Innovative Energy Absorbing Composite Utility Poles
Small Business Information
992 Old Eagle School Road, Suite 910, Wayne, PA, 19087
Richard C. Foedinger
AbstractUtility poles present a serious roadside hazard due to the large number of poles located in close proximity to the roadways and the unforgiving nature of existing pole designs. Breakaway wooden utility poles have been developed over the past twenty years in an effort to improve utility pole safety, but these designs have not gained widespread acceptance. In order to realize safer utility poles which would be acceptable to both the FHWA and the utility industry, a new generation of utility pole designs which employ advanced materials and/or geometries to offer inherent improvements in both safety performance and functionality is desired. The proposed Phase I research will investigate the feasibility of developing energy absorbing fiberglass reinforced composite (FRC) utility pole material concepts and geometries which provide for progressive crushing of the pole while bringing the vehicle to a controlled stop. Different material constructions and structural geometries will be evaluated through finite element analyses and pendulum impact testing to select the most promising and technically feasible concepts for more detailed development and full-scale crash testing in Phase II. Phase II activities would include detailed design, fabrication and crash testing in accordance with NCHRP Report 350 criteria.
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