Road impact attenuators feature a complex design that is designed to absorb as much energy as possible from a vehicle’s impact. That is why their materials are also designed so that they can fulfill this task, which contributes to reducing by a significant number the number of deaths that occur per year in road accidents.
As for the materials, these devices have a meccano-type structure, with a base that rests on a concrete wall and is made up of telescopic steel panels. This is what allows you, when impacting the vehicle, to get into each other, due to some rails practised in the sheet. It is thanks to these rails that the system is not deformed or destroyed after each impact.
Inside, the panels can be box-shaped crossbars with fillings that can be of two types: polyurethane foam or aluminium tubes. The objective is that, when a car hits them, they deform and absorb the energy of the crash. It is important to understand the importance of the deformation of these materials because if they recover their shape, there could be a spring effect and bounce the vehicle to the road.