Category: Seminars and Conferences
State: Archived
16 November 2018 at 10.00 am

Smart multi-level debris flow barriers

Albenga Room - DISEG


Rainfall events are intensifying due to climate change, increasing the risk posed by debris flows to human developments near natural slopes across the world.

To ensure developments sustainably mitigate risk from these debris flows, engineers will look for structural countermeasures that: (i) blend in well with the natural environment, (ii) are self-cleaning, thus minimising maintenance; and (iii) are smart, so that they can relay their performance to engineers.

This seminar will present the development of a new paradigm of debris flow mitigation that adopts smart multi-level net barriers capable of detecting impact events. To develop this new mitigation system, physical model tests were carried out to: (i) study the fundamental impact dynamics of wide range of flow types; (ii) investigate how to minimise particle trapping within net barriers to enable feasible self-cleaning designs; and (iii) evaluate the performance of smart impact switches on barriers to detect impact events.

Physical tests were back-analysed using the discrete element method. Results were then used to develop a new 3D framework to unify and characterise the impact behaviour of a wide range of flow types. New analytical approaches were also developed to predict the impact force on net barriers and to identify the flow regimes where self-cleaning is possible. Finally, a preliminary evaluation of a smart impact switch was carried out.

Contact: Prof. Marina Pirulli: