US 3332666 A
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July 25, 1967 .1. H. GRAY GUARD RAIL ASSEMBLY Filed Feb. 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l HTTORNEv/ July 25, 1967 J. H. GRAY GUARD RAIL ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 8, 1965 Wwf olli..
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United States Patent O 3,332,666 GUARD RAIL ASSEMBLY .lames Harvey Gray, 8133 Whitburn Drive, St. Louis, Mo. 63105 Filed Feb. S, 1965, Ser. No. 430,818 3 Claims. (Cl. 25613.1)
This invention relates to a guard rail assembly and particularly to a guard rail f-or erection alongside a highway or between divided highways. A particular object and feature of this invention is to provide a guard rail assembly which is capable of positively arresting the lateral travel of vehicles which hit it, and support their return to the traliic lane, under full control.
In general, the guard rail assembly of this invention comprises a plurality of arm assemblies pivotally mounted on anchor posts driven into the ground or bolted t-o a solid surface. The Ianchor posts are spaced along the side of a highway, or on a median strip, the assemblies having arms inclined toward the highway from the anchor post. Any conventional type of r-ailing or steel cable can be pivotally attached to the extended arms of the assemblies to face the highway. The rail or cable is the part of the assembly that is struck by the vehicle. Under impact loads the rail pivots vertically on the assembly, permitting a shock absorbing link, which is placed about the post assembly and attached to the arm, to resist pivotal movement of the arm assembly. The shock absorber links are made of any viscoelastic material which will yield upon the application of impact forces. The shock absorber links thus yield and reduce the lateral component of impact energy, but resist yielding to apply directional stabilization to the vehicle.
The general object of this invention is to provide a highway guard rail assembly which positively stops lateral travel of vehicles that leave their traflc lane and contact the barrier, and which stops the lateral travel of the vehicles with greatly reduced impact forces without rebound. In yielding under impact, space is provided so that the vehicle may turn away from the barrier before damaging loads are placed on steering linkage and wheel suspension which would cause loss of control.
Another object is to provide a barrier which can stop a vehicle, but which functions prim-arily as a supporting element in returning the vehicle to its proper path under complete control.
Other objects are to provide such a guard rail assembly which is of simple design, easily installed, inspected and maintained, simple construction, and which is strong and durable and which yields amply before reaching the conventional semi-rigid state.
.In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevation View showing two spans of the guard rail assembly;
FIGURE 2 is a rear elevation view of two spans of the guard r-ail assembly of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a view in section on an enlarged scale taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE l, showing the guard rail in normal position;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary front elevation view of the guard rail and post construction, the dust guard having been omitted;
FIGURE 5 is a fragment-ary rear elevation view similar to Vthat of FIGURE 4 but viewed from the opposite side thereof;
FIGURE 6 is a view in section taken a long the line 6 6 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 7 is a view in section taken along the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a view in section similar to that of FIG- URE 3 but show-ing the guard rail in the position it occupies upon impact with a vehicle;
FIGURE 9 is a view in section similar to that of FIGURE 3, but showing a modification wherein two guard rails are mounted back to back for installation between divided highways; and
FIGURE 10 is a view in section taken along the line 10-10 of FIGURE 9, but on an enlarged scale.
Referring now to the drawings, the guard rail assembly 20, as shown in FIGURE l, comprises generally a rail 21 supported from a plurality of post assemblies 22. Each post assembly 22 is constructed of a plurality of parts which will be described hereinafter.
The rail 21 comprises a channel member which eX- tends along the side of a highway. The channel member has the cross sectional shape generally illustrated in FIG- URE 3 (las two convex or C-shaped portions 24 and 25 joined together by a narrow ilat strip portion 26). The rail 21 may be of other shapes.
The bases 27 of a plurality of brackets 28 are fastened by bolts 29 to the strip portions 26. The brackets 28 have parallel sides 30* and 31, and each side 30 and 31 has a generally horizontal slot 32 through it.
For each post assembly 22, there is a hole 35 in the ground G adjacent the highway H. The holes 35 are positioned parallel to the highway H. A corrosion-resistant metal or plastic sleeve 36 lines the sides of each hole 3S.
An anchor 37 is driven into the ground at the foot of each hole 35. The anchor has a stop wall 38 and parallel side walls 39. The upper edge 40 of the anchor is positioned slightly above the level of the ground G. The end of a rod 41 is mounted between the side Walls 39 as will be described. A
Each post assembly 22 comprises a downwardly extending, generally vertical member 42 welded to an inclined member 43, the two parts being pivotally mounted on the rod 41. The downwardly projecting member 42 has an end wall 44 and side walls 45, the upper edges 46 of which are even with the inclined upper edge of the inc-lined member 43. The inclined member 43 has an end wall 48 and side walls 49. A pin or shaft 50 extends through the side Walls 49 of the inclined member 43. The pin 50 also extends through the slots 32 in the sides 30 and 31 of the bracket 28 and is held in place by heads 51. Thus the rail 21 is pivotally mounted near its upper end to the post assemblies 22, and the rail 21 normally hangs by4 gravity in the position illustrated in FIGURE 3.
When the post assembly 22 is in the position illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 6, the downwardly extending member 42 of each post assembly 22 is positioned against the stop Wall 38 of the anchor 37. This puts the downwardly extending member 42 between the sides 39 of the anchor 37. The weight of the inclined member 43 and the rail 21 biases the post assemblies 22 toward this position.
v There is a band 54 around each anchor 37 and downwardly extending member 42. The band 54 may be made of any elastic material but preferably is made of a viscoelastic plastic material having broad hysteresis and temperature characteristics. Such viscoelastic plastics may be obtained from plastic manufacturing concerns to any specilications. This material should be made so that it yields under application of external forces, but, unlike elastic materials, the viscoelastic material should have a relatively slow recovery rate of a few minutes. The material should be one which is capable of full recovery from its elongated conditions. Any of the plastic manufacturing companies can make such a material. Since variations in the characteristics of the material may be introduced as desired for the purposes of this invention, the material is simply referred to in the broad sense as a viscoelastic material. As already stated, an elastic material having instant rebound rather than memory may be used but such elastic material is deemed less desirable.
assasss 3 v The rod 41 has been mentioned. As shown in FIGURE 5, the end S7 of this rod provides the pivotal mount for the post assembly 22 on the anchor 37. A nut 58 is threaded onto the end S7 of the rod 41, and the end 57 is Xed by welds 59 against twisting relative to the anchor 37.
As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the rods 41 are inclined upwardly from their attachment to the anchor 37 and, as shown in FIGURE 5, the other end 60 of the rod extends between the sides 49 (or through the rail pivot pin) of the inclined member 43. A nut 61 is threaded onto the end 60 of the rod 41, and the rod end 60 has welds 62 fastening it to the inclined section 43 to prevent relative rotation. The incline of the rods 41 is oriented as shown in FIGURE 2, in which view the automobiles or vehicles would be moving from left to right. Thus the rods 41 act as tension members to keep the post assemblies 22 from bending over or rotating horizontally in the direction of travel of an automobile upon impact by a vehicle. Since the rod 41 is welded to the anchor 37 and to the inclined section 43, the rod also provides torsion resistance t swinging of a rail 21 upon impact.
Although not essential, preferably there is a dust cover 65 pivotally mounted on a pin or pins 66 to the metal sleeve 36. The dust cover -65 rests upon stops 67 and can be pivotally moved upwardly as shown in FIGURE 8.
FIGURE 8 shows the position of the guard rail assembly upon impact with a vehicle. The Vehicle strikes the rail 21 as the vehicle veers oit the highway H. However, the vehicle, instead of meeting a rigid, unyielding barrier, is met with a somewhat yielding barrier. As the vehicle stri-kes the rail 21, the post assembly 43 pivots toward the position shown in FIGURE 8, stretching the band 54. The band 54 yields permitting the post assembly 43 to pivot toward the position shown in FIGURE 8, but the resistance to yielding is such that the barrier pivots to the position shown in FIGURE 8 with absorption of energy and consequent reduction of shock forces. In other words, the shock absorber band 54 tends to yield relatively readily when stretching begins and to yield less readily as greater elongation occurs. Consequently, the shock absorber bands 54 tend to bring the rail to rest in the semirigid position illustrated in FIGURE 8 with substantially reduced shock forces, having given the driver a much better opportunity and space in which to bring his vehicle under control, as well as reducing damage to the vehicle.
FIGURES 9 and 10 show how dual barriers may be erected between divided highways using only one anchor 70. As shown in FIGURE 10, the anchor 70 is of S cross section providing a channel 71 for one post assembly 22 and a channel 72 for the other post assembly 22'. A single shock absorber band 73 is wrapped about the entire anchor 70 and therefore encloses the post assemblies 22 and 22. The guard rail assemblies 20 and 20 may otherwise be substantially identical as has been described in connection with FIGURES 1-8.
The invention may be modied by reversing the position of the generally vertical member 42 in relation to the inclined member 43 of the post assembly 22 so that they are in a V relationship, with the open side of the channel 42 facing the inside of the V, and extending the anchor post 37 upward on the inside of the post assembly 22. The band (link) 54 may then be placed above the pivotal mount of post assembly V22, achieving the same end results and eliminating the hole 35 and sleeve 36 from the system.
Various changes and modications may be made within the purview of this invention as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modications are within the scope and teaching of this invention as deiined by the claims appended hereto.
What is claimed is:
1. A guard rail assembly for erection alongside a highway comprising a plurality of anchors adapted to be driven into the ground alongside the highway, a plurality of post assemblies corresponding to the anchors, each post assembly being pivotally supported by an anchor, shock absorber means interconnecting each anchor and post assembly, each shock absorber means being positioned to resist pivoting of the post assembly, whereby pivoting of the post assembly requires yielding of the shock absorber means, a guard rail strung between and supported by the post assemblies, and means interconnecting each post assembly and an anchor associated with an adjacent post assembly to simultaneously prevent the post assemblies from being bent in directions longitudinal ot the guard rails when hit by a vehicle while responding in torsional resistance opposing pivotal movement of the post assemblies.
2. The guard rail assembly of claim 1 wherein the lastnamed means comprises rigid steel members, and means joining the steel members to the post assemblies and the anchors in Xed, non-rotatable relation thereto.
3. A guard rail mounting assembly for erection alongside a highway comprising a plurality of anchor posts adapted to be driven into the ground alongside the highway or bolted to a paved surface, a plurality of arm assemblies corresponding to the anchor posts, each arm assembly being pivotally supported by an anchor post, elongated rigid rod means connecting each arm assembly and the post associated with an adjacent arm assembly, the rod means being formed of a material which resists torsional twisting, the rod means being rigidly, non-rotatably connected to the arm assemblies and posts to resist pivotal movement of the arm assemblies relative to the posts, a shock absorbing link means surrounding each post assembly and arm connecting pin, whereby pivoting of the arm requires elongation of the link means, and a guard rail pivotally attached to and supported by the arm assemblies.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 648,256 4/ 1900 Hartley 287-86 X 961,521 6/1910 McMillan 52-296 X 1,293,612 2/ 1919 Magley. 1,461,116 7/ 1923 Griswold 40-145 1,718,875 6/ 1929 Ramsey 256-13.1 2,163,809 5/1939 Rauen 256-13.1 2,351,734 6/1944 Backe 287-86 2,907,552 10/ 1959 Crone 256-13.1 2,945,084 7/1960 Daggett 287-86 FOREIGN PATENTS 81,097 7/ 1934 Sweden.
DAVID I. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.
HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Examiner.
D. L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner,