Structural Assessment of Road Signs - Femto Engineering

Road signs structural assessment

Driving on the highway without a care in the world? Thank the engineers! This post is about some structural engineering we did on road signs.

Maybe not the most glamorous of engineering projects, but imagine you couldn’t rely on the structural integrity of overhead traffic signs? Driving would become quite stressful! Since 2009 Femto Engineering has regularly performed structural calculations on various road signs for company Naamplaat Bewegwijzering.


About Naamplaat BWW

Naamplaat BWW was founded in 1947 and has since grown into a national – by Rijkwaterstaat – certified manufacturer and supplier of road signs. There is big chance you’ve come across their products on Dutch highways.


The assignment

Because public safety plays a significant roll in the production of road signs, Naamplaat BWW road signs need to prove compliance with a certified body. NEN standards used to be the norm, but for this kind of structure, they are nowadays replaced by Eurocodes. One of the objective of Eurocodes is to harmonize technical specifications across the EU. Femto Engineering was brought in to perform new calculations according to the Eurocode rules.


Our approach

We assessed the effective stress, strength and stability of three types of road signs: signs next to the road, overhead signs and mast signs. With static elastic-plastic calculations the structural behavior of the signs, construction and joints were analyzed. With this type of analysis you determine material behavior after deformation. When the material returns to its original shape after deformation the behavior is elastic, when the material no longer returns to its original shape, permanent deformation has occurred which is called plastic deformation. In order to assess the stability of the structure (e.g. how the structure is able to withstand forces of compression) we performed buckling analysis. For the overhead road sign, gravity and more importantly wind force had to be included as loading conditions.

The results

After comparing the Eurocodes to the NEN standard, Femto could determine which forces and calculation procedures needed to be adjusted for the three road sign designs under the new rules. Codes and standards a hassle? Not with our help! Our design verification services will help you meet classification regulations from Eurocodes, DNV, ABS, Lloyds, NEN and more. Next time you check the road sign for direction, also take a moment to enjoy its structural integrity. Interested in our services or want to hear more? Contact us!

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August 25, 2017
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At Femto Engineering we help companies achieve their innovation ambitions with engineering consultancy, software, and R&D.
We are Siemens DISW Expert Partner for Simcenter Femap, Simcenter 3D, Simcenter Amesim, Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and SDC verifier. Get in touch and let us make FEA and CFD work for you.

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