Research and Development of Tests for the Certification of Dynamic Rockfall Barriers

D. Castro-Fresno, L. Lopez-Quijada, L. A. Sanudo-Fontaneda, J. P. Mery-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Department of Transports and Technology of Projects and Processes of the School of Civil Engineering of the University of Cantabria, (Spain) has over 18 years developed and certified rockfall protection and slope stabilization systems. Concerning the first, two types of tests have been applied on each element of the rockfall barriers: dynamic and static-based loads tests. Static tests (slow loads) were applied to single elements such as wires, cables, cable connectors (sliding and shear strength tested) as well as to concentrated and distributed loads on a cable net, and tensile tests on brake devices (energy dissipators). While static tests were performed on single elements, a dynamic test was performed on a full-scale rockfall barrier All tests satisfactorily met the expectations, except for the distributed based loads. The latter involves uncertainties in the load plate - net contact area. Most of the applied tests have shown that they are fit to represent the mechanical phenomena acting on the barrier However in each case several considerations must be taken into account, not only during the test practice but also in the design phase and numerical simulation of the barriers. Hence, this paper is focused on describing the main results of the dynamic rockfall barrier tests and their advantages and disadvantages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalRevista de la Construccion
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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