, 20m, 2Of. It has been found that the beam remains stable (i.e. does not topple or roll over) when tilted to substantially 48° with respect to the vertical. This arrangement helps stop the barrier overturning in the event of a vehicle impacting upon it.

The turnover 12c of the metal sheet to form the cavity 13 provides additional stiffness to the barrier, and the toes 25c, 25m, 25f help maintain the turnover profile. The turnover 12c further reduces the pressure loading on the road surface, for example, if the rubber feet 60 are not provided.

In the event of an impact, one or more wheels of a vehicle approaching the barrier will ride up onto the base 12 of the housing 18. The weight of the vehicle provides an additional down force on the base 12, thus providing further stability to the barrier in the event of an impact. The stepped profile given to the housing 18 by the shoulder 14c not only helps to stiffen the wall 14 of the housing 18, it assists in redirecting a wheel of a vehicle that is riding up the barrier. In the event that a vehicle wheel rolls all of the way up the sidewall 14 to contact the top lip 15, the wheel will be redirected back towards the ground to restrain the impacting vehicle in the carriageway. The combined action of the shoulder 14c and the lip 15 act to urge the vehicle wheel back into the carriageway, away from the barrier.

Advantageously, the profile of the beam sections 10c, 10m, 1Of and the length of engagement of the interlocking male and female connectors 32, 38 mean that the barrier must be lifted to a significant height before any joint disengagement will occur. The locking member 70 further aids in keeping adjacent male and female

beam sections 10m, 1 Of joined together.

Furthermore, in the event of a vehicle drifting into the barrier, e.g. if the driver of the vehicle is tired, the initial contact with the wide base 12 may be sufficient to warn the driver to take action to avoid full collision with the barrier.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that various modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the scope of the present invention. It will also be appreciated that the features described herein may be taken separately and in any and all combinations in order to provide a barrier that is tailored for a particular use. Furthermore, whilst embodiments of the present invention are particularly suited for use as a temporary crash barrier, it will be appreciated that the beam sections/beams could also be permanently fixed to the road surface.




 
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