How would you like your vehicle barriers?
Non-rated, rated, certified, K-rated, M40, PU30, P1, L2 or one of the other many options? What does the terminology mean and how does it apply to your organizations needs to protect vital assets?
Architects, engineers, security designers, and end users need to understand the changing terminology associated with selecting appropriate barriers to protect their vital assets.
In the spring of 2009 the standards changed with the Department of State (DoS) SD-STD-02.01, Vehicle Crash Testing of Perimeter Barriers and Gates, Revision A, dated March 2003 being retired. All future barriers will be tested under American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM F 2656-07.
The following information will help to better explain the certifications and what they mean when designing, purchasing or considering the idea of installing a crash barrier.
The new ratings bring into chronological alignment the iteration of standards historically used by the Department of State (DoS), the Department of Defense (DoD) and now ASTM.
Knowing the threat vehicle, the velocity it is expected to attain, and the acceptable penetration distance provides the ability to select an appropriate barrier for site specific conditions around a facility. The variables considered for different test conditions include the following:
- Vehicle speed (from 30–60 mph, depending on the threat vehicle)
- Vehicle type (small passenger car up to heavy goods truck)
- Vehicle weight (2430 lbs to 65,000 lbs, depending on the threat vehicle)
- Condition Designation (based on threat vehicle and velocity, equivalent to K-rating in former State Department standard)
- Penetration distance (DoS’s L-rating; ASTM’s P-rating)
Terms to know:
A barrier that has been crash tested and certified by a certifying agency such as DoS, DoD and ASTM. There are cases of this term being used to describe products that have not been tested or certified by any independent agency or observer. If there is a doubt, ask for a copy of the certificate from the certifying agency.
Engineer-Rated or Non-Crash Rated:
A barrier that has been designed, analyzed, and stamped by a professional engineer. Many barriers with this rating have been analyzed using computer modeling programs. Some products are structurally analyzed to determine crash-worthiness while others are designed based on the design and testing of similar products.
1. ASTM’s F2656 /F2656M Standard Test Method for Crash Testing of Vehicle Security Barriers (VSB) was updated in 2015 and 2018.
2. ASTM F2656/F2656M-18a, and the UK’s Publicly Available Specification 68 (PAS 68)—Impact Test Specifications for Vehicle Security Barrier Systems are the two primary VSB performance standards currently used in the U.S. and UK, respectively
3. The Department of State (DoS) performance rating designation (K4, K8, and K12) is still used by manufacturers who had their systems certified before 2009.
4. Since the early-2000s, the U.S. and U.K. have collaborated on the ASTM F2656/F2656M and PAS 68, which has successfully led to the establishment of ISO/IWA 14-1:2013 Vehicle Security Barriers—Part 1: Performance requirement, vehicle impact test method and performance rating
5. A fourth standard, CWA 16221, Vehicle Security Barriers—Performance requirements, test methods and guidance on application and the ISO/IWA standards are predominately referenced in Europe and Asia.
6. VSB manufacturers sell their products globally and may only test to a single performance standard
7. In both the U.S. and U.K., the ASTM F2656/F2656M and PAS 68 tests are conducted by industry using independent ISO-certified testing facilities. The testing facility produces a report for the manufacturer that certifies the VSB impact performance against the test standard selected by the manufacturer.
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