Snow Fence Operational and Material Testing

by Max S. Perchanok, Ministry of Transportation, Downsview, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


The proliferation of snow fence products since the late 1970's presents an opportunity for optimizing the control of drifting snow. It also presents a challenge in discriminating those properties of a snow fence which are important for each field situation, and in writing performance specifications. A testing program was begun by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) in 1978 to identify characteristics affecting the performance and life-cycle costs of snow fences. Thirteen qualitative characteristics relating to handling and durability, two material properties and two aspects of snow trapping were investigated. The investigations identified minimum strength and maximum elongation values which should be met, and which can form the basis of material specifications for snow fence. The traditional wood-slat-and-wire fence was shown to perform better than many of the new synthetic products.

Subject Headings: Snow | Fences | Material tests | Material properties | Life cycles | Benefit cost ratios | Wood structures | Ontario | Canada

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