This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Development and Validation of an Inertial Vehicle Barrier Calculator




Norman, Tyler W.

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



The danger of malevolent vehicle penetration attempts at the perimeter of protected facilities is an increasing threat across the globe. Passive, unanchored inertial vehicle barriers rely on their mass and friction with the ground surface to dissipate the energy of an impacting vehicle. Both vehicle and barrier characteristics factor into the design, implementation, and success of such systems. Although research has been done on these topics, there is a lack of unity across these methods and presently no such tool capable of succinctly applying them to the design of inertial barrier systems to mitigate the effects of vehicle impacts. This work presents research on the theory and methodology essential to compute the impact of errant vehicle collisions and provides insight into new opportunities to streamline this process. An inertial vehicle barrier calculator has been developed to accurately estimate the penetration distances of threat vehicles given key parameters on the nature of the threat and the corresponding perimeter system. Finite element analysis and existing crash test data validate the tool’s capabilities and verify its accuracy for several representative cases.