• Modelling the dynamic response of rockfall protection barriers
  • Analisi numerica del comportamento di barriere paramassi
  • Mentani, Alessio <1983>


  • ICAR/07 Geotecnica


  • Mountainous areas are prone to natural hazards like rockfalls. Among the many countermeasures, rockfall protection barriers represent an effective solution to mitigate the risk. They are metallic structures designed to intercept rocks falling from unstable slopes, thus dissipating the energy deriving from the impact. This study aims at providing a better understanding of the response of several rockfall barrier types, through the development of rather sophisticated three-dimensional numerical finite elements models which take into account for the highly dynamic and non-linear conditions of such events. The models are built considering the actual geometrical and mechanical properties of real systems. Particular attention is given to the connecting details between the structural components and to their interactions. The importance of the work lies in being able to support a wide experimental activity with appropriate numerical modelling. The data of several full-scale tests carried out on barrier prototypes, as well as on their structural components, are combined with results of numerical simulations. Though the models are designed with relatively simple solutions in order to obtain a low computational cost of the simulations, they are able to reproduce with great accuracy the test results, thus validating the reliability of the numerical strategy proposed for the design of these structures. The developed models have shown to be readily applied to predict the barrier performance under different possible scenarios, by varying the initial configuration of the structures and/or of the impact conditions. Furthermore, the numerical models enable to optimize the design of these structures and to evaluate the benefit of possible solutions. Finally it is shown they can be also used as a valuable supporting tool for the operators within a rockfall risk assessment procedure, to gain crucial understanding of the performance of existing barriers in working conditions.


  • 2015-05-21


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Mentani, Alessio (2015) Analisi numerica del comportamento di barriere paramassi, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria civile, ambientale e dei materiali , 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7170.