Geobrugg AG held the International Rockfall Protection Conference 2014 from May 21st to 23rd. Participants included an international expert audience from more than 25 countries. In addition to presentations by external experts in construction, installation, and research of rockfall protection solutions, there was a world premiere in the Swiss mountains: For the first time, a flexible rockfall protection canopy was revealed on Geobrugg AG’s test site in Walenstadt.
The test site resides in an inoperative quarry situated 100 meters above Lake Walensee. For the demonstration, Geobrugg dropped a 1.6 ton weight onto the canopy from 30 meters. The weight impacted the canopy at a rate of 500,000 joules. Immediately after impact, the weight was catapulted as expected and travelled along a predefined trajectory over the protected objects below.
To the delight of 200 fascinated spectators, two more demonstrations followed. Separately, a small natural stone and a large one were dropped onto a car to demonstrate the damage that rock falls can have. Nascent high winds created dramatic scenery and generated curiosity as to whether the stones would miss their targets. All went as planned and a highly impressed audience descended for the day.
On the following day, the guests were brought to Schnepfau in Austria to visit an RXE rockfall protection barrier. At the site the participants had an opportunity to ask questions about the redesigned rockfall protection system.