IWA 14 – Testing and Evaluating Vehicle Security Barriers

An essential element in any organization’s security program is the ability to effectively control vehicle access to sites.

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As has been shown over the past few years, terrorists and other hostile elements are using vehicles for “simple” ramming attacks as well as Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device’s (VBIED).

As threats increase and with them, the danger to people and infrastructure, so the need for effective and comprehensive vehicle access control become imperative.

Effective control is dependent on many different factors dictated by facility type, risk assessments, accessibility requirements and budgetary considerations.

Mifram, which has been developing advanced, cutting edge vehicle barrier systems for decades and is well aware of the challenges faced by security bodies,  today produces advanced systems that also meet the stringent requirements of IWA-14 as well as other international standards.

What is IWA-14?

IWA-14 (International Workshop Agreement 14) is an internationally recognized and accepted crash (impact) test standard used globally for testing and evaluating vehicles security barriers including bollards, anti-ram barriers, access control barriers, road blockers and more.

IWA-14 was sponsored by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) in the United Kingdom and was developed in close cooperation with many international agencies, security companies and military organizations.

IWA-14 includes elements from other ISO standards such as — ASTM F 2656, CWA 16221, PAS 68 and PAS 69. It came into effect on 15 November 2013 and comes under the jurisdiction of the ISO.

Does IWA-14 differ from regular ISO standards?

In essence – no.

However, the development of IWA standards allows those in the specific industry/area of expertise to develop and gain approval for a set of standards developed under their own auspices and designed to meet a specific, professional need.

Once approved, the ISA carried the force of a regular ISO standard.

IWA-14 Rating – scope and limitations

IWA-14 defines impact resistance requirements for all types of vehicle barriers and defines an accepted test procedure based on a single vehicle impact.

The test process also allows, but does not compel, developers to test for pedestrian access by hostile elements and injury levels on vehicle occupants.

The IWA-14 rating tests and rates the following:

  1. Type, mass and speed of the vehicle being used to test the vehicle barrier;
  2. Geographical (climatic) characteristics of intended installation site;
  3. Site conditions (for example, soft or hard soil, compacted/asphalt surface etc.).

It should be noted that standard IWA-14 does not include testing for blast impact, ballistic impact, physical attack by hostile individuals or electrical disturbance to vehicle barrier operating systems. Nor does it refer to vehicle barrier design issues or operational suitability.

It is also important to note that other elements also impact the effectiveness of any vehicle barrier including the environment and materials used in its installation.  With this in mind, two other standards are essential for the effective installation and use of an IWA-14 certified vehicle barrier system. These are:

  • ASTM C39 / C39M 10, Standard test method for compressive strength of cylindrical concrete specimens
  • EN 12390-2, Testing hardened concrete — Part 2: Making and curing specimens for strength tests

Understanding the IWA-14 rating

At first glance, an IWA-14 impact rating can appear to be legalese or bureaucratic language such as:


V –  type of test – and actual vehicle was used to test the barrier

7,200 – Weight of vehicle used for impact test (in Kg.)

[N2A] – Vehicle type:

M1 Up to 1,500 Kg. Passenger vehicle
N1G 1,500 – 2,500 Kg. 4X4 pick up
N1 2,500 – 3,500 Kg. Day cab truck
N2A 3,500  – 7,200 Kg. Flatbed day cab truck
N2B 3,500  – 7,200 Kg. Closed day cab truck
N3C 3,500  – 7,200 Kg
N3D 7,200 – 12,000 Kg.
N3E 12,000 – 24,000 Kg.
N3F 24,000 – 30,000 Kg.


80 – Test speed (kph).  Impact test speeds can vary from 16 to 112 kph. However, the most common test speeds used are 30 kph (20 mph), 48 kph (30 mph), 64 kph (40 mph) and 80 kph (50 mph).

90 – Test vehicle’s angle of impact. This is generally 90O however other test angles are also used especially when the proposed vehicle barrier system is to be installed in facilities with a shallow attack angle.

1.9 – Test vehicle penetration depth.  This measures the distance travelled by the test vehicles load carrying bed from the front of the vehicle barrier (datum line – point of impact).

The next step

Deciding which vehicle barrier system is best suited to your needs is a vital part of any defense and security strategy.

In a world where terrorists and hostile forces are resorting to any means to damage facilities, wound and kill people and spread fear and suspicion, prevention is as essential as finding a cure.

Developing and planning the layout of a facility to ensure maximum security involves many different factors.

Access control, both pedestrian and vehicle, is an essential part of security planning.

But not every vehicle barrier system is suitable for every facility/scenario.

That’s why it is essential, when planning your facility’s security, that you consult with experts in the field.

Here at Mifram we have been developing and producing cutting edge security equipment for decades.

Our vehicle barrier systems are the most advanced in the world offering our clients excellent, reliable, versatile and cost-effective protection  solutions for all scenarios.

Contact us today so that our industry experts can use their years of experience to help you make the correct choice.