A timber guardrail for highways made with hardwoods

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A timber guardrail made of sustainable tropical hardwoods has been developed in the Netherlands. The guardrail is an environmentally friendly alternative for zinc-coated steel barriers. The guardrail is made of a combination of two durable hardwood species: angelim vermelho (Dinizia excelsa) from Brazil and azobé (Lophira alata) from Africa. Full-scale tests have shown that the guardrail is able to withstand the impact of a 13000 kg bus driving at a speed of 70 km/h and an impact angle of 20° as well as that of a car of 900 kg having an impact speed of 100 km/h and same angle. Steam bent curved boards are used as energy absorbers from the passenger car impact. After the full-scale tests with the bus, no damage was found in the timber elements, and the guardrail had only to be straightened, saving repair costs during the service life of a guardrail. The guardrail fulfils the requirements specified in European standard EN 1317 Road Safety Systems for the H2 level with accident severity index of 1.0.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISCHP 2019 - 7th International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing
EditorsJan-Willem van de Kuilen, Wolfgang Gard
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherDelft University of Technology
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventISCHP 2019: 7th International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing - Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 27 Aug 201930 Aug 2019


ConferenceISCHP 2019: 7th International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing
Abbreviated titleISCHP 2019
Internet address


  • Wood
  • Sustainable design
  • design innovation


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