Officine Maccaferri


Maccaferri uses its strongest and stiffest HEA Panels to protect Spain’s highways from Rockfall


Maccaferri’s HEA Panels offer extreme strength and lend themselves ideally for the deflection of systems under load

Maccaferri HEA Panels (High Energy Absorption) are the stiffest products within our Rockfall Protection Systems, offering extreme strength at a small strain. Stiffness is more important than the tensile strength of meshes as it affects the deflection of the system under load.

The panels are woven from a single continuous length of high tensile strength steel wire rope, joined at each crossing point with the patented HEA ‘double knot’ connection. Unlike single twist spiral cable nets, the construction of HEA Panels provides exceptional stress/strain performance with the lowest possible deformation. HEA Panels are used in secured drapery applications where a low deflection and high strength system is required.

The A23 Motorway rockfall protection example aptly exemplifies the capability of HEA Panels to successfully mitigate rockfall phenomena.

On the 20th of March 2016 a major rockslide hit the municipality of Nueno at a speed of 377km. The slide hit two vehicles, and one person suffered slight injuries. The landslide consisted of approximately 300 tons of rock and blocked the passage thus affecting traffic to and from France.

Previous to the incident, the slope had been secured by an old drapery made out of a double twist mesh system.

The rockfall was caused by recent heavy rains and an unfavorable disposition of the surfaces joints of Monrepó’s Sandstone. The rockfall phenomenon on the A23 is not new. Already in 2011, a significant rockslide took place not far from this year’s incident.

In light of this query, Maccaferri proposed and installed a technical solution that consisted out of a system with a defined bearing capacity of 30-60 KN / m2. The solution—a membrane system of HEA panels—is made out of a grid of 3×3 m bolts, with a diameter of 32 mm and a length of 11 m. The outcome covered an entire area of 400×400-10.

For more technical information, please download our case history.

For further information, about our projects and works, do not hesitate to contact us.

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