Besides its dominant position in the European market, DELTABLOC ® also enjoys success worldwide with its precast and in-situ concrete safety barriers.
“Over the past 20 years, we have expanded our activities to more than 30 countries around the world and in the last ten years have enjoyed annual growth of 30%,” says Managing Director Thomas Edl. “Our mission is to develop and create the best-performing range of concrete safety barriers in the world.” What DELTABLOC® is exporting is its expertise and its systems.
“Concrete can be made cheaply and easily virtually anywhere in the world,” says Mr. Edl. “What we offer is the technical and procedural know-how to create crash barriers that will conform to the relevant safety regulations. While concrete is cheap and plentiful, turning it into an effective safety barrier takes a great deal of prior research and development.”
DELTABLOC®’s safety barrier systems are a highly technical product. “The authorities responsible for highway infrastructure in every country only certify and authorize the use of barriers that best fulfil all of the necessary safety standards,” explains Mr. Edl. “Furthermore, these standards vary from one country to another. Our challenge is to create barriers that not only fulfil the safety parameters but that are also easy to produce and install.”
One of the key measures of a crash barrier’s performance is its ability to withstand the impact of being hit by a 38-t lorry moving at high speed. This sets one of the key benchmarks to which DELTABLOC® designs its systems.
“Our systems are tested to ensure they will withstand impacts equivalent to or exceeding those in the benchmark,” says Mr. Edl. “Since 1995, we have carried out more than 170 full-scale crash tests on our precast and in-situ concrete crash barriers.”
Today, the range comprises flexible, semi-rigid and rigid options, providing the unyielding strength to prevent heavy goods vehicles breaking through to the opposite carriageway, along with the softness required to protect smaller vehicles from the forces generated by an impact.
“As well as protecting traffic on the other carriageway, crash barriers are designed to dissipate and absorb some of the impact of the crash to reduce the chances of injury,” says Mr. Edl. “These are the goals of our safety barriers regardless of whether they are used in the middle or at the side of the road or on bridges.”
With 30 international patents protecting its permanent and temporary solutions, DELTABLOC® is a proven leader in this sector. In response to the need for temporary solutions for highway construction projects, DELTABLOC® also maintains a rental pool of over 300 km of precast concrete barriers.
“Here, we offer a complete service from leasing and delivery to installation and removal using professional logistics for just-in-time delivery,” says Mr. Edl. Around 85% of DELTABLOC®’s turnover is generated abroad. Its crash barriers protect motorists on some of the busiest motorways in Europe, including the M6 and M25 in the UK and the A5 joining Vienna with the Czech Republic.
The company cooperates with trusted partners in its overseas markets who provide DELTABLOC®’s service under licence and in accordance with its standards. “In emerging countries in particular, there are massive deficits regarding passive road safety infrastructure,” says Mr. Edl. “Motorway projects in places like South America, Africa and Asia will keep us busy for the foreseeable future. We will also have to address the implications of the move to driverless cars that is currently gathering pace. This will have consequences for road design as more self-driving cars take to the roads in the future.”
Hopefully, taking human drivers out of the equation will reduce the annual toll of deaths and injuries on the world’s highways. Until then, drivers will have to rely on luck and a thin ribbon of concrete.