Guardrails: a Vital Component of Highways

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The importance of guardrails in road construction cannot be overstated. Apart from the fact that improves physical aesthetics of such roads, it also provides protection to pedestrians plying the road. Guardrails are not only installed on highways, several other facilities like bridges and stadiums require this component for safety.

Guardrails are linear borders installed on highways and bridges primarily for safety purposes. Unfortunately, Societies, Industries, and Facilities prone to safety hazards have failed in the installation of these essential components. Consequently, affecting the production rate of these bodies, directly or indirectly. 

Guardrail types are four in number, namely: 

  • Beam
  • Curved
  • Bolt-on
  • Drop-in

Each one differs by fabrication, application, installation, and structure, respectively. In many cases, the geometry and use of the road determines the type of guardrail to be installed on such roads.

This article highlights the significance of these guardrail types.

W-Beam Guardrails. 

These W-profiled beams are fabricated from corrugated steel sheets. They comprise of a base metal fixed in the ground at installation sites and linear beams of varying custom sizes attached continuously. They are either used on roadsides or as medians in multiple carriageways. 

Significance: These road railings are installed to reduce the fatality of accidents on highways as they are essential protective measures that ensure confinement to the roadway and reduction of car damage after collisions or falls. 

Curved Guardrails.

Having similar components with the W-beam profiles, is the Curve profile which differs by application, they are fixed at bent roadsides or medians. They are fabricated to details of either large or small highway radius. 

Significance: With cautionary reflections taped on these curved beam profiles, these guardrails ensure the driver’s awareness of the curves or slopes as the case may be. This detail ensures safe travel for motorists even at night. 

Bolt-on Guardrails.

These are connected by groove cuts at strategic positions along the beams. They are produced from high steel metals and are found to be inexpensive. 

Significance: The joint connections provided by these guardrails lessens the chances of vehicles swerving off the roadway as they create a sturdy guard on the roadsides.

Drop-in Guardrails.

These comprise of Galvanized bases and Aluminum beams. They are more useful in cases where accessibility is of utmost priority, as the design allows these borders to be removed in bits across the longitudinal section. 

Significance: These guardrails are particularly of vital use on highways prone to the frequent vehicular collision, as their design allows removal of dented section once accidents happen. This cuts the cost of total replacement of the whole profile in other cases.

Final Thoughts

This article highlights the various types of guardrails available today. Each guardrail type has it’s uniqueness and purpose it is designed for. These road railings are not only put to good use on Highway; they are utilized in manufacturing companies where mobile equipment like forklifts are used. Electricity production companies also make use of them, as they serve demarcation purposes. 

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