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Energy Dissipating Devices in Falling Rock Protection Barriers

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Rockfall is a phenomenon which, when uncontrolled, may cause extensive material damage and personal injury. One of the structures used to avoid accidents caused by debris flows or rockfalls is flexible barriers. The energy dissipating devices which absorb the energy generated by rock impact and reduce the mechanical stresses in the rest of the elements of the structure are an essential part of these kinds of structures. This document proposes an overview of the performance of energy dissipating devices, as well as of the role that they fulfil in the barrier. Furthermore, a compilation and a description of the dissipating elements found in the literature are proposed. Additionally, an analysis has been performed of the aspects taken into account in the design, such as experimental (quasi-static and dynamic) tests observing the variation of the behaviour curve depending on the test speed and numerical simulations by means of several finite element software packages.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Inchalam Bekaert for financial support and Malla Talud Cantabria for the information provided.

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Correspondence to L. Castanon-Jano.

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Castanon-Jano, L., Blanco-Fernandez, E., Castro-Fresno, D. et al. Energy Dissipating Devices in Falling Rock Protection Barriers. Rock Mech Rock Eng 50, 603–619 (2017).

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