Collision performance side impact (automobile penetration guard)
Apparatus and methods are described for preventing the penetration of vehicles by narrow objects such as guardrail ends or portions of a guardrail end treatment during a collision. In one embodiment, portions of an ET-2000 guardrail extruder terminal are adapted for improved operation during impacts by attachment of a penetration guard. The penetration guard may also be affixed to other guardrail end treatments or even other suitable highway objects to create an improved safety apparatus. The penetration guard includes a frame and is affixed to the impact head of an ET-2000 guardrail extruder terminal. The frame is greatly collapsible when impacted from a substantially end-on direction. However, when impacted from a direction other than substantially end-on, the frame is substantially non-collapsible and maintains its integrity. The frame includes an outer housing which defines a central opening. The housing is preferably formed of a unitary outer of sheet metal which surrounds the central opening. In alternative embodiments, the housing is made up of a number of hingedly affixed plates or panels or deformable members which collectively change shape in a predetermined manner. In some embodiments, the frame includes an interior brace which helps prevent collapse of the frame when the frame is impacted from its side. If desired, the central opening may be filled with an appropriate energy absorbing deformable filler material.
Ivey, Don L. (1998). Collision performance side impact (automobile penetration guard). United States. Patent and Trademark Office; Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from