Title:
ROADWAY CRASH BARRIER DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a roadway crash barrier device, which roadway crash barrier device (1) is capable of absorbing energy from a moving vehicle and contributes to the deceleration of the vehicle when hit, and which comprises shock-absorbing elements (10), constituted by tires, having elastic and shock-absorbing properties and being linked to a friction mat (2), having an extension substantially parallel to the support surface, wherein the tires (10) are disposed along a horizontal, axis, extending along a forward edge of said friction mat (2), and that the tires' (10) traction surface constitutes a friction surface (50) contacting the support surface.



Inventors:
Lindberg, Joakim (Stalldalen, SE)
Lindberg, Jan (Orebro, SE)
Application Number:
14/119325
Publication Date:
10/09/2014
Filing Date:
05/25/2012
Assignee:
LINDBERG JAN
LINDBERG JOAKIM
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01F15/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RISIC, ABIGAIL ANNE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MANELLI SELTER PLLC (1725 I Street, N.W. Suite 300 Washington DC DC 20006)
Claims:
1. 1-12. (canceled)

13. A roadway crash barrier device, which roadway crash barrier device is capable of absorbing energy from a moving vehicle and contributes to the deceleration of the vehicle when hit, and which comprises shock-absorbing elements, constituted by tires, having elastic and shock-absorbing properties and being linked to a friction mat, having an extension substantially parallel to the support surface, characterized in that the tires are disposed along a horizontal, axis, extending along a forward edge of said friction mat, and that the tires' traction surface constitutes a friction surface contacting the support surface.

14. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 13, wherein said friction surface is adapted to increase in contact area, and to thereby provide an increased braking effect when a vehicle hits the shock-absorbing elements.

15. The roadway crash barrier device according to claims 13, wherein the shock-absorbing elements are connected together by means of at least one preferably continuous rod.

16. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 15, wherein said rod comprises two ends, said ends comprising attachment means.

17. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 16, wherein said friction mat is preferably secured to the shock-absorbing elements via connecting means, extending between the friction mat and the attachment means.

18. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 16, wherein said continuous rods comprise at least one lower rod secured to the lower half of the tire, suitably adjacent to the friction surface.

19. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 18, wherein said continuous rods also comprise an upper rod secured to the upper half of the tire, suitably to the rearward one of two symmetrically placed circular sectors in the upper half of the tire.

20. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 13, wherein at least one of the shock-absorbing elements comprises elastically or plastically deformable stiffening elements.

21. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 20, wherein the stiffening elements comprise one or several tire sides from other tires disposed circumferentially inside the tire sides of the shock-absorbing elements.

22. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 13, wherein the shock-absorbing elements and/or the friction mat is/are adapted to interact with engagement means, said engagement means being adapted to interact with the support surface, with the purpose of increasing the friction against the support surface, primarily on softer support surfaces such as ice, snow and gravel, and thereby improving the deceleration.

23. the roadway crash barrier device according to claim 22, wherein said engagement means are constituted by snow chains mounted on the tires and/or hooks or barbs mounted on the bottom side of the friction mat.

24. The roadway crash barrier device according to claim 13, wherein it comprises several rows of tires, arranged essentially in parallel to the first row of tires which extends along the forward edge of said friction mat.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a roadway crash barrier device, which roadway crash barrier device is capable of absorbing energy from a moving vehicle and contributes to the deceleration of the vehicle when hit, and which comprises shock-absorbing elements, constituted by tires, having elastic and shock-absorbing properties and being linked to a friction mat, having an extension substantially parallel to the support surface.

STATE OF THE ART

The present invention relates to roadway crash barrier devices reducing damages to vehicles, people, and other material, e.g. at road work sites. Methods, arrangements and structures related to the above-mentioned technical field are previously known in a plurality of different embodiments.

For example, at road work sites and accident clear-ups, the traffic is often rerouted to other roadways. Roadway crash barrier devices then serve to reroute the traffic to the other roadway and also as a protection for workers and machines at the road work site or accident site. Another purpose with roadway crash barrier devices is to as much as possible reduce the damage to a vehicle, and its passengers, that for some reason smashes into the roadway crash barrier device. Commonly occurring roadway crash barrier devices are constituted by stacks of tires which are positioned alongside, or across the roadway. These stacks, however, can be very dangerous, since they consist of tires which are more or less bound together, and which, when hit, can be sent flying like a projectile, and hit road workers, other vehicles, etc.

US 2007/0140790 discloses a traffic crash absorber consisting of tire stacks, which are connected by bolts. Several stacks can be linked to each other to form a longer crash absorber. Each stack is provided with a safety arrangement, so that in case a stack is hit and rolls over, it cannot start rolling away.

WO 99/39054 discloses a safety barrier, primarily intended for use around racetracks. Rows of tires are placed in some kind or restraining means/covering, so that the tires are held in place and are not sent flying by a collision.

GB 2440145 discloses a barrier, where a number of tires are secured together and form a tube, wherein the tube is partially filled with sand, etc. The tube is provided with securing means, so that it can be secured to a loading bay, dock or a road work site.

NO 20083961 discloses a traffic crash absorber, where stacks of connected tires are linked to a mat-like net structure of, for example, reinforcement bars. When a vehicle is driven onto the net and collides with the tire stacks, the tires are prevented from being scattered around in that they are connected together and secured by means of the net.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to offer a roadway crash barrier device that is improved in several respects, which is achieved by means of a roadway crash barrier device according to claim 1.

Thanks to the invention, a roadway crash barrier device can be offered which means that a vehicle is decelerated to a stop in a considerably shorter distance than in present roadway crash barrier devices, but not so abruptly that it becomes a danger to the passengers in the vehicle.

According to one aspect, the shock-absorbing elements are constituted by tires, contributing to a shock-absorbing and efficient energy absorption when hit.

According to still another aspect, the shock-absorbing elements are connected together by means of at least one continuous rod, contributing to holding the tires together in a collision, which saves lives and prevents damages to people, vehicles, as well as other material, e.g. at a road work site. The rod also contributes to distributing the load to several shock-absorbing elements in a collision.

According to still another aspect, the friction mat and the shock-absorbing elements (tires) are linked together by means of connecting means, preferably via the continuous rod. When a vehicle is driven onto the mat and collides with the shock-absorbing elements, the elements cannot be scattered around since the weight of the vehicle prevents the mat, and indirectly also the elements, from being pushed away. The rod also contributes to fixing the relative positions of the tires, and the connecting means contribute to giving the tires a suitable position relative to the friction mat.

According to still another aspect, there are preferably several continuous rods distributed circumferentially along the tire sides. One continuous rod is preferably placed in the lower half of the tire, suitably adjacent to the traction surface, where a connecting means is secured. Preferably, another continuous rod, to which another connecting means is secured, is located in the upper half of the tire, suitably in the rearward one of the two symmetrically placed circular sectors in the upper half of the tire, as seen in the driving direction of the road section, i.e. the upper circular sector facing the friction mat.

According to another aspect, the tire sides comprise elastically or plastically deformable stiffening elements, which are preferably disposed circumferentially inside the tire sides, to thereby achieve an improved shock absorbing capability. According to this aspect of the invention, the stiffening properties of the stiffening elements are adapted such that the tires do not become too stiff when hit by a vehicle, but can be deformed and provide an increased friction area between tires and roadway for increased friction. This is most easily achieved if the stiffening elements are constituted by one or several tire sides from other tires.

According to another aspect, the shock-absorbing elements and/or the friction mat is/are adapted to interact with engagement means interacting with the support surface, with the purpose of increasing the friction, primarily on softer support surfaces such as ice, snow and gravel, and thereby improving the deceleration. These engagement means are preferably constituted by snow chains for the tires, and hooks or barbs for the bottom side of the friction mat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In the following, the invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying figures of the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a roadway crash barrier device in a preferred embodiment according to the invention, as seen from above;

FIG. 2 shows a roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, as seen from the side;

FIG. 3 shows a vehicle that has been driven onto a roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, as seen from the side;

FIG. 4 shows an alternative roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, as seen from above;

FIG. 5 shows a close-up view of an interconnection between two shock-absorbing elements according to the invention;

FIG. 6 shows an alternative roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, seen obliquely from above;

FIG. 7 shows an alternative roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, seen obliquely from above; and

FIG. 8 shows an alternative roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, seen obliquely from above.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In the following description of the roadway crash barrier device according to the invention, the relative position of certain objects is described with “forward” and “rearward”, respectively. As long as nothing else is stated, forward and rearward always refer to a position as seen in the driving direction of the road section, such that a forward position is further away from an approaching vehicle than a rearward position.

FIG. 1 shows a roadway crash barrier device 1 in a preferred embodiment according to the invention, in a view from above. The roadway crash barrier device 1 comprises a friction mat 2 and shock-absorbing elements 10, preferably truck tires 10. The truck tires 10 are arranged standing side by side along a horizontal, concentric axis, and three rods 4, preferably threaded rods, pass through the tires 10 and hold the tires 10 in place. On both sides of the respective tires, the tires are suitably fixed laterally to the rod 4, most simply by means an outer support washer and a locking nut on the threaded rod (not shown), which enables easy mounting and dismounting and adjustment of the relative distances between the tires.

The interconnected tires 10 are disposed at one edge of a friction mat 2, which is preferably constituted by a grid of reinforcement bars, e.g. a reinforcement mat. The ends of the rods 4 comprise attachment means 40, preferably in the form of an eye 40, e.g. a chain link. The tires 10, arranged on the rods 4, are secured to the friction mat 2 via connecting means 3, preferably wires 3, having hooks at their ends. The wires 3 are hooked into the eye of the rod 4, and, at the other end, they are hooked to the friction mat 2. Preferably, wires 3 are disposed at the ends of the rods 4, but preferably also between every tire 10, for a stable attachment between tire 10 and friction mat 2, for which reason eyes 40 are placed also between every tire. The friction mat 2 has a length

L in the range of 1-5 m, more preferably of 2-3 m, and a width B in the range of 1-5 m, more preferably of 2-3 m.

FIG. 2 shows a roadway crash barrier device 1 in a preferred embodiment of the invention, in a view from the side. The friction mat 2 extends substantially in parallel with the support surface, and shock-absorbing elements 10 are disposed at the forward end of the crash barrier device of tires, as seen in the driving direction of a road section when the crash barrier device is positioned across the roadway. These shock-absorbing elements 10 are preferably constituted by truck tires, here seen from the side, which have a height H1 of about 1 m, suitable for the purpose, and a width of about 0.3 m. At least one, but suitably several rods 4A, 4B, 4C enters/enter into the side of the tire 10 and continues/continue through all tires 10 in the crash barrier device 1, to emerge at the other end of the lined-up tires 10. The crash barrier device comprises at least one lower rod 4A passing through the tires 10 in the lower part of the tires, preferably at the bottom adjacent to a friction surface (commonly called a traction surface) 50. The friction surface 50 is constituted by a portion of the friction surface of the tire contacting the support surface, where tire 10 and support surface are in contact with each other. Preferably, a rearward upper rod 4C, and preferably also a forward upper rod 4B, is/are passing through the tires 10 higher up. According to not yet researched theories, it is likely that the rearward upper rod 4C, and, in occurring cases, also the forward upper rod 4B, should be secured to the upper half of the tire, i.e. above the centre, wherein a vehicle is prevented from climbing onto and over the tires. The rearward upper rod 4C is suitably placed in the rearward one of the two symmetrically placed circular sectors in the upper half of the tire, as seen in the driving direction of the road section, i.e. the upper circular sector facing the friction mat. The rods 4A, 4B, 4C are preferably rotationally-symmetrically positioned in the tires at about 120° intervals.

Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the friction mat 2 and the tires 10 are connected together via the rods 4A, 4B, 4C by means of connecting means, here wires 3. The wires 3, having hooks at both of their ends, are hooked into the eyes 40 of the rods 4 at one end, and the other end is hooked to the friction mat 2, preferably to one or several reinforcement bars 30 extending in parallel with the rods 4 in the mat 2, see FIG. 1.

It is likely that a favourable deformation of the tires 10, contributing to increasing the friction area optimally, can be achieved by hooking the wires 3 to the friction mat in a special pattern. Wires running from the lower rod 4A are secured adjacent to the forward edge of the friction mat. Wires attached to the rearward upper rod 4C are secured further from the forward edge of the friction mat. Suitably at a distance of 1.5-1 m from its forward edge, or at least so far rearward that the attachment point to the friction mat ends up under, and even more preferably behind, the front tire of a vehicle that has collided with the crash barrier device. Wires attached to the forward upper rod 4B are fixed at distance between the two others. By a suitable positioning of the attachment points, the friction mat can also be brought into effective locking engagement around the front tires of the vehicle. Since the front of the vehicle F tensions the wires, the friction mat 2 will be curved upward, around the tires.

FIG. 3 shows a vehicle F that has been driven onto the friction mat 2 and collided with the tires 10. Thanks to the fact that the tires 10 are secured to the mat 2, the tires 10 are prevented from being sent flying by the collision. During the collision, the tires 10 absorb energy and, thanks to the fact that the tires 10 are standing up and have their friction surface 50 as a contact surface against the support surface, an effective deceleration is achieved, more effective than when using crash barrier devices previously known in the market, where the tires are lying flat with the tire side against the support surface. An additional advantage is obtained in that the tires 10 are pushed forward in the driving direction of the vehicle F in the collision. Since the tires 10 are attached to the mat and cannot move away, they are pushed forward and downward against the support surface, so that the friction area 50 against the support surface increases substantially, providing an even more effective deceleration. Accordingly, a synergy effect, which is very advantageous for the purpose, is obtained when the tires 10 are placed with the traction portion against the support surface. A good road grip is provided by a substantially increased friction area 50 between the tires 10 and the ground, and the entire assembly (vehicle F, mat 2 and tires 10) will have a shorter braking distance, preventing/minimizing the risk that people, vehicles and other material present behind the roadway crash barrier device 1 are hit and get damaged. A further advantage results from the influence of the weight of the vehicle F pressing the friction mat 2 against the support surface 2, and an additional deceleration force is produced, which contributes to decelerating the forward movement of the car.

FIG. 4 shows a roadway crash barrier device 1 according to the invention, in a view from above. If necessary, for example to close a roadway, it is possible to extend the roadway crash barrier device 1 with further shock-absorbing elements 10 at both ends, i.e. interconnect further shock-absorbing elements 10 at each end of already lined-up shock-absorbing elements 10. At the outer end of the rods 4, preferably threaded rods, a jointing sleeve 44 is arranged, making it possible to interconnect further rods 4 and shock-absorbing elements 10 at both ends. One possible way to do this is to interconnect a new rod 4 at each of the three already available rods 4A, 4B, 4C at one or both ends of the roadway crash barrier device 1. The new rods 4 are interconnected to the jointing sleeves 44 and a desired number of shock-absorbing elements 10 are threaded onto the rods 4. The shock-absorbing elements 10, preferably tires, may on both sides be fixed laterally to the rod 4 by means of an outer support washer 42 and a locking nut 43 on the threaded rod 41 (see FIG. 5). Another possible way to interconnect further tires 10 to the roadway crash barrier device 1 is to have a number of tires 10 that each one of them are arranged with rods 4 to match the rods in already lined-up tires 10, preferably three rods rotationally-symmetrically positioned in the tires 10 at about 120° intervals. Also here the tires 10 may on both sides be fixed laterally to the rods 4 by means of an outer support washer 42 and a locking nut 43. The rods 4 extend outside the locking nut 43 at both sides of the tire (see FIG. 5) and serves as a first 41A and a second 41B assembling means. By jointing sleeves 44 one tire 10 at a time is interconnected to the roadway crash barrier device 1 until desired width of the roadway crash barrier device 1 is reached. Other ways of interconnecting additional tires to the crash barrier device 1 is of course conceivable without departing from the inventive concept. In the case when a roadway needs to be closed a roadway crash barrier device 1 that extends over the entire roadway is used. In this case it is preferred that an additional friction mat 2 is coupled to the connected extra tires 10 with connecting means 3, in the way described above, to attain the advantage with more efficient deceleration. Since the tires 10 are attached to the mat and cannot move away, they are pushed forward and downward against the support surface, so that the friction area 50 against the support surface increases substantially, providing an even more effective deceleration.

As seen in FIGS. 4 and 6, the friction mat 2 may at its rearward part comprise two separate units 20 that in an easy way are exchangeable e.g. hooked or by other means fixed onto the mat 2. Said two separate units 20 are positioned to land under a vehicle's F rear wheel when a vehicle F has been driven onto the friction mat 2 and collided with the tires 10. The advantage with these separate units 20 are that at a snowy/icy roadway the separate units 20 may consist of snow chains to further improve a vehicles F deceleration.

It is also possible to arrange two or more rows of tires 10 close to the first row to further enhance the deceleration. FIG. 7 shows an alternative roadway crash barrier device 1 according to the invention, in a view seen obliquely from above. A roadway crash barrier device 1 as described earlier has been arranged with two further rows 101, 102 of tires 10. A second row 101 is arranged, for example by means of struts 60 to the tires 10 that are connected to the friction mat 2, and a third row 102 of tires 10 is arranged to the second row 101 by means of struts 60, and any possible additional rows are connected to the previous row, and preferably also to the first row. Preferably the struts are connected to the rods 4 in the first row of tires, but at least to the rods in the previous row of tires, in order for the rows to be secured together, and in order to transfer/divide the forces to every row of tires to enhance the deceleration. It is understood that the additional rows 101, 102 may comprise two tires 10 as in FIG. 7 but also may comprise a suitable number of tires, at least up to as many as in the first row of lined-up tires 10. A warning sign post 80 is also easily arranged in connection with the crash barrier device 1 according to the invention.

Another alternative embodiment of the roadway crash barrier device 1 according to the invention is seen in FIG. 8. In this embodiment two tires 10 are connected to the friction mat 2 as described earlier. A second row 101 of tires is connected, preferably by means of struts 60, to the row of tires 10 that are connected to the friction mat 2 and a third row 102, and any possible additional rows, is connected to the previous row, and preferably also to the first row 10, preferably by means of struts 60 as earlier described. This embodiment is preferably arranged in the ends of roadway railings to decelerate a vehicle F that may collide with said railing. The rows of tires 10 and the friction mat 2 will give a more effective deceleration. All rows in this described embodiment preferably comprise a small number of tires, suitably two tires 10 each, and the third row 102 is partly surrounded by a protection shield 70. Said protection shield 70 surrounds the third row 102 at three sides and is preferably arranged close to the end of the railing and is protecting the tires 10 from being ripped apart against the railing at a collision. The protection shield 70 also works as a support for the tires 10 and is preferably made of a composite material or sheet iron.

According to another aspect, the shock-absorbing tires 10 comprise elastically or plastically deformable stiffening elements 100, which are preferably disposed circumferentially inside the tire sides to thereby achieve an improved shock absorbing capability. According to this aspect of the invention, the stiffening properties of the stiffening elements are adapted such that the tires, when hit by a vehicle, do not become too stiff, but can be deformed in accordance with the inventive concept to provide an increased friction area 50 between tires and roadway for increased friction. This is achieved most easily if the stiffening elements 100 are constituted by one or several tire sides from other tires, the number of which is adjusted until the desired stiffness of the tires 10 is obtained. These tire sides are placed in conforming contact against the inner tire sides of the shock-absorbing tires 10, and are fixed by means of the continuous rods 4. It is appreciated that this offers a unique possibility to obtain a combination of good friction properties and good shock absorbing capability, since both the number of tires and their stiffness and relative position can be varied.

According to another aspect, the shock-absorbing elements and/or the friction mat is/are adapted to interact with engagement means 90, which interact with the support surface with the purpose of increasing the friction, primarily on softer support surfaces such as ice, snow and gravel, and thereby improve the friction properties. These engagement means 90 are preferably constituted by snow chains for the tires, and hooks or barbs for the bottom side of the friction mat.

Alternative Embodiments

The invention is not limited by what has been described above, but can be varied within scope of the following claims. It is appreciated, for example, that the shock-absorbing elements can be placed in several rows, and not only in one as shown in the figures. Thereby, the total friction dampening grip area between tires and support surface is increased, and an even faster deceleration can be achieved, if desirable. However, it should be taken into consideration that the deceleration should never become so strong that passengers in the vehicle risk injury. The crash barrier device may also be arranged by several separate tires arranged side by side and connected to each other as described earlier. By, for example jointing sleeves, tire after tire may be interconnected until a desired width of the crash barrier device is reached. Furthermore, the shock-absorbing elements can be connected to the friction mat in other ways than described here, for instance, chains can be welded between the friction mat and the rods.

The skilled person will also appreciate that the friction mat can be manufactured from other materials, and assume other shapes, without taking away from the function of the invention. For example, it can be manufactured from strips of traction surfaces from old car tires which are woven or braided together or connected together in another suitable manner. It is also appreciated that, instead of tires, heavy objects having a shock absorbing function can placed on top of such a mat, along the forward edge thereof, to thereby obtain a long and large traction surface. The friction mat can be made so long that also the rearward pair of wheels of a vehicle rolls onto the mat, and presses the mat against the support surface by means of its weight, and thereby contributes to the deceleration. It is also understood that the two separate units at the rearward end of the mat may be extended in such a way that both the front and the rear wheel are onto the separate units when the vehicle has been driven onto the friction mat, to further improve the deceleration.

The engagement means for increased traction on a soft support surface can of course be constituted by other devices than the above-mentioned ones. For example, the tires can be provided with spikes.





 
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