Investigation of Material Requirements for Highway Guardrail Specifications

Many states use AASHTO and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard specifications for their guardrail components. However, changes to the state of practice and to guardrail materials have created a need to revise AASHTO Standard Specification M 180-18, Corrugated Sheet Steel Beams for Highway Guardrail, and its associated material standards, including those referenced in M 180-18. A lack of consistent standard specifications can increase fabrication costs for hardware suppliers and ultimately transportation agencies. A manufacturer can spend a significant amount of resources matching one state’s standard specifications only to start completely over to match those of another state. Consistency of specifications can also help to increase competition, allowing for the possibility of lower hardware costs for transportation agencies. The objectives of this research are to (a) perform a comprehensive review of AASHTO M 180- 18 and its associated AASHTO and ASTM standards and (b) propose needed revisions to bring the specifications into conformance with current requirements and the state of practice for highway guardrail systems. The revised standard shall specify—or refer to standards for—materials for components of the highway guardrail system, including beams, posts, end terminals, connecting hardware, etc.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Phases I and II (Completed) - The final research report has been published as NCHRP Research Report 1020: Investigation of Material Requirements for Highway Guardrail Systems. Phases III and IV - The scope of work was expanded to include research for High-Tension Cable Barriers. Research in progress.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $550000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-40

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    McKenney, Christopher

  • Performing Organizations:

    Roadsafe LLC

  • Principal Investigators:

    Plaxico, Chuck

  • Start Date: 20220701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240701
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01672564
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-40
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 19 2018 12:46PM