Officine Maccaferri


Maccaferri Hellas presented a Rockfall barriers technical paper at the 1st International Conference on Natural Hazards & Infrastructure

Rockfall barriers

Maccaferri participated in the 1st edition of the Conference, which took place in the Island of Crete on June 28-30, 2016.

We are very proud to announce that Maccaferri Hellas has participated in the 1st International Conference on Natural Hazards & Infrastructure.

Besides our presentation booth, our participation also included the submission of a paper on the subject “Rockfall barriers design approach at the service or ultimate limit state”. Prepared by our colleagues Giorgio Giacchetti, Alberto Grimod and Giannis Psimis, the paper was presented at the closing of conference.

The document describes the calculation steps and the aspects to be considered in order to carry out a correct design of rockfall barriers at the serviceability or ultimate limit state. Attendance during the presentation was beyond expectation. The conference room was full of engineers showing great interest in rockfall protection and natural hazard mitigation topics as they are considered key elements for the safety of infrastructure.

We explained that when site conditions (safety, access etc.) exclude actions within the detachment zone, barriers (within transit or impact zones) can be a very effective measure of protection. But when it comes to designing the barrier, the simplest way is comparing the energy calculated with the trajectory analysis and the results of the full-scale crash tests performed according to the European Guideline ETAG-027.
In our paper, it was explained that this calculation approach has a high level of incertitude due to difficulties in defining the input data, the installation issues and the different performance of a barrier, which has a different configuration from the one tested.

Taking into account all these aspects, designers should introduce in their projects, safety coefficients capable of increasing the energy acting on the structure and reduce the resistance of the fence.

Moreover, performances such as maximum elongation and residual height of the barrier should be taken into account. The most advanced design procedure combines the European Guideline ETA-G027:2008 and the Italian standard UNI-11211:2012 as references for rockfall barrier design. The critical aspect of the residual height of a rockfall barrier after an impact is important because a second event can often occur soon after a first event due to instability created, and there may not be time to repair the impacted barrier area before a seond event occurs. Thus the greater the residual height of the barrier post-impact, the greater the level of overall protection proveded.

For further information about Maccaferri Hellas rockfall protection applications, please contact us.

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