Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

WSL is first rockfall protection testing lab in Europe to have its own test facility

20.10.2010
WSL, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, has become the first EU-notified testing lab to have its own test facility for rockfall protection systems.

On October 19, it conducted the first type tests in its new capacity. At the facility near Walenstadt, the WSL type-tested to European standard a protection system capable of retaining rocks weighing up to 16 metric tons.

The rock that crashed down the face of a disused quarry near Walenstadt today marks a milestone in practical research at the WSL. The Institute was recognised as an official testing body by Brussels in view of its experience with complex testing procedures and the availability of a test facility for rockfall protection nets operating according to international standards. The measured data are now to be evaluated by Empa, the Swiss Materials Science and Technology Research Institute, as a prelude to the tested system being granted EU-wide approval.

More and more countries are installing new types of rockfall protection systems, while seeking to minimise costs at the same time. Official type-testing is a highly significant procedure for the manufacturers of such systems. The unique position now occupied by the Swiss Federal Institute WSL, as the only testing body in Europe to operate its own test facility, simplifies the approval process.

The WSL has been conducting experimental and computational research into the dynamic load-bearing behaviour of protective structures for many years. It has prior experience in testing various manufacturers' protection systems that have been installed in Switzerland, and, in most cases, subsidised by the government, on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Expert Commission on Avalanches and Rockfall (EKLS). Its recent recognition as a EU-notified testing body also enhances the standing of the WSL as a noteworthy test institution in the international arena. As a vastly experienced research institute within the domain of the ETH (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology), the WSL is very well placed to share technological expertise serving the purpose of protection against natural hazards.

Rockfall protection structures are installed in the mountains along transportation routes and to safeguard people and buildings. Modern protective structures can arrest the descent of boulders harnessing mechanical energy of up to 5000 kJ. This figure represents a mass of 16 metric tons travelling at a velocity of 90 km/h. The flexible systems tested in Walenstadt are lighter, easier to install in steep terrain and less expensive than compact reinforced concrete structures offering equivalent performance characteristics. The design of Geobrugg AG that underwent testing consists of interconnected wire ring nets that are mounted on the slope with steel cables and supports

Gottardo Pestalozzi | idw
Further information:
http://www.wsl.ch/pruefstelle

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter
17.08.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

nachricht Spray-on electric rainbows: Making safer electrochromic inks
17.08.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>