Plastic lamp-posts that cause less damage on collision could save hundreds of lives across Europe. In the UK alone, over 500 motorists are killed each year hitting roadside objects such as lampposts. The collapsing posts developed in this EUREKA project E! 2534 THERMOPOLE are able to absorb much of the force in a collision, saving the car driver from the full impact.
According to Gerry Boyce, Director of the UK lead partner Euro Projects, “the THERMOPOLE project team “set out to create a lamp-post that could withstand the elements, including high winds, and we then wanted that strength to fail when a car hits it, crumbling or hinging to absorb the impact forces and save the driver and its occupants”. The team has succeeded, creating prototypes that are stronger than steel, maintenance free and recyclable.
Whilst the thermoplastic lamp-post can withstand wind and rain, it buckles under impact. This buckling is helped by the positioning of the access hatch, which is a feature of all lamp-posts. “We turned what could have been a weakness to our advantage,” says Boyce. “The hatch becomes a built-in weak point over which the lamp-post can hinge when a car impacts.”
Nicola Vatthauer | Eureka
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