Discrete Element Modeling of Compound Rockfall Fence Nets

Marco Previtali (Lead / Corresponding author), Matteo Ciantia, Saverio Spadea, Riccardo Castellanza, Giovanni B. Crosta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


Compound mesh panels are structures in which two different nets geometries are employed: a main mesh that provides the bearing capacity and a weaker mesh with a thin sieve size to catch smaller blocks that can pass through otherwise. Typically, only the effect of the main mesh is investigated, and the weaker mesh is considered to provide negligible structural resistance. In this paper, after a calibration procedure, numerical simulations of quasi-static punch tests and a dynamic block impact on a composite double-twist and strand rope mesh are performed. The results show that, under dynamic conditions, the presence of the finer mesh lowers the peak force acting on the main mesh. This effect is not found under quasi-static conditions and has important repercussions on the overall structural resistance as the energy dissipation mechanism reduces the stress on the mesh fence posts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenges and Innovations in Geomechanics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Conference of IACMAG - Volume 2
EditorsMarco Barla, Alice Di Donna, Donatella Sterpi
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783030645182
ISBN (Print)9783030645175
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event16th International Conference of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics - Torino, Italy
Duration: 1 Jul 20203 Jul 2020
Conference number: 16th

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference16th International Conference of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics
Abbreviated titleIACMAG 2020
Internet address


  • Discrete element modelling
  • Impact test
  • Punch test
  • Rockfall risk mitigation
  • Stress repartition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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