The FLEAT-SP guardrail end terminal is a flared, energy-absorbing end terminal, designed to minimise the severity of impacts occurring at the end of the safety barrier system.
During head-on impacts, the FLEAT-SP impact head slides over the w-beam guardrail. The w-beam is sequentially kinked as it moves through the head. The kinking action of the rail absorbs the kinetic energy of the impacting vehicle and brings the vehicle to a controlled stop.
The FLEAT-SP has been crash tested and assessed in accordance with Test Level 3 (TL3) of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350.
Crash testing of the FLEAT-SP in accordance with NCHRP Report 350 TL3 was undertaken with an 820kg small car and a 2,000kg pick-up truck travelling at 100km/h.
At the nose of the terminal, these impacts are performed end-on or at angles up to 15°. Along the length-of-need, impacts are performed at 20°.
The FLEAT End Terminal is available in two length options;
- The 7.62m FLEAT-SP (TL2) is approved for speed zones up to and including 70km/h.
- The 11.43m FLEAT-SP (TL3) is approved for all speed zones up to 110km/h.
The spacing between posts is 1905mm.
The straight flare of the FLEAT is achieved by progressively setting back the position of the posts. Curved guardrails are not required.
The FLEAT-SP may be installed at a variable flare.
- The 7.62m FLEAT-SP (TL2) flare must provide an offset distance of between 510mm and 810mm measured over the full length of the terminal.
- The 15.24m FLEAT-SP (TL3) flare must provide an offset distance of between 760mm and 1220mm measured over the full length of the terminal.
A roadside barrier is considered to be flared when it is not parallel to the edge of the travelled way. Motorists are less likely to perceive roadside barriers to be a hazard if the terminal gradually flares away from the approaching traffic.
Introducing a flare allows the barrier to be located further away from the roadway reducing the potential for head-on impacts.
Another significant benefit of installing a flared terminal is reducing the overall length of barrier required to shield a roadside hazard. Over numerous sites, this can provide a significant cost benefit and reduce the time workers spend by the roadside.
Since all w-beam guardrail end terminals fall into the gating category, it is important that the terminal point-of-need is identified. This is the location along the terminal that has demonstrated complete containment and re-direction when subjected to a 2,000kg pick-up truck impacting at 20°. When assessed for TL3 conditions, the speed of the impact is performed at 100km/h.
The FLEAT-SP point-of-need is post location 3, a distance of 3.81m downstream from the start of the terminal.