How Do Crash Barriers Work?

Posted on January 11, 2023 by Chris Caunce

On-site Work done by CT


Crash barriers are a vital tool in saving lives and reducing the impact of on-road and off-road accidents. They work simply by absorbing and redistributing the impact of a collision, softening the blow to the vehicle, reducing the risk of injury, and ensuring the safety of any pedestrians.

The main purpose of a crash barrier is to ensure the safety and security of pedestrians and property, as well reduce the risk of injury or fatality to drivers and their passengers.

They can also help protect businesses and buildings in busy areas, and prevent traffic collisions caused by oncoming vehicles.

How exactly do crash barriers work?

Most crash barriers are made from either cement or galvanised steel beam, a strong metal that feels rigid to the touch but has an internal structure that allows it to bend and flex. They work by reducing impact and redirecting vehicles on impact.

Reducing collision impact

When a vehicle collides with a crash barrier, the energy of the impact is absorbed and dispersed along the length of the barrier.

A combination of strong materials, clever design and careful placement ensure that crash barriers can carry out their safety requirements.

The barriers are usually bolted into hard ground, or dug into soft ground with cement – to ensure they can withstand heavy impact.


Redirecting vehicles on impact

The wavy design of a crash barrier also ensures that, after impact, the trajectory of the vehicle is redirected along the line of the barrier.

Instead of turning, bouncing or flipping over, the vehicle will come to a controlled stop that helps prevent further collisions.

By influencing the colliding vehicle’s direction of travel, the crash barrier ensures the vehicle is stopped as quickly and safely as possible – reducing the risk of damage to people, property or surrounding vehicles.

How Armco crash barriers work

Armco crash barriers – officially called untenstioned corrugated beams – bend galvanised steel into a wavy ‘W’ shape that makes it hard to bend in the opposite direction.

This bumper-shaped design means a corrugated crash barrier can withstand more impact energy than a flat barrier would.

Instead of snapping in half, an Armco crash barrier will bend and crumple on impact – absorbing the kinetic energy, efficiently slowing the vehicle down and preventing further damage.


We’ll help you build a crash barrier system that works

At CT Safety Barriers, we’ve been crafting and installing high-quality off-road Armco crash barriers for over a decade.

We design and manufacture each crash barrier at our own UK production facilities, so we can guarantee each barrier is made to measure and will exactly suit your safety needs.

Our Armco crash barriers are made in Britain, using superior quality steel and made with careful precision, to ensure each barrier meets your every requirement.

With our short lead times, your crash barrier will be delivered quickly and efficiently. And who better to install it than the people who manufactured it? We’re the experts on crash barriers and will make sure the installation process is carried out safely and correctly.