Safe driving even in high winds
Solid PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop sheets as a wind protection barrier:
- Easy to process
- Weather- and UV-resistant
- Integrated shatter protection
Traffic routes need to be protected from the wind. One of these is the Pelješac Bridge on the Dalmatian Adriatic coast, where regular gusts of wind at speeds of up to 200 km/h present a major accident risk. PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop wind barriers from Röhm withstand these high wind loads.
Storms and, in particular, high wind speeds can quickly impact traffic on bridges, or even bring it to a complete standstill. The Pelješac Bridge in southern Croatia, which opened in the summer of 2022, is also often subjected to severe wind. To ensure that it remains passable on stormy days, wind protection barriers made of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop have been mounted on both sides of the bridge.
With its diverse properties, PLEXIGLAS®, the brand acrylic glass from Röhm, is a proven material for effective wind protection on bridges. “Our special product PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop resists even very high wind loads,” comments Martin Szegner, Business Manager PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop. “At the same time, it has a high level of transparency that it retains over a long period of time.” Even after 30 years of continuous use, PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop is guaranteed to show virtually no signs of yellowing. As a result, the view of the surrounding landscape remains clear.
Time-saving travel route
The 2.4-kilometer-long and 22.5-meter-wide Pelješac Bridge, known as Pelješki most in Croatian, spans across the bay of Mali Ston. It links the mainland with the Pelješac peninsula, making it possible to access southern Dalmatia directly from Croatia for the first time. Before its construction, the only land connection was through Bosnia and Herzegovina, which meant negotiating border controls and sitting in traffic.
© Röhm GmbH
Wind protection barriers made of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop lower the wind speed on the road
Modern bridges are subject to tough demands: They must be capable of bearing high loads, including their own weight, for many years. At the same time, however, they should have an attractive appearance and blend in with the surrounding landscape. However, the builders of the bridge on the Dalmatian Adriatic coast were faced with an additional challenge: The “bora” is a frequent occurrence along the bay of Mali Ston. This is a strong, gusty downslope wind that occurs suddenly and can even rage for several days. In the winter months in particular, this results in high wind speeds reaching almost 200 kilometers per hour.
Such wind speeds severely impact traffic on bridges and make it virtually impossible to drive safely without swerving to the adjacent lane. This raises the risk of accidents for high vehicles or light vehicles that are vulnerable to high winds in particular. In the worst-case scenario, the route has to be closed.
“Wind protection barriers made of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop can approximately cut the wind speed on the roadway in half. As a result, the bridge does not have to be closed.”
- Martin Szegner
Business Manager PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop
This is where PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop comes in – barriers made of this material have a significantly lower dead weight than conventional safety glass, yet can withstand high wind loads. It is also easy to form the solid sheets into a variety of shapes.
Solid sheets made of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop GS CC were processed into a total of 11,400 C-shaped shells for the Pelješac Bridge. “If you mount several of these elements on top of one another with a small gap in between, this drastically lowers the wind speed on the bridge deck: The design used for the wind protection elements on the Pelješac Bridge reduces it by around one-half,” explains Szegner.
This means that if the “bora” is blowing at 160 kilometers per hour, the wind speed on the roadway is halved to around 80 kilometers per hour. The bridge does not have to be closed under these conditions. Moreover, the shape of the wind protection barriers increases the rigidity of the PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop GS CC and minimizes deflection.
Easy to process
The wind barriers on the Pelješac Bridge are made of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop GS CC. The material was thermoformed into C-shaped shells and mounted in strips arranged on top of one another with small gaps in between. This significantly reduces the wind speed on the bridge deck.
© Röhm GmbH
PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop GS CC also provides integrated shatter protection thanks to the embedded polyamide threads. Fragments from the barrier, such as those created by road traffic accidents, do not fall onto the road surface. The brand acrylic glass from Röhm can therefore be used on bridges all over the world without additional nets.
© Röhm GmbH
Weather- and UV-resistant
A wind protection barrier made from PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop resists strong wind loads while also enabling a clear view of the surrounding landscape. The material has a high level of transparency and retains it for a long period of time.
© Röhm GmbH
Bird-friendly wind barrier
Wind protection barriers made of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop GS CC with integrated black threads are very easy for birds to recognize. And if necessary, their bird protection properties can be enhanced further – e.g., through brushed matte stripes, screen-printed stripes, spots and symbols, or adhesive foil with bird symbols.
© Röhm GmbH
Can be used without additional nets
Safety no matter what
PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop is available in a multitude of variants – for example in XXL formats, different thicknesses and colors, as well as with integrated shatter or bird protection, if required. Moreover, non-transparent versions of PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop also offer protection against glare and can act as privacy screens.
“Another advantage of our special product is that the embedded polyamide threads offer integrated shatter protection,” explains Szegner. If such a wind barrier breaks due to an accident, the transparent or black polyamide threads hold the broken fragments in place and prevent them from falling to the ground. Therefore, PLEXIGLAS® Soundstop GS CC can be used on bridges all over the world without additional nets (find out more about the approvals here). Moreover, the elements are easy to install and replace if they become damaged.
Protected for the long term
Once installed, the wind barriers ensure that the bay of Mali Ston can be traversed safely – for many decades. The Pelješac Bridge in southern Croatia is therefore a massive plus for locals and tourists alike: The waiting times at the border crossings and the time-consuming drive along the winding coastline through Bosnia and Herzegovina are finally a thing of the past. Furthermore, larger ships can still access the Bosnian port of Neum thanks to the bridge’s height of 55 meters.
Even in the event of a traffic accident on the roadway of the Pelješac Bridge, no fragments may break loose from the wind protection barriers and fall on people or ships.
© Röhm GmbH