Shield I: A water-filled safety solution

Australian Safety barrier manufacturer Barrier Systems has released its latest water filled barrier to the market. Not only is the Shield I designed for ease of use and quick installation, it is also tested to MASH 2009 standards. Australian safety barrier manufacturer Barrier Systems has released its latest water filled barrier to the market. Not only is the Shield I designed for ease of use and quick installation, it is also tested to MASH 2009 standards. 

When the Austroads Safety Barrier Assessment Panel notified industry of an important change to the eligibility criteria for barrier system submissions earlier this year, it set in motion significant changes for many safety product manufacturers.

As of April, all submissions received by the panel must now be in accordance with Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) guidelines or an equivalence rating to MASH in accordance with AS/NZS 3845 Parts 1 and 2.

The existing temporary safety barriers tested to NCHRP350 will phase out effective 31 December, 2020.

Barrier Systems Australia – a division of National Plastics Group – is one such safety product manufacturer to stay ahead of the curve in ensuring its latest proucts are up to date.

The Queensland-based firm began manufacturing safety products in the early 1990s, specialising in supplying water-filled barriers to the Australian civil market. Over time, the business has expanded to develop other safety systems, including safety barriers of various makes and models and traffic control systems.

Harking back to its origins, the company decided to push forward to meet the new Austroads barrier requirements with what it believes to be Australia’s first MASH 2009 TL-1-approved redirecting water filled safety barrier: the Shield I.

“The development of this barrier started quite some time ago,” Barrier Systems Operations Manager Craig Stobbart says.

The barrier is approved for use on Australia’s classified road networks up to 50 kilometres per hour with an accepted dynamic deflection of 2.2 metres. It now also features on the Austroads Safety Barrier Assessment Panel’s approved list of products. According to Mr. Stobbart, all other water-filled safety barriers on the list have only been tested to National Cooperative Highway Research Program report (NCHRP) 350, which he adds is an easier test to pass.

Australian Safety barrier manufacturer Barrier Systems has released its latest water filled barrier to the market. Not only is the Shield I designed for ease of use and quick installation, it is also tested to MASH 2009 standards. “The big difference between the two tests is the test vehicles being used are heavier. The load test is 1100 kilograms and then the heavy vehicle containment test is 2270 kilograms,” he says. “The energy impact is a lot higher so there’s a major emphasis shift toward the vehicle occupants’ safety.”

The Shield I has a tested minimum length of need is only 44 metres between terminals, which Mr. Stobbart says makes it a more cost-effective system than similar barriers where length of need between terminals can reach up to 78 metres.

The barrier is made from high-strength, modified UV-stabilised polyethylene and patented composite design, ensuring it has a long service life.

The Shield I is designed for use on a variety of civil applications, including development sites, housing estates and road works – both for the short and long term.

Being significantly lighter than concrete or steel safety barriers, Mr. Stobbart says the Shield I boasts a number of efficiency benefits, namely quick installation and cost-effectiveness.

He says the Shield I is easy to install as all it requires is an easy to insert single steel pin and has ability to go around curves with eight degrees of movement available at barrier joints.

“It’s designed to handle uneven ground and different curves and gradients on the road. Because of its single pin connection, it can be installed on a range of different applications, including dirt roads.”

Likewise, the barrier features recesses and indents, allowing it to be stacked and packed for easy transportation.

Mr. Stobbart surmises that achieving first MASH 2009 approval on water-filled barriers puts the Shield I in positive position during a comprehensive period of transition for the Australian safety barrier manufacturing sector.


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