Texas A&M barrier crash test

There is a lot of research going on at Texas A&M University, and most of it is way over my head.

Important things -- like detecting dark matter, turning trash into gasoline, making oil production better for the environment, producing treatments for Ebola and even finding new uses for lasers. It goes on and on.

Like I said, over my head.

More my speed, however, is this: Trucks crashing into things.

Last month, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute -- which also studies important things like automated vehicles, traffic safety and the impacts of congestion -- sent a truck barreling into a hitching post-shaped tube of concrete. But the best part, besides the fact that the TTI-designed barrier won the battle, is they caught it on videotape so we can watch it over and over again.

The crash test was designed to determine whether the barrier would be effective at protecting U.S. embassies and other buildings around the world.

Staff members at TTI have been working with the State Department since 2001 to develop barriers to keep buildings safe from bombings, according to a statement on the TTI website.

The pipe barrier, which is 42 inches tall and 15 feet wide, is anchored into an 18-inch concrete foundation. The whole thing weighs about 50,000 pounds.

The truck was doing 50 mph when it hit the barrier, and if you couldn't tell by the damage to the truck, the test was considered a success.


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