- the smart shirt
- PREDICTING EARTHQUAKES FROM SPACE
- THE SAFER BARRIER
- MICROSCOPIC WIRES DETECT CANCERS
- DETECTING "DIRTY BOMBS"
- MINI-ROBOT RECONNAISSANCE TEAM
- CLEANER WATER THROUGH NEW TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY
- A BETTER HEARING AID MODELED ON A FLY'S EAR
- CHEAP, CLEAN, RENEWABLE NON-POLLUTING FUEL FROM PLANT WASTES AND UNIVERSITY SCIENCE
- FUELING THE CLEAN CAR
- RESTORING SIGHT IN BLIND PATIENTS
- SPY PLANES THAT FLY ON WINGS OF SEAGULLS
- SOLAR ENERGY FROM THE WINDY CITY
- TINY PARTICLES DELIVER CURES
- THE HANDYLAB--INSTANT DNA TESTING
THE SAFER BARRIER
Racecar drivers at speedways throughout the nation have a much better chance of avoiding serious injuries thanks to a special energy-absorbing barrier that has been installed on NASCAR and Indy Racing League high-speed race tracks nationwide. And, soon, the same safeguards will be protecting everyday Americans driving on our nation’s highways.
Installed in all 27 NASCAR high-speed oval racetracks and Nextel Cup Busch, and Craftsman Truck series tracks, the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) Barriers have saved lives and avoided serious injuries by reducing the level of impact when racecars crash into the racetrack’s walls. Consisting of a concrete wall and rectangular steel tubes cushioned by plastic foam in polystyrene (plastic) blocks, the soft-wall barrier absorbs the force of cars colliding with it at high speeds.
The results: No fatal accidents since the SAFER Barriers have been introduced. Fewer serious injuries, such as traumas to the head. And less damage to the racecars and the racetrack walls.
While most Americans won’t be racing in NASCAR events, the SAFER Barrier may help many more motorists and passengers travel safely. That’s because the concept of an energy-absorbing concrete barrier is currently being adapted for our nation’s highways.
The SAFER Barrier represents a return on Americans’ investment in university science. The structural engineering research that developed the SAFER Barrier was conducted at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The project was partly funded by the Federal Highway Administration, which supports engineering research to improve highway safety.