Evaluation of Plastic Drum SpecificationsAuthor/Presenter: Mak, K.K. ; Zimmer, R.A.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) developed a draft specification for plastic drums which outlines the desired properties and characteristics of a plastic drum and specifies certain dimensions and static force tests that a plastic drum must pass in order to be acceptable to TxDOT for purchase and use in work zones. These tests are intended as surrogates to the full-scale crash tests used to evaluate the safety performance of plastic drums. However, prior to adopting the specification, it is necessary to first determine how well commercially available plastic drums conform to the proposed specification and if the proposed specification describes a plastic drum that will perform in a predictable manner when impacted by a vehicle. The objectives of this study are to (1) conduct dimensional measurements and static force tests on plastic drums submitted by various manufacturers to determine if they conform with the proposed draft specification; (2) conduct full-scale crash tests on plastic drums to validate the results of the dimensional measurements and static force tests; and (3) analyze the test results and recommend modifications to the specification as appropriate. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase I involved dimensional measurements and static force tests of various plastic drums submitted by manufacturers for consideration by TxDOT in accordance with the draft specification. Phase II of the study involved full-scale crash tests of the same plastic drums to validate the results of the dimensional measurements and static force tests. This report summarizes the results of the study.