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The project

Creaform worked with Versilis to perform the structural integrity assessment of the SwiftGateTM road sign as per AASHTO – Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires, and Traffic Signals, Sixth Edition (LTS-6). The first step was to determine drag coefficients for different wind direction using CFD, which turned out to be greatly helpful because the generic coefficients pulled from the standards were much too conservative. The aerodynamic loading was then applied on the gate within a finite element model of the entire structure, including the anchoring system, the swivel gate welded support, shaft, bearings and polymer gate. The model enabled Versilis to confidently set the maximum wind velocities that the gate could withstand in both deployed and retracted configurations, in accordance with all the prescribed factors and norms stated by AASHTO LTS-6.

Services provided

  • Preliminary analysis and methodology recommendations;
  • CFD simulations using hexahedral meshes and local refinement;
  • Production of an aerodynamic force calculator integrating the wind velocity and the number of gate sections;
  • AASHTO LTS-6 Standard analysis and interpretation for the specific application;
  • Finite element modeling using linear elastic behavior for metallic parts and non-linear elastic behavior for HDPE polymer;
  • Yield and Factor of Safety calculations for all components;
  • Recommendations and production of all methodology and substantiation reports.


Tools and Methods Used

Based on the client’s needs, Creaform used the following tools and methods:

  • StarCCM+ 
  • k-omega SST turbulence
  • Femap 
  • Nei Nastran
  • NX
  • Static and  Non-Linear Analysis 


Creaform has a breadth of services that cater to the unique and stringent needs in the transportation industry. Speak to our experts today to see how we can complement your next project.

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