Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

An Chen


Longitudinal traffic barriers are widely used as road safety features in the

United States to keep vehicles within the roadway and prevent them from colliding

with dangerous obstacles. Portable water-filled barriers (PWFBs) are one type of

temporary longitudinal traffic barriers, commonly used in speed limit zones and,

roadside working zones. Current market PWFBs are cost-effective and exhibiting

high efficiency while resisting vehicle impact at low speed. However, high-level

impact severity results in structural failure and extensive lateral deflection. Based on

evaluation criteria from Manual of Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), some

PWFBs are inefficient to meet the requirements from newly published evaluation

documents. Since newly developed PWFB with interior honeycomb cells aims to

improve energy absorption behavior and structural resistance in terms of impact

loading. The PWFB with internal cells is designed based on the prototype of the JB

32 barrier, where quadrangle-shaped honeycomb cells are bounded on the interior

surface. In the early stage of this research, small-scale barrier specimens are obtained

via 3D printing and pendulum impact testing is developed to investigate the energy

absorption behavior of barrier structure filled with water. Additionally, numerical

simulation is conducted via Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software (ABAQUS).

Utilizing the obtained FE results, a parametric study is used to further validate the

observation from testing. With both testing and numerical results, the energy

absorption exhibited by water and structural strength of the system can be addressed.

A design recommendation and optimal condition combining each design parameter is

given regarding the conducted parametric study.

Copyright Owner

Zhe Wang



File Format


File Size

122 pages