The following is an excerpt.

SIMLab is part of Statsbygg’s innovation project on developing a new type of movable vehicle security barriers. The barriers will protect the new Government Building Complex in Norway.

Statsbygg is the Norwegian government’s building commissioner, property manager and developer. The new Government Building Complex is one of the most significant Norwegian construction projects ever. According to Statsbygg, the complex «will provide safe and good jobs for the ministries and an open and green urban space for the inhabitants.

Protect against vehicle attacks

In collaboration with the Norwegian industry – and SIMLab – they aim to develop a new vehicle security barrier (VSB) system. The system should adapt to the Nordic climate.
The project’s backdrop is the many terrorist attacks in Europe, where various vehicle types have been used as weapons. The Oslo bombing (2011) and the attacks in Nice (2016), the Berlin truck-attack (2016), Barcelona (2017) and London (2017) were all targeted towards crowded places. As we know, they all had a devastating impact.

The challenging Nordic climate

Thus, there is a strong need to create a government quarter that is both open, inviting – and protected against vehicle attacks. VSB’s can be designed as bollards, wedge barriers, beam barriers, concrete Jersey barriers or even concrete sitting benches or flower planters.
The new movable VSB’s in this project can regulate the traffic in and out of the area. Besides, to serve as fully protective, functional, and discrete, the new VSB’s also face challenges that come with the Nordic climate. The systems are exposed to salting and snow ploughing during winter. Also, erosion, significant temperature fluctuations, and water penetration lead to a need for maintenance and frequent replacements.

New work on virtual design

Students working in mechanical lab All this needs to be solved in the new VSB-solutions evolving in this project. Statsbygg needs to establish methods that enable a continuous assessment of the latest solutions presented in the innovation process. For this, they have hired SIMLab as a consultant. Master´s student Sigurd Vattekar Sandvoll (to the right in the photo)
and Ola Fjelltun Stensvand work on the design and modelling of VSBs as a part of this project.
In mid-April, they performed some fully instrumented impact tests on different small-scale barrier designs. The tests were carried out in SIMLab’s drop-tower rig.
The main objectives of Sandvoll and Stensvand´s thesis are to gain knowledge on how security barriers absorb energy during vehicle impact. Further, they work to optimize such systems concerning energy absorption. The aim is to establish a numerical framework for virtual design of such solutions in LS-DYNA.

«A Meaningful and Important Topic»

The two of them explain their choice of MSc topic:
«It sounded like a meaningful and important topic in the world we live in. Besides, being able to contribute to a real project for the first time, is a change of pace compared to the normal student life». Also, the students say that they find it very rewarding that their work can somehow prevent the loss of lives in the future.
«I consider us lucky to have such an interesting topic for our MSc-thesis», says Sigurd Vattekar Sandvoll.

Their supervisors are Professor Tore Børvik and Researcher Martin Kristoffersen (to the left in the photo). Dr Ole Vestrum, a former PhD candidate at SFI CASA, serves as their co-supervisor. Vestrum is now a researcher at the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency.

Other Master´s projects at SIMLab spring 2021: