A Primer on Crash-Rated Fencing

Hercules Fence High Security Crash-Rated Fencing
Crash-rated fencing is a critical security feature of many high-risk facilities.

The standards set for crash-rated fencing and security barriers were established by the Department of State (DoS) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The rating assigned to these high-security barriers is set by the DoS based on the crash test standards set by the ASTM. 

The K-Rating

The most common method for grading anti-ram fencing and barriers is through the K-rating. Through the testing standards set for the K-rating, it determines the stopping power of the fence against a 15,000 lb flatbed truck going at various rates of speed ranging from 30-50 mph.

  • K4: A K4-rated fence will effectively stop a truck traveling at 30 mph.
  • K8: A K8-rated fence will effectively stop a truck traveling at 40 mph.
  • K12: A K12-rated fence will effectively stop a truck traveling at 50 mph.

Both K-ratings and M-ratings include a penetration rating, which determines how far the truck will be able to travel past the fenceline before reaching a complete stop. For K-rated barriers, the penetration rating is noted through an L-rating, which was established by the Department of Defense (DoD) before ASTM updated crash-rating standards.

  • L1: The vehicle is able to travel another 20-50 feet before coming to a full stop.
  • L2: The vehicle is able to travel another 3-20 feet before coming to a full stop.
  • L3: The vehicle is able to travel another <3 feet before coming to a full stop.

The M-Rating

The M-rating is very similar to the K-rating aside from an updated penetration rating system that was established by ASTM and their new crash test standards.

  • M30: An M30-rated fence will effectively stop a truck traveling at 30 mph.
  • M40: An M40-rated fence will effectively stop a truck traveling at 40 mph.
  • M50: An M50-rated fence will effectively stop a truck traveling at 50 mph.

The updated penetration ratings are as follows:

  • P1: The vehicle is able to travel another ≤3.3 feet (1m) before coming to a full stop.
  • P2: The vehicle is able to travel another 3.31 to 23 feet (1.01-7m) before coming to a full stop.
  • P3: The vehicle is able to travel another 23.1 to 98.4 feet (7.01 – 30m) before coming to a full stop.

Where it’s Used

Facilities that require extensive perimeter control are the main users of high-security crash-rated fencing. These include:

  • Prisons
  • Chemical plants
  • Military installations
  • Government buildings
  • Sports complexes
  • Data centers

Ultimately, crash-rated fencing is held to a high standard through the DoS and ASTM to perform under extreme pressure and in extreme conditions to appropriately protect sensitive facilities that may be vulnerable to ramming attacks.

Choose Hercules High Security to Protect Your Property

Whether you need White House-level security fencing, or you need the perfect version of a white picket fence to guard your business or residential property, trust the experts at Hercules High Security. For more information and to learn how we can meet your custom fencing needs, contact Hercules High Security online or give us a call at 1-800-395-9597. Our professionals are ready to serve you from Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan area to Richmond, Virginia. We have branch offices in Manassas, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia, and Maryland. We will ensure your investment serves your family and your business for years to come! For updates and to see projects we’re working on, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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