Officine Maccaferri


2000kJ Rockfall catch fence used to protect a cement facility in South East Asia


The installed rockfall barrier is cost effective and efficient

Maccaferri introduced a Catch Fence Barrier onto a steep slope to protect an adjacent cement facility from major Rockfall events. Two years after the project was completed, the barrier proved its function when it successfully arrested a large boulder that was heading for the facility.

Recent Rockfall barrier installations, such as the Debris Flow Barrier that were installed into a highway section in Malaysia protect civilians and infrastructure alike.

The following exemplifies a similar phenomenon. The Siam City Cement Group is one of the largest cement companies in South East Asia. One of their production facilities, the gypsum crusher building, is adjacent to a steep slope. This slope showed signs of weathering. In the case of a likely rockfall event, the production facility would be impacted.

In light of this query, the project consulting engineer company, Parsons Brinkerhoff  approached Maccaferri for assistance in the identification of a suitable solution to reduce the risk of falling rocks. High strength rockfall cable panels were at first considered until it became self-evident that the installation of these systems could further destabilize the friable slope. It was thus determined that a rockfall catch fence, installed lower down the hill, would be the most suitable and cost effective solution to protect the facility and its workers. The selected 2000kJ barrier, is part of Maccaferri’s range of barriers with maximum energy levels of between 100kJ and 8,600kJ – the world’s highest capacity dynamic barrier.

Almost two years after the installation was completed in October 2008, a rock fall incident was encountered in the facility as was likely and predicted. A large boulder of limestone rock measuring about 3.0m x 1.4m x 1.3m detached from the slope and crashed into the Maccaferri barrier from a height of about 20m. The barrier did its job and caught the falling rock in its entirety.

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