Highway Guardrail Specifications 101: Dimensions, Height, Weight, Material, Surface Treatment

highway guardrail specifications

Before selecting the suitable highway guardrail, you should learn every detail about it. Because the highway guardrail specifications vary in different countries with different standards.

Having said that, the details of the highway guardrail specification are very similar though. For example, there are only two types: w beam guardrail and thrie beam guardrail, no matter in which countries.

Highway Guardrail Specification Similarities

w beam guardrail and thrie beam guardrail specifications comparison
w beam guardrail (left) and thrie beam guardrail (right)

No matter its w beam or thrie beam highway guardrail, both shares some similarities in specifications:

  • Both guardrails are made of carbon structural steel.
  • The physical characteristics and the chemical properties are not lower than the performance of Q235 steel regulated in the standards of GB/T700.
  • The steel yield point is no less than 234MPa.
  • The tensile strength is controlled at 375-460MPa.
  • No cracks happen when the bending radius is less than the 1.5x of the thickness.
  • The fastening parts, such as bolts, nuts, spacer are made of carbon structural steel. Its tensile strength is larger than 400MPa.
  • The guardrail materials are galvanized with hot-dip zinc + powder coating.
  • The post distance is 4m.
  • The standard length of a piece of highway guardrail is 4320mm.

Notwithstanding the similarities, w beam highway guardrail and thrie beam guardrail are two products used in different scenarios. Knowing the slight differences can help you better choose the right product that fits your demand.

W beam guardrail dimensions

the specifications of w beam guardrail
w beam guardrail specifications
  • Guardrail height: 310mm.
  • Wave height: 85mm.
  • Rail thickness: 3mm or 4mm.
  • Weight in theory:49.16kg for 3mm and 65.44kg for 4mm.
  • Weight for each kilometer-long is 12.3ton for 3mm type and 16.388 for 4mm type.

Thrie beam guardrail dimensions

the specifications of thrie guardrail
thrie beam guardrail specifications
  • Guardrail height: 505mm.
  • Wave height: 85mm.
  • Rail thickness: 4mm.
  • Weight in theory: 102kg.
  • Number of waves: 3

highway guardrail height

the highway guardrail is being installed
people are installing highway guardrail

Talking about highway guardrail height, it always refers to the installation height, e.g. the distance from the top of the highway guardrail to the ground. Normally the highway guardrail is installed at a height of 1.2m – 15.m. In some special area, the height can reach 1.6m.

The highway guardrail post specifications

highway guardrail post's specifications
guardrail posts have specifications

For the posts, there are two types based on the different diameters: Φ114 and Φ140mm.

The length has several options: 1.85m, 1.95m, 2m, and 2.15m.

The post wall thickness is 4.5mm.

The weights are 12.15kg/m for Φ114 type and 15.04kg/m for Φ140 type.

The highway guardrail usage specifications

highway guardrail spare parts
highway guardrail supported parts

Each kilometer highway guardrail construction requires 250 pieces of standard guardrail section, 250 posts, 2 terminals, 250 post caps, 250 offset blocks, 250 connecting bolts and splice bolts.

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