Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-3612

Development and Testing of the SAFER Barrier - Version 2, SAFER Barrier Gate, and Alternative Backup Structure 2006-01-3612

From 1998 through 2002, the Steel And Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier was developed, tested, and evaluated for use in high-speed racetrack applications in order to decrease the severity of high-energy crashes into the outer, rigid containment walls. The original SAFER Barrier was first installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and used at the 2002 INDY 500 mile race. Following the successful implementation of the original SAFER Barrier system, further efforts were directed toward improving the barrier's design and adapting the system to smaller-radius, high-speed racetracks. The continued research and development effort resulted in the second generation of the SAFER barrier, also known as SAFER Barrier - Version 2.
Following the development of the SAFER Barrier - Version 2, it was also determined that a need existed to design an opening or gate within the SAFER Barrier System. At some oval racetrack facilities, tunnels may not always be available for allowing vehicles to travel to and from the infield area. Instead, these vehicles must travel through openings made in the outer concrete containment wall. Therefore, a SAFER Emergency Gate was developed in order to allow the SAFER Barrier to be opened to accommodate the transportation needs of a given racetrack facility but still serve as a energy-absorbing barrier when closed.
The original and modified versions of the SAFER Barrier were designed for attachment to the inside surface of existing rigid, concrete containment walls. For new racetrack facilities, old tracks requiring replacement of the concrete walls, or road courses, it may not be feasible to build the large continuous concrete walls for supporting the SAFER Barrier systems. As such, an alternative backup structure was developed for supporting the energy-absorbing foam blocks and anchoring the tubular steel impact panels using discrete structures and a concrete foundation.


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