US20090250675A1 - Vehicle Barrier - Google Patents

Vehicle Barrier Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090250675A1
US20090250675A1 US12/409,600 US40960009A US2009250675A1 US 20090250675 A1 US20090250675 A1 US 20090250675A1 US 40960009 A US40960009 A US 40960009A US 2009250675 A1 US2009250675 A1 US 2009250675A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
barrier
plurality
vehicle
material
side
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Abandoned
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US12/409,600
Inventor
Arthur Henry Cashin
Sheldrick Faris Hawkins
William McAdam Hawkins
Brian Andrew Hickle
Marc Douglas Verble
Frank Lee Hollowell, JR.
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FIBERWEB Inc
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FIBERWEB Inc
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Publication date
Priority to US12/053,966 priority Critical patent/US20090235813A1/en
Application filed by FIBERWEB Inc filed Critical FIBERWEB Inc
Priority to US12/409,600 priority patent/US20090250675A1/en
Assigned to FIBERWEB, INC. reassignment FIBERWEB, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HAWKINS, WILLIAM MCADAM, HICKIE, BRIAN ANDREW, VERBLE, MARC DOUGLASS, CASHIN, ARTHUR, HAWKINS, SHELDRICK FARIS, HOLLOWELL, FRANK LEE, JR.
Publication of US20090250675A1 publication Critical patent/US20090250675A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01FADDITIONAL WORK, SUCH AS EQUIPPING ROADS OR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PLATFORMS, HELICOPTER LANDING STAGES, SIGNS, SNOW FENCES, OR THE LIKE
    • E01F13/00Arrangements for obstructing or restricting traffic, e.g. gates, barricades ; Preventing passage of vehicles of selected category or dimensions
    • E01F13/12Arrangements for obstructing or restricting traffic, e.g. gates, barricades ; Preventing passage of vehicles of selected category or dimensions for forcibly arresting or disabling vehicles, e.g. spiked mats
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01FADDITIONAL WORK, SUCH AS EQUIPPING ROADS OR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PLATFORMS, HELICOPTER LANDING STAGES, SIGNS, SNOW FENCES, OR THE LIKE
    • E01F15/00Safety arrangements for slowing, redirecting or stopping errant vehicles, e.g. guard posts or bollards; Arrangements for reducing damage to roadside structures due to vehicular impact
    • E01F15/14Safety arrangements for slowing, redirecting or stopping errant vehicles, e.g. guard posts or bollards; Arrangements for reducing damage to roadside structures due to vehicular impact specially adapted for local protection, e.g. for bridge piers, for traffic islands
    • E01F15/145Means for vehicle stopping using impact energy absorbers

Abstract

A vehicle barrier having an impact side, a reflection side opposite the impact side, and a plurality of interior walls extending between the impact side and the reflection side. The refection side, the impact side, and the plurality of interior walls are formed from vertically-oriented sheets of barrier material (when in the deployed configuration). Further, the refection side, the impact side, and the plurality of interior walls define multiple chambers. The chambers can be packed with fill material to stop an oncoming vehicle.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part application which claims benefit of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/053,966 filed Mar. 24, 2008, entitled “BALLISTICS BARRIER” which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to vehicle barriers. More specifically, the present invention pertains to barriers that can effectively arrest the movement of an oncoming vehicle and dissipate blast/impact waves created from the impact of the vehicle and/or the detonation of explosives carried by the vehicle. Further, the present invention relates to vehicle barriers that are readily transportable and can be expeditiously erected.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The applications for vehicle barriers range from routing the flow of traffic to preventing vehicles from entering a restricted roadway to providing a barricade limiting vehicle proximity to a building or other sensitive locale. In addition to being a deterrent, an effective vehicle barrier must be able to absorb the impact of the vehicle and quickly halt the vehicle's movement without compromising the perimeter defined by the vehicle barrier(s). Thus, an effective vehicle barrier should not experience significant displacement, as a result of the vehicle's impact, less the impacting vehicle (if not incapacitated) or a second vehicle could easily bypass the displaced barrier and gain access to the protected area/building. Moreover, if the vehicle is transporting an explosive device, the vehicle barrier should be able dissipate the blast waves generated by the detonation of the explosive device.
  • In addition to the above-described features, for some applications, especially militaristic efforts, vehicle barriers must be transportable and quickly erectable. These attributes are of particular import if the vehicle barrier is to be suitable for deployment to remote locations on short notice. The prior art has provided barriers targeted at some or all of these features, although with varying degrees of success.
  • For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,410 issued to Beryozkin et al. discloses a vehicle barrier mounted on a movable frame. The barrier has a front impact shield designed to accept the impact of the vehicle and one or more stoppers opposite the shield. The stoppers are angled and positioned to be driven into the ground when the vehicle impacts the barrier. The stoppers' engagement to the ground prevents the barrier from moving back in response to the impact. Beryozkin et al. also discloses a vehicle barrier having a set of tire puncturing devices positioned in front of the shield designed to slow the vehicle prior to impact. Beryozkin has several drawbacks. Chief among these drawbacks is the substantial bulk and weight of the barrier—which limits transportability.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,409,420 issued to Horton et al. describes a portable vehicle barrier configured as a net. The net includes an array of spikes disposed across both the leading and trailing sections of the net. The spikes are designed to adhere to the front and rear tires and prevent the rotation of the tires—thereby stopping the vehicle. Undesirably, Horton et al. has no provisions for blast protection/dissipation. Moreover, Horton et al. does not incapacitate or restrain the driver, which may enable the driver to continue his/her nefarious efforts.
  • Nasatka discloses, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,630,395, first and second stanchions and a base plate movably mounted therebetween. The base plate rotates from a horizontal position, allowing vehicles to pass over the base plate and between the stanchions, to a vertical position which blocks passage between the stanchions. The means for rotating/pivoting the base plate between horizontal and vertical positions is housed in the stanchions to provide protection for the rotating means. As with Beryozkin et al., the weight, form factor, and complexity of Nasatka limits its ability to be easily transported and configured for operation.
  • Other vehicle barrier offerings in the prior art include cast concrete barriers (often referred to as New Jersey Barriers) and drums filled with sand or water. However, even these common vehicle barriers have deficiencies. For example, the New Jersey Barriers can easily be displaced from their original position as the concrete readily slides on hard surfaces, such as roadways, and the sand or water filled drums lack suitable inter-unit connections to effectively disperse the large amount of dynamic energy associated with a vehicle impact or a blast, explosion or ballistic strike.
  • Thus, what is needed is a readily portable vehicle barrier that can be quickly erected, can effectively arrest the movement of an oncoming vehicle, can incapacitate the driver, and can dissipate any blast/impact waves resultant from the vehicle impact or the detonation of an explosive device within the vehicle.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides a vehicle barrier capable of being easily transported and erected, capable of absorbing the impact from a vehicle without significant lateral displacement, and capable of effectively dissipating blast waves from the detonation of an explosive device.
  • The vehicle barrier of the present invention includes an impact side, a reflection side, and a plurality of interior walls extending between the impact side and the reflection side. The impact side describes the exterior portion of the barrier designed to engage an oncoming vehicle. The reflection side describes the portion of the barrier opposite the impact side. The impact side, reflection side, and plurality of interior walls define a plurality of hollow protection chambers. The plurality of chambers can be envisioned as a cellular matrix. The walls of the chambers are formed from a combination of some or all of the impact side, reflection side, and interior walls—depending on the particular location in the barrier of the chamber-of-interest.
  • To enhance the structural integrity of the present invention, each of the impact and reflection sides are formed from a sheet of barrier material. The interior walls are also formed from barrier material. Further, the interior walls are mechanically fastened to the impact and reflection sides (and in some embodiments, each other) to form the chambers. As the barrier is comprised of pliable barrier material, the barrier may be encouraged into a smaller form factor, as compared to its deployed form factor, by collapsing the hollow chambers. However, the deployed form factor of the present invention mandates that the hollow chambers be open and receptive to receiving fill material. Thus, once deployed, the barrier can be packed with fill material, such as soil, sand, or rocks. As the range of fill material accepted by the present invention is so diverse, as discussed hereinbelow, typically, the fill material can be located proximate the erection site (thereby avoiding the requirement to carry heavy fill material).
  • Packing the present invention with fill material, preferably with in-situ fill material, engenders, in part, the present invention with the significance to stop vehicles from compromising the barrier. To fully exploit the benefit of the fill material, the chambers have a lower chamber side, proximate the ground, with an open face to expose the fill material to the ground. The intimate contact between the fill material and the ground (e.g. road surface) provides a friction interface that resists efforts to displace the barrier.
  • Although the chambers can be packed individually, the process can be expedited by utilizing a front end loader, a back hoe, a conveyor apparatus, or the like. Because the barrier is an assembly of open interconnected chambers, and the barrier material has enough rigidity to be self-supporting, large amounts of fill material may be deposited in multiple chambers at once with a single effort. Additionally, a light-weight rigid framework may be employed to facilitate the filling process. Such a framework may be coextensive with the perimeter of the barrier and couple to some or all of the chambers comprising the barrier's perimeter. This would allow the framework to provide tension across the plurality of chambers to encourage the chambers into their most exposed, i.e. open, position thereby facilitating the packing/filling process. Further, the framework may be constructed from a set of readily transportable rods or constituent members that interconnect to form the composite framework. Alternatively, the framework may be sized to hold open a single chamber. Such a framework would be compact yet provide a single individual with the ability to easily transport and deploy the framework. However, the present invention is not limited to the frameworks described herein, the present invention also envisions any technique or apparatus that opens the chambers to aid in packing, e.g. tensioning opposing corners/sections of the barrier by manual effort or tie downs.
  • The barrier material may be a high strength fabric, either woven or non-woven. If woven, the present invention envisions any weave and natural or synthetic threads or yarns. If non-woven, any non-woven technology or polymer which meets a minimum of 100 lbs grab tensile (or grab tensile strength as determined by test method ASTM D4632) with a preferred range of above 300 lbs grab tensile (including woven materials, collectively referred to a “barrier material” or “barrier fabric” herein after). Preferably, the material is a polypropylene-based, non-woven geotextile material. Such a material is known to be puncture and tear resistant, flexible, possess a high tensile strength, and to be stiff enough to form, and maintain, a framework without the aid of any external braces or supports. TYPAR®, manufactured by Fiberweb, Inc. is one such material. One desirable aspect of TYPAR material is that it has a high TEA (total energy absorbed) per unit weight, especially as compared to materials such needle-punched fabrics which may have comparable tensile strengths. However, in addition to those mentioned above, other materials are also envisioned by the present invention, these materials include non-polypropylene based non-wovens, composite wovens, HDPE (high-density polyethylenes), polyethylene terephthalate, KEVLAR® material, and scrims reinforced fabrics.
  • Critical to the operation of an effective barrier is the ability of the barrier to absorb and dissipate both the impact/impact waves resulting from the impact of the vehicle and the ability to effectively dissipate the energy from a blast wave caused by the detonation of an explosive device, if any. The present invention serves to accomplish these aims through two primary mechanisms. Firstly, the fill material dissipates the kinetic energy of the vehicle impact or blast wave as it travels through the fill material and the barrier material defining the chamber walls. Secondly, the cellular arrangement of the invention provides walls that function as shear absorbing boundaries as they are acted upon by the advancing blast/impact waves, scatters the waves, and provides a medium through which reflected waves may travel and dissipate. As will be discussed below, the ability to dissipate the impact and blast/impact waves by way of attenuation and scattering is of great concern in vehicle barriers.
  • During an impact and/or when blast waves strike the barrier, pressure waves are created that travel through the barrier (from the front to the back relative to the wave's initial engagement with the barrier). The waves are attenuated by the fill material. However, the fill material transmits a portion of the forces created by the waves to the barrier material defining the chambers. The material both dissipates and scatters/redirects the pressure wave. The barrier material (such as TYPAR) dissipates the pressure wave because the barrier material is a shear-absorbing material. Thus, as the pressure waves encounter the chamber walls a significant portion of pressure wave energy is absorbed by the barrier material. Further, as a result of the cellular structure and arrangement of the present invention, the chamber walls also serve to interrupt and redirect the pressure waves as they travel through the barrier. In summary, the barrier, via the arrangement and composition of the chambers, both absorbs and redirects incident pressure waves (this is in addition to the attenuating effects of the fill material in the chambers).
  • If a residual pressure wave reaches the reflection side, there will be no relatively dense fill material on the other side of the reflection side for the wave to travel through. When this occurs, the pressure wave impacts and distorts/deforms the barrier material itself. To effectively manage this situation, the material must have sufficient tensile strength to absorb this force and reflect it back in the opposite direction as a tensile stress wave. If the cellular structure were not there to accept and reflect the forces then the energy carried by the pressure wave would completely dissipate when it encountered the back of the barrier (i.e. the reflection side). This dissipation is manifested in the form of a dynamic energy release. Such an energy release can be very destructive. The spalling of the back side of a concrete wall as a result of an impact to the front side is one such manifestation of this type of destructive energy release. However, merely reflecting the tensile stress wave does not alleviate the problem. There must also be a conduit through which the tensile stress wave can travel back through the barrier. In most applications, the fill material will not readily accept the tensile wave. Advantageously, the barrier material defining the chambers will readily accept the tensile wave and allow the wave to travel back through the barrier and further dissipate.
  • Consequently, it is desired to have a vehicle barrier to accept, reflect, and dissipate the forces generated from a vehicle impact or explosion. The barrier material serves this role in the invention. Further, it is desirable to have a barrier that resists being displaced. The interconnected cellular structure of the present invention (which allows the fill material to frictionally engage the ground) provides this capacity. Because of the barrier's resistance to being displaced, and the resultant force experienced by the rapidly decelerated vehicle, the present invention provides the capacity to disable both vehicle and driver so that additional attempts to breach the barrier cannot be conducted.
  • It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description present embodiments of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the invention as it is claimed. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate various embodiments of the invention, and together with the description serve to explain the principles and operations of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1A is a top perspective view of one embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 1B is a perspective view the vehicle barrier, having filling material therein.
  • FIG. 1C is a top perspective view of another embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, showing two layers.
  • FIG. 2 is side cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, showing a downward coupling projection.
  • FIG. 3 is side cross-sectional view of yet another embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, showing a downward coupling projection.
  • FIG. 4 is side cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, showing an upward coupling projection.
  • FIG. 5 is a top perspective view an embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, illustrating use with a gabion.
  • FIG. 6 is front plan view of an embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, a restraining member.
  • FIG. 7 is top perspective view of an embodiment of a vehicle barrier in accordance with the present invention, showing a covering material.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The present invention relates generally to vehicle barriers and more particularly to portable vehicle barriers. Referring now to the drawings (where, for ease of understanding, not all reference numerals are shown in all drawings), the present invention provides a barrier body 10 having an impact side 12 (i.e., the side of barrier body 10 facing the direction from which an impact is likely to occur), a reflection side 14, and a plurality of interior walls 16, as shown in FIG. 1A. The plurality of interior walls 16 extend between and join the impact side 12 and the reflection side 14. The plurality of interior walls 16, the impact side 12, and the reflection side 14 are arranged to form a plurality of hollow protection chambers 18 or plurality of vessels 18, which, in application, are filled with a fill material 100.
  • The vertical sides of the plurality of hollow protection chambers 18 are defined by either the plurality of interior walls 16 or some combination of the plurality of interior walls 16, the impact side 12, and/or the reflection side 14. This configuration permits the chambers 18 to have an open lower chamber face 20 (also referred to as an open bottom side 20 or an open bottom surface 20) as shown in FIG. 2. Alternatively described, the chambers 18 do not have a bottom as neither the plurality of interior walls 16, the impact side 12, nor the reflection side 14 provide such a feature.
  • Contrariwise, the chambers 18 can include a partially or completely closed bottom, formed in one embodiment by extending walls 16 and sides 12 and 14 down (e.g., by at least about one inch and preferably at least about two inches; more preferably, walls 16 and sides 12 and 14 are extended downwards up to about 8 inches or more) and folding them under hollow protection chambers 18, as shown in FIG. 3. In this way, a slip plane is created, since the friction between the ground and the material from which barrier body 10 is formed is less than that between the ground and fill material 100 such as sand. As such, impact or other force applied to barrier body 10 can be further dissipated by slipping of the body 10 in the direction of the impact.
  • Moreover, extending sides 12 and 14 downward, especially as compared with walls 16, can form a downward coupling projection 38 extending from the bottom of sides 12 and 14 and downward therefrom, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. If one barrier layer is vertically stacked on another (and thus having lower barrier body 10 and upper barrier body 10 a, as shown in view of FIG. 1C), the coupling projection 38 could can fit within the top of the next lower barrier layer and prevent fill material deposited in the uppermost barrier layer from leaking out at the barrier-to-barrier joint, while also improving joint strength by resisting separation in the event of impact or ballistic strike. Alternatively, downward coupling projection 38 of upper barrier body 10 a can fit outside the top of the next lower barrier layer 10. Additionally, the downward extending coupling projection 38 can function to provide the bottom of chambers 18, as discussed above. Moreover, coupling projections 38 can be staked or otherwise coupled to the ground (using, e.g., stakes 39), in order to provide additional stability to barrier body 10, as shown in FIG. 2.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 4, in another embodiment, the sides 12 and 14 have a height greater than that of the interior walls 16, again, by at least about one inch and preferably at least about two inches; more preferably, in this embodiment, walls 16 and sides 12 and 14 have a height up to about 8 inches or more greater than that of interior walls 16. After assembly, this height difference provides an upward coupling projection 39 around the perimeter of the barrier body 10.
  • Similarly, upward coupling projection 39 has many beneficial attributes. For instance, in many situations, it is advantageous for the vehicle barrier to have multiple barrier layers to increase the overall height of the vehicle barrier. In such a configuration the coupling projection 39 could act as a retaining wall for the fill material in the chambers, i.e. it could present a barrier to the fill material from escaping. Thus, if one barrier layer 10 a is vertically stacked on another 10 (again, as shown in the view of FIG. 1C), the coupling projection 39 could overlap the bottom of the upper barrier layer 10 a and prevent fill material deposited in the upper barrier layer 10 a from leaking out at the barrier-to-barrier joint, as illustrated in FIG. 4. Also, upward coupling projection 36 can form a cover for the top of the upper layer of barrier body 10 a, again as shown in FIG. 4.
  • In addition to downward coupling projection 38 or upward coupling projection 39 being formed integrally with sides 12 and 14, respectively, downward coupling projection 38 and upward coupling projection 39 may also be a separate component attached to the vehicle barrier/barrier body 10 during the assembly of the vehicle barrier or at a later time.
  • In one embodiment, each of the impact and reflection sides 12 and 14 are formed from a single sheet of barrier material and the interior walls 16 are formed from one or more sheets of barrier material, depending on the number of chambers 18 desired. Further, it should be noted that some portion of the exterior surface of the barrier body 10 (i.e. the perimeter wall of the barrier body 10) may be composed of a combination of the plurality of interior walls 16, the impact side 12, and the reflection side 14 or only a combination of the impact side 12 and the reflection side 14—depending on both the configuration and the construction of the barrier body 10. For example, if the impact side 12 and the reflection side 14 were joined at the ends, the exterior surface would only be defined by the two sides 12 and 14.
  • The barrier material occupies a vital role in the performance of the vehicle barrier. The barrier material may be a woven, knitted, or non-woven fibrous web. In one preferred embodiment, the barrier material is a polypropylene-based non-woven geotextile material. Although, the geotextile may comprise about 60% to about 80% polypropylene and about 20% to about 40% polyethylene, the geotextile of one preferred embodiment, is comprised entirely from polypropylene (exclusive of impurities). One such material is TYPAR, available from Fiberweb, Inc. of Old Hickory, Tenn.
  • TYPAR is a high strength non-woven fabric manufactured using highly oriented individual polyolefin fibers. Desirably, these fibers are between about three and thirty Denier (a unit of weight indicating the fineness of fiber filaments) and even more desirably between about eight and twenty-two Denier. This composition would imbue the geotextile with resistance to naturally occurring soil alkalis and acids (of great import if the fill material is soil). Additionally, the geotextile would be unaffected by bacteria or fungi. Because, in most applications, the geotextile will be exposed to sunlight, and its harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the geotextile may be made from fibers that contain ultraviolet and anti-oxidant additives or be coated with an UV resistant coating to improve the life of the material.
  • In yet another embodiment, each of the impact and reflection sides 12 and 14 and the interior walls 16 are formed as a composite or laminate of one or more sheets of barrier material with another material such as a fiberglass scrim, if desired for the properties and characteristics provided by the added material.
  • Advantageously barriers, and more particularly the chambers 18, constructed in the above-described manner are laterally collapsible. Consider that the chambers 18 are formed from a non-rigid fabric and the formation of the chambers 18 is only a consequence of the bonding of sheets of barrier material together at certain points. Because the barrier material is pliable and no rigid frame is required to support the barrier body 10, the barrier body 10 may be easily collapsed. After the barrier body 10 has been laterally collapsed, it may also be manipulated into a different form-factor, e.g. the barrier body 10 may be rolled or folded into a form-factor more amenable to transportation or storage, often referred to as a low logistical footprint. In one preferred embodiment, the barrier body 10 has a volume ratio, the ratio of an erected barrier to that of a collapsed and packaged barrier, from about 30:1 to 130:1, with the preferred ratios ranging from approximately 60:1 to 100:1.
  • The fabrication sequence for barrier body 10 can be described as follows: two pieces of barrier material can be attached together at regular intervals (referred to as wall locations) to create a row of cells or chambers. Next, another sheet of barrier material is attached to the interior wall at a plurality of second wall locations horizontally offset from the first wall locations (presupposing the first row has assumed a diamond shape) to create a horizontally offset, relative to the first row, second row of cells.
  • The first and second row of cells may form all or part of the plurality of vessels 18—specifically, each of the plurality of vessels 18 is defined by at least two of the interior walls 16, the impact side 12, and the reflection side 14. Additional sheets of barrier material can be attached to create further rows of offset cells. Thus, additional rows (i.e. vessels) can be created by repeating the above process. For ease of implementation, one preferred manufacturing process is affected with the sheets of ballistics material oriented in a substantially parallel relationship, i.e. not distended into any particular shape—like a diamond shape. Preferably, the interior walls 16, the impact side 12, and the reflection side 14 comprise barrier material and even more specifically a geotextile. Moreover, in one embodiment the impact side 12 and the reflection side 14 are formed from a continuous sheet of geotextile.
  • It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that more chambers 18 and rows can be added and that the dimensions of the resulting barrier body 10 can be manipulated to achieve a desired size and/or shape. It should also be noted that while a diamond-shaped chamber or a quadrilateral-shaped chamber is discussed, other chamber configurations are within the scope of the invention, such as circular, triangular, or rectangular-shaped chambers.
  • For instance in one embodiment, the barrier body 10 includes the above-mentioned triangular-shaped chambers, as shown in FIG. 1A. Specifically, first and second base walls (i.e. sides 12 and 14) can be coupled to a central wall (comparable to the plurality of interior walls 16—the plurality of interior walls 16 may also refer to the individual walls of the chambers) at horizontally-staggered locations to create triangular-shaped chambers 18. Thus, such a construction can create a vehicle barrier with triangular compartments.
  • Alternative vehicle barrier/barrier body 10 arrangements can be created by varying the size and coupling points of the barrier material sheets used to fabricate the barrier body 10 or by cutting/shaping standard barrier configurations with, for example, a shearing tool. Further, the chamber shape may be distorted as a chamber 18 is packed with fill material, especially if the chamber 18 is on the perimeter of the barrier 10. Thus, an exterior diamond-shaped chamber (a chamber on the perimeter of the barrier body 10) may actually have significant curvature after the chamber has been packed. This distortion does not compromise the effectiveness of the present invention and is an artifact of the filling/packing process.
  • Although the preferred embodiment of the present invention utilizes multiple sheets of barrier material, similar barriers/chamber structures could also be made from a continuous sheet of ballistics material. This could be accomplished by folding the ballistics material back and forth on itself and bonding the opposing segments at predetermined intervals.
  • As discussed hereinabove, to address the problem of fill material 100 leaking out at the junction between the upper surface of a first or bottom layer of barrier body 10 and the lower surface of a second or upper layer of barrier body 10 a, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the present invention provides the downward coupling projection 38 or the upward coupling projection 39. As already mentioned, the coupling projection 38 or 39 may be integral to a barrier layer 10 or 10 a (i.e. resultant from the height difference of barrier material sheets used during fabrication). Further, the coupling projection 38 or 39 may be a distinct component. Regardless, the coupling member 38 or 39 can be described as being engaged (removably or not) to one of the impact or reflection sides 12 or 14 of one of barrier body 10 or 10 a and extending over the impact or reflection sides 12 or 14 of the other of barrier body 10 or 10 a. As such the coupling projection 38 or 39 will bridge the junction/joint between barrier bodies 10 and 10 a to prevent fill material from leaking out. This is especially important if the fill material is a particulate material such as sand. The present invention also envisions the utilization of multiple coupling projections 38 or 39 for the vehicle barriers having multiple layers/levels.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 7, the present invention may also provide a top chamber covering 66 or a top surface covering 66 to prevent fill material 100 from escaping from the barrier body 10. The top chamber covering 66 is detachably engaged to the upper chamber face of the topmost or upper barrier layer 10 a (or the only layer in a one-layer barrier). This arrangement permits the chambers 18 to first be packed or filled and then permits the top chamber covering 66 to overlay the upper chamber face to restrict the unwanted movement of fill material 100 out of the chambers 18. In one embodiment, the top chamber covering 66 is made from barrier material and spans all or most of the plurality of chambers 18. Furthermore, the covering 66 of the preferred embodiment may be attached and/or removed from the barrier layer via mechanical fasteners located on the exterior boundary of the layer, desirably, proximate the upper chamber face. In an alternative embodiment the top chamber covering 66 is sized and configured to overlay and attach to individual chambers 18, as shown in FIG. 7. In other embodiments, chambers 18 can be closed by the use of drawstrings, grommets or other apparatus for closing flexible materials (not shown).
  • Moreover, a restraining member 90, such as a steel cable, elastic cable, etc. can be positioned about one or both sides 12 and 14 of barrier body 10, as shown in FIG. 6. When a barrier is constructed using a plurality of barrier bodies 10, 11, etc., restraining member 90 can help maintain the barrier body 10 in position if an impact is experienced at one barrier body; that barrier body would be further restrained from movement by the weight of the additional barrier bodies. In addition, restraining member 90 can be coupled or otherwise anchored to the ground or other structure, such as by stakes 98 a, for even further stability.
  • In the alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the present invention may include a gabion 70, a gabion 70 is a cage or box often construction from a rigid framework, such as a wire. The frame geometry of the gabion 70 is greater (i.e. larger) than the exterior geometry of the barrier to allow the barrier body 10 to be removably received into the gabion 70. Alternatively described, the gabion 70 can be analogized to a basket, sized and configured to allow the barrier body 10 to be inserted into the cavity of the basket. The frame geometry of the gabion can be selected to accommodate barriers of varying widths, lengths, and heights (e.g. a barrier with multiple barrier layers). In some situations, the gabion 70 may be used to facilitate the movement of the vehicle barrier/barrier body 10 without the need to first disassemble/collapse the vehicle barrier/barrier body 10.
  • In one embodiment, a barrier body 10 having four cells 18 can be combined with a gabion 70 to provide a unique and advantageous structure, illustrated in FIG. 5. In this structure, the four chambers 18, when filled, expand to assume the outer shape and dimensions of gabion 70 and typically assume a “cloverleaf” shape. In this way, a relatively fast and easy to construct barrier is provided. Moreover, if one of cells 18 is pierced such that the fill is lost, the remaining three chambers 18 remain to provide protection.
  • To aid in packing the vehicle barrier/barrier body 10 with fill material 100, a rigid framework may be employed (not shown). As the barrier body 10 is constructed from pliable barrier material, the rigid framework may be used to expand and extend the chambers 18 to allow packing with minimal effort, the framework may be attached to any barrier layer. Specifically, the vehicle barrier/barrier body 10 has a periphery or perimeter, an extended area bounded by sides 12 and 14. The extended area describes the state of the barrier body 10 when each of the chambers 18 is expanded to its most open position or close to its most open position (the position in which the chambers 18 are most easily filled). The framework has an area not less than the extended area. When in use, the framework is detachably coupled to the periphery to cause the barrier body 10 to be held open to facilitate filling with fill material 100—the framework stops cells 18 from assuming a collapsed or partially collapsed orientation which would complicate the filling process.
  • As noted above, a variety of different fill materials 100 can be employed with barrier body 10, to provide different functional results. Commonly, a fine particulate material like sand or dirt is employed, although rocks or pebbles can also be used as fill material 100 if additional weight and strength is desired; zeolite, crushed glass, carbon, and the like are additional fill materials 100 that can be employed. Other potential fill materials 100 include materials like ground tires, as a way of recycling used tire materials. Moreover, different rows of cells 18 can be filled with different materials to provide additional functional effects. Thus, a first row can be filled with coarse rock, a second with fine rock and a third with sand, in order to effect a filtration function, if barrier body is in a wetlands or other environment where water, especially impure water, is present. Likewise, the three rows described above can be filled with sand, lime and carbon, respectively for additional and/or different filtration or water treatment properties.
  • In addition, reinforcement materials can be included in the fill material 100 for additional strength. For example, fibers, or ground and recycled carpet materials have been found useful as reinforcing materials for fill for barrier body 10. Also, a bonding material, such as a polymer such as a resin or a latex, or a rubber material can be employed, especially on upper chamber face 68 or top surface 68, to prevent wind from scouring (or blowing away) fill material from surface 68, especially when a top surface covering 66 is noted employed.
  • Thus, by the practice of the embodiments described herein, a vehicle barrier is provided, which can be easily and quickly constructed, and yet which provides effective impact and ballistic protection.
  • All cited patents, patent applications and publications referred to herein are incorporated by reference.
  • Thus, although there have been described particular embodiments of the present invention of a new and useful Vehicle Barrier, it is not intended that such references be construed as limitations upon the scope of this invention except as set forth in the following claims.

Claims (20)

1. A vehicle barrier, comprising:
a barrier body having an impact side, a reflection side opposite the impact side, and a plurality of interior walls extending between the impact side and the reflection side; and
wherein the impact side comprises a first sheet of barrier material, the reflection side comprises a second sheet of barrier material, the plurality of interior walls comprise one or more interior sheets of barrier material, and wherein the impact side, the reflection side, and the plurality of interior walls define a plurality of hollow protection chambers.
2. The barrier of claim 1 wherein the plurality of protection chambers has an upper chamber face, the barrier further comprising:
a top chamber covering detachably engaged to the upper chamber face.
3. The barrier of claim 2 wherein the top chamber covering comprises barrier material.
4. The barrier of claim 1 wherein at least one of the plurality of protection chambers has a quadrilateral shape.
5. The barrier of claim 1 wherein the barrier material comprises a geotextile.
6. The barrier of claim 1 wherein the barrier body has an exterior geometry defining an exterior barrier surface, the barrier further comprising:
a gabion removably engaged to the barrier body, wherein the gabion has a frame geometry defining an interior gabion surface greater than the exterior geometry of the barrier body to allow the barrier body to be removably received into the gabion.
7. The barrier of claim 1 wherein each of the first and second sheets of barrier material is a continuous sheet.
8. A method of creating a vehicle barrier, comprising:
(a) attaching an interior wall to a first bounding wall at a plurality of first wall locations; and
(b) attaching the interior wall to a second bounding wall at a plurality of second wall locations horizontally offset from the plurality of first wall locations to create a vehicle barrier array, wherein the vehicle barrier array includes a plurality of vessels, each of the plurality of vessels defined by at least two of the interior wall, the first bounding wall, and the second bounding wall, and further wherein each of the interior, first bounding, and second bounding walls comprise barrier fabric.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein each of the first bounding and second bounding walls comprise a continuous sheet of barrier fabric
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the barrier fabric comprises a geotextile fabric.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein each of the first bounding and interior walls has a height and the height of the first bounding wall is greater than the height of the interior wall.
12. The method of claim 8, wherein each of the plurality of vessels has an open bottom surface.
13. A vehicle barrier, comprising:
a first plurality of interconnected cells having an upper surface and a first exterior boundary, each cell having vertical side walls comprising barrier material, wherein the first plurality of cells occupies a first elevation;
a second plurality of interconnected cells having a lower surface and a second exterior boundary, each cell having vertical side walls comprising barrier material, wherein the second plurality of cells occupies a second elevation greater than the first elevation, and further wherein lower surface is at least partially coupled to the upper surface; and
a coupling projection engaged to one of the first and second exterior boundaries and extending over at least a portion of the other of the first and second exterior boundaries.
14. The barrier of claim 13 wherein the second plurality of interconnected cells comprises a top surface opposite the lower surface, the barrier further comprising:
a top surface covering engaged to the top surface.
15. The barrier of claim 14 wherein the top surface covering comprises barrier material.
16. The barrier of claim 13 wherein the barrier material comprises a geotextile fabric.
17. The barrier of claim 13, further comprising:
a gabion, wherein at least one of the first and second pluralities of interconnected cells is removably received in the gabion.
18. The barrier of claim 13 wherein the first plurality of interconnected cells has an open bottom side opposite the upper surface.
19. The barrier of claim 13 wherein one of the first and second plurality of interconnected cells has a periphery, an extended area, and a plurality of periphery attachment locations distributed along the periphery, the barrier further comprising:
a rigid framework having an area not less than the extended area, wherein the rigid framework is detachably coupled to the plurality of periphery attachment locations to prevent the one of the first and second plurality of interconnected cells from assuming an area less than the extended area.
20. The barrier of claim 13 wherein the coupling projection comprises barrier material.
US12/409,600 2008-03-24 2009-03-24 Vehicle Barrier Abandoned US20090250675A1 (en)

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US12/053,966 US20090235813A1 (en) 2008-03-24 2008-03-24 Ballistics Barrier
US12/409,600 US20090250675A1 (en) 2008-03-24 2009-03-24 Vehicle Barrier

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