What are the different crash test specifications?

When researching hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) products, you need to ensure that the product you are looking for has the proven strengths and capabilities to secure your desired location. While crash test standards have been around for many years, their importance becomes more prevalent following several of global vehicle attacks during 2017.

As experts in the design and manufacture of security products which protect from the threat of vehicle attacks, we understand the importance of showcasing the capabilities of our products to support specifiers and buyers in identifying the products most suited to their requirements.

Whilst the requirement for crash tested products is increasing, there can still be uncertainty around some of the international standards. In this article, we guide you through what you need to know about the different crash test standards and what the performance classifications mean.

What is involved in a crash test?

A crash test is exactly as described. It is a simulated environment in which a vehicle is driven into a perimeter security product to assess its effectiveness. From this, a performance classification is drawn up which details the capabilities of the product and how it performed in the crash test. Security products that usually undergo crash tests include bollards, roadblockers and gates. To view an example crash test, head over to our YouTube Channel.

PAS 68: Introducing the first British standard

PAS 68 stands for Publicly Available Standard and was the first crash test standard introduced in the UK, back in 2005. The complexity of the crash test has three main factors; the product being tested, the type of vehicle being used and the speed of the vehicle.

There are six different vehicle categories, ranging from a car (International vehicle classification M1) up to the largest size vehicle, a day cab (International vehicle classification N3). As the size in vehicles differs, so does the weight.

The speed of the test also ranges anywhere between 10 mph – 70 mph. For example, when we have previously PAS 68 crash tested our products, the speeds we have used vary from 40 mph – 50 mph to demonstrate an average speed of a vehicle could be travelling at.

Other factors which are assessed during a PAS 68 test also include the penetration and debris dispersion.

So, now that you know an overview of PAS 68, what does the performance classification stand for? The performance classification below is from our Commander Roadblocker, which was tested to halt a 30 tonne truck travelling at 50 mph (80 kph).

PAS 68 Rating

In this case, the classification means the following:

  • V: The actual vehicle impact tested.

  • 30000: 30 tonne vehicle impact.

  • (N3): The International vehicle classification. This means the product is capable of withstanding an impact by an N3 class vehicle.

  • 80: The impact speed. In the performance classification, this is always written in a kph format.

  • 90: The impact measured at 90 degrees to the front face of the barrier system. The type of angle can also vary.

  • 0: Where the vehicle datum point (load bed) did not penetrate beyond the front face of the roadblocker.

  • 9: Major debris (+25kg). The maximum distance measured from the front face of the barrier system.

ASTM International: The American Standard

In the UK, you may not see this type of performance classification as often as PAS 68 and IWA-14. However, due to Heald exporting approximately 70% of our products overseas which includes a number of significant installs in the USA, we have crash tested some of our products to this standard to provide the American market with products that meet their local crash test requirements.

ASTM ratings read different to PAS 68 and ASTM and look like the following:

ASTM Rating

The first and most obvious difference is the length of the rating, this is much shorter to what we have seen with the PAS 68 standard.

When you break down the classification, it stands for the following:

  • M: Test vehicle. This is usually a medium duty truck with a weight of 6.8 tonnes.

  • 50: Test speed in miles per hour. In PAS 68 and IWA-14, this is written in kilometres per hour.

  • P1: Penetration. In this instance, the penetration is under one metre.

Other penetration results can also read:

  • P2: Penetration result of 1.01m – 7m.

  • P3: Penetration result of 7.01m – 30m.

  • P4: Penetration result of 30.01 or greater.

IWA-14: The latest International Standard

The most recent standard to be introduced is IWA-14. IWA-14 stands for International Workshop Agreement and combines elements of PAS 68 and the American ASTM rating, which we will look at in further detail. IWA-14 was established in 2013 and is led by CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) and BSI (British Standards Institute). Similar to PAS 68, the tests involves a vehicle being driven into a vehicle security barrier to assess its effectiveness.

Moving forward, this is what perimeter security products should be crash tested to. But, this does not mean that PAS 68 ratings are no longer relevant: all PAS 68 products still hold their rating.

IWA-14 does have some similarities to the PAS 68 standard, but also has some key differences:

  • Vehicle categories: There are nine different vehicle sizes.

  • Vehicle weight: As standard, this is 7.2 tonnes, whereas in PAS68 the standard weight you usually see is 7.5 tonnes.

  • Vehicle penetration: This is measured from the front of the product and not the back of the product (this is also where the datum line sits). Therefore, IWA-14 and PAS 68 penetration ratings cannot be compared.

  • Debris: There is no debris value in this particular testing.

Below is the IWA-14 performance classification that our HT3-EM Matador 4 received:

IWA 14 Rating

As you will see, the rating reads similar to PAS 68:

  • V: Vehicle impact tested.

  • 7200: Impact vehicle weighing 7.2 tonnes.

  • N3C: The International vehicle classification. This means the product is capable of withstanding an impact by an N3C vehicle.

  • 64: Impact speed of 64 kph (this is always written in a kph format).

  • 90: The impact measured at 90 degrees to the front face of the barrier system. The type of angle can also vary.

  • 3: Where major debris penetrates beyond the original position from the front face of the product (measured in metres).

Identifying the right crash test specification for you

Depending on the type of area that needs securing, this may affect your choice of security product. Examples of where we have seen our sliding bollards installed are in city centres such as Stockton-On-Tees, as these allow for constant pedestrian access as well as controlled vehicle access. On the other hand, we have also secured areas such as Police Headquarters with our imposing roadblockers, to deter people from trying to break into the premises using a vehicle.

If you are unsure as to which product might meet your needs get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable sales team and they will be happy to assist you.

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