Understanding Bollard Crash Test Ratings

HomeBlogBollardsUnderstanding Bollard Crash Te...

Our team are on hand to help.

Not all security bollards are equal: some can tolerate more force than others. Bollards designed for high-impact collisions undergo crash testing to ensure they can withstand vehicle-borne attacks.

When it comes to choosing a vehicle security barrier system, learning how to interpret bollard ratings is crucial. Good crash rated bollards are certified according to recognised industry standards, including BSI PAS 68 and ISO IWA 14-1.

In this guide, we will discuss what happens during bollard impact testing. We’ll also explain how to decipher three of the most common bollard crash test ratings.

How Are Bollards Crash Tested?

Crash tests measure how well various types of bollards can withstand impact from vehicles such as cars and vans. This allows consumers to choose the right security bollards for their needs.

Traffic calming bollards, used to prevent things like pavement parking, may only need to withstand small knocks at low speeds. However, hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) bollards must provide protection against deliberate high-speed collisions (e.g. terrorist attacks).

HVM bollard impact tests typically involve a real vehicle. Various parameters are measured, including the weight and speed of the vehicle and the angle of impact. Low-speed testing may be simulated or may involve other objects such as a pendulum.

What Do Bollard Crash Ratings Mean?

Bollards should be crash tested and classified according to recognised industry standards. These provide a controlled, consistent method for evaluating the impact performance of vehicle security barriers (VSBs). Each system has its own set of strict criteria for how the test should be conducted and recorded.

A variety of bollard impact rating systems are used around the world. In the UK, the most well-known standards used are PAS 68:2013 and IWA 14-1:2013. In the US, most crash rated bollards are certified according to ASTM, which has replaced the old DoS ‘K’ ratings.

PAS 68 Rated Bollards

PAS 68:2013 is published by the British Standards Institution (BSI), the national standards body of the United Kingdom. PAS rated bollards and barriers have a classification comprising a string of numbers and letters, such as V/7500(N3)/48/90:1.0/2.5. These refer to:

  • Test method used: D (design) for a simulated test, P for a pendulum test or V for an actual vehicle
  • Vehicle mass and classification: M1 (1500kg), N1G (2500kg), N1 (3500kg), N2 (7500kg), N3 (7500kg) or N3 (30000kg)
  • Test speed in kilometres per hour (e.g. 48)
  • Angle of impact in degrees (e.g. 90)
  • Vehicle penetration distance in metres (how far the load-carrying part of the vehicle travelled past the rear face of the product before coming to a stop)
  • Dispersion distance in metres (the furthest point travelled by debris weighing over 25kg)

At MACs Bollards, we supply a wide range of PAS 68 bollards including fixed and automatic rising models.

IWA 14-1 Rated Bollards

The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) publishes industry standards followed by over 160 member countries worldwide. Many impact rated bollards in the UK are assessed according to IWA 14-1:2013, the ISO standard for measuring the performance of VSBs.

This standard for crash testing bollards is similar to PAS 68, with a few differences. An example of an IWA 14-1 rating is V/7200[N3C]/48/90:1.0.

All IWA 14-1 ratings start with V. The following numbers and letters represent:

  • Vehicle mass and classification. IWA 14-1 uses a wider range of categories than PAS 68: M1 (1500kg), N1G (2500kg), N1 (3500kg), N2A (7200kg), N2B (7200kg), N3C (7200kg), N3D (12000kg), N3E (24000kg) and N3F (30000kg)
  • Test speed in kilometres per hour
  • Angle of impact in degrees
  • Vehicle penetration distance in metres (in IWA-14, this is measured from the front of the product, rather than the back face)

Like PAS 68, IWA 14 bollards are tested for the distance travelled by debris. However, this is only included in the test report, not the rating.

ASTM Rated Bollards

The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) is an international standards organisation based in the United States. In the US, ASTM bollard standards have replaced the old DoS (Department of State) ‘K’ ratings, such as K4 rated bollards and K12 crash rated bollards.

Bollards sold in the UK sometimes feature ASTM certifications as well as PAS 68 and IWA 14-1. ASTM F2656 dictates high-speed impact testing for anti-ram bollards, while ASTM F3016 is for crash testing under 30mph.

ASTM F2656 ratings start with a code that corresponds to the vehicle’s size, weight and speed. For example, C730 indicates a Class C7 (7200kg) vehicle travelling at 30mph (50kmh). This is followed by a code referring to the penetration distance, from P1 (≤1m) to P4 (≥30m).

Why Choose MACs Bollards?

Whether you’re interested in residential driveway bollards or heavy-duty HVM bollards, MACs Bollards has you covered. We are Manchester-based suppliers of the highest quality crash tested bollards and vehicle security barrier systems in the UK. We pride ourselves on our unparalleled customer service and technical excellence.

Our range includes a variety of automatic, semi-automatic, manual telescopic and fixed bollards built to trusted industry standards including PAS 68 and IWA 14. To discuss your next project with our expert advisers, contact MACs Bollards today.

Shopping Basket