MASH Barrier FAQs

What is MASH?

The Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) is an update to and supersedes NCHRP Report 350 for the purposes of evaluating new safety hardware devices and is the basis of crash testing as stated in AS/NZS 3845.1 Road Safety Barrier Systems.

Why was MASH introduced?

The introduction of MASH follows changes to the vehicle fleet, researching of real-life impact conditions and updated criteria for evaluating barrier performance.

What are some of the differences between MASH and NCHRP 350?

Changes in Test Matrices

  • The small car impact angle is increased from 20 to 25 degrees.
  • The impact speed for the TL4 truck test is increased from 80 km/h to 90 km/h.
  • The impact angle for length-of-need testing of terminals and crash cushions is increased from 20 to 25 degrees.
  • The impact angle for oblique end impacts for gating terminals and crash cushions is reduced from 15 to 5 degrees.

Changes in Test Installations

  • Any rail element splices that are used in the field are required to be installed in the impact region during testing.
  • The minimum length for testing of wire rope barriers is 183m between anchors.
  • Wire rope cable tension is required to be set to the value recommended for 38 degrees Celsius.

Changes in Test Vehicles

  • The 820kg small car is replaced with an 1100kg passenger car.
  • The 2000kg pick-up truck is replaced with a 2270kg pick-up truck.
  • The TL4 truck mass is increased from 8000kg to 10,000kg.

What are the different MASH Test Levels for longitudinal barriers?

Test Level Test Vehicle Test Conditions
Speed, km/h Angle, degrees
1 1100kg Passenger Car
2270kg Pick-up Truck
50
50
25
25
2 1100kg Passenger Car
2270kg Pick-up Truck
70
70
25
25
3 1100kg Passenger Car
2270kg Pick-up Truck
100
100
25
25
4 1100kg Passenger Car
2270kg Pick-up Truck
10,000kg Rigid Truck
100
100
90
25
25
15
5 1100kg Passenger Car
2270kg Pick-up Truck
36,000kg Tractor-Van Trailer
100
100
80
25
25
15
6 1100kg Passenger Car
2270kg Pick-up Truck
36,000kg Tractor-Van Trailer
100
100
80
25
25
15

Must barriers installed in Australia be MASH compliant?

All Australian state road agencies have commenced implementation of MASH. Approvals for many non-MASH systems have been discontinued.

Do I need to replace non-MASH road safety systems?

No, non-MASH systems may be maintained, however, if they are damaged and require replacement, it is recommended they are replaced with a MASH compliant barrier.