On April 17, 2015, Maccaferri’s Bryan Lee Chee Boon addressed the Institution of Engineers of Malaysia with a speech concerning Rockfall protection solutions.
Railways, roads and urban areas frequently suffer from instability of rock slope that threaten safety of commuters and civil transportation systems. Such instabilities affect the superficial layer of the slope, but can also involve its entire structure.
Within this complex geotechnical issue, rockfall protection systems are a key element in order to prevent landslides, rockfalls and maintain civil infrastructures’ safety and stability.
Mr. Lee Chee Boon shared his expertise with participants, making clear a couple of major distinctions about rockfall protection systems.
There are, above all, two main kinds of rockfall solutions: active and passive systems are engineered in order, respectively, to prevent and to protect.
Active systems are those that act before the rockfall event occurs, reducing the threat by “fixing” rocks to the superficial portion of the slope with a specific armored mesh that is anchored to the rock slope and prevents detachment of rocks.
Passive systems protect infrastructure whenever detachment occurs, and act by sheltering infrastructures from debris. Passive systems, namely, are: drapery systems, rockfall barriers, rockfall embankments.
Since there are many viariables potentially affecting the outcome of rockfall solution installations, the engineer needs to pre-assess the site basing on slope morphology, type and size of rocks, type of infrastructures to be protected, site accessibility and existing site conditions.
This is a complex and extremely important phase, nontheless essential in order to realize efficient and safe infrastructures.
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