Mitigating against passive rockfall hazards

Our rockfall Attenuator Barriers (also known as Hybrid barriers) combine the energy absorption capabilities of a dynamic rockfall barrier with the reduced maintenance advantages of drapery mesh and they are used in passive rockfall hazard mitigation. Rather than being secured to a lower support cable, the fence mesh is longer and drapes down the slope where it is able to slow the descent of falling rocks.

Attenuator Systems are used on slopes where there is available “run-out” space beneath the barrier in which the rocks can ultimately stop or be collected harmlessly.

We have developed an engineering software to enable our engineers to offer clients effective solutions.

We are top of the class. Recent full scale tests by Colorado DOT (Arndt, B., Ortiz, T., and Turner, A., 2009. Colorado’s Full-Scale Field Testing of Rockfall Attenuator Systems. Transportation Research Circular E-C141, Oct, 2009) stated that our attenuator with HEA cable net panel with knots “withstood impacts with the least amount of damage after repeated impacts” compared to the 10 other systems in the test.

The value of the CDOT test compared to traditional methodology

The majority of controlled rockfall mitigation system field tests that have been conducted in the U.S. and Europe have been limited in the respect that they only capture the translational movement of a falling rock.

The CDOT field test study provided a unique opportunity to assess the durability of these devices when impacted by test rocks with a rotational component, and therefore more realistic. The rotational movement of a falling rock introduces a potential “slicing” effect, which is very difficult to effectively model in laboratory tests.


need more information maccaferri