Authors: Tahmasbi, S; Giacomini, A; Bucher, R; Buzzi, O

Open access courtesy of:


Cite As:
Tahmasbi, S, Giacomini, A, Bucher, R & Buzzi, O 2020, 'A new approach to simulate the dynamic response of high-tensile chain-link drapery systems', in PM Dight (ed.), Slope Stability 2020: Proceedings of the 2020 International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 813-822,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

Rockfall draperies are gaining more popularity due to the ease of installation and reduced need for maintenance. Such systems have been around for more than 50 years but limited research has been conducted on their performance and dynamic response. Physical testing of drapery systems typically incurs very high cost and significant technical constraints, all of which can be reduced by resorting to numerical simulations. However, intricate modelling techniques required to capture the realistic response of the systems, leads to computationally expensive numerical models. This paper utilised the previously-developed modelling technique, called hybrid method, to present a computationally efficient numerical model of a chainlink drapery. Commercially available finite element package, ABAQUS/Explicit, was used in this study. The part of the mesh that is in contact with the block and potentially undergoes plasticity and damage was simulated using the real architecture of the wires, while the part of the mesh that remains elastic was simulated using homogenised shell surfaces. Preliminary results showed that the hybrid technique reduces the computational cost of the model to the great extent by reducing the number of degree of freedom as well as minimising the contact zones in the model. The results of the hybrid model were validated against the results of a baseline model, which was fully modelled using the real architecture of the wires. The computational efficiency of the model is also discussed. The developed hybrid model provides an efficient tool to study the dynamic response of drapery systems under different loading conditions.

Keywords: ABAQUS, numerical modelling, hybrid method, chain-link, rockfall drapery

Badger, T, Duffy, J, Sassudelli, F, Ingraham, PC, Perreault, P, Muhunthan, B,…& Castelli, E 2008, ‘Hybrid Barrier Systems for Rockfall Protection’, in A Volkwein, V Labiouse & K Schellenberg (eds), Proceedings of the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Rockfall Protection, Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL, Birmensdorf, pp. 10–12.
Bertolo, P, Oggeri, C & Peilab, D 2009, ‘Full-scale testing of draped nets for rock fall protection’, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 46, issue 3, pp. 306–317.
European Organisation of Technical Approvals 2008, ETAG 027: Guideline for European Technical Approval of Falling Rock Protection Kits,
Giacomini, A, Thoeni, K, Lambert, C, Booth, S & Sloan, SW 2012, ‘Experimental study on rockfall drapery systems for open pit highwalls’, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, vol. 56, pp. 171–181.
Geobrugg 2018, High-tensile steel wire mesh TECCO G65/4, Geobrugg,
Glover, J, Denk, M, Bourrier, F, Volkwein, A & Gerber, W 2012, ‘Measuring the kinetic energy dissipation effects of rock fall attenuating systems with video analysis’, Proceedings of the12th Congress INTERPRAEVENT, International Research Society INTERPRAEVENT, Klagenfurt, pp. 151–160.
Muhunthan, B, Shu, S, Sasiharan, N & Hattamleh, OA 2005, Analysis and design of wire mesh/cable net slope protection, Washington State Transport Commission, Washington,
Sasiharan, N, Muhunthan, B, Badger, TC, Shu, S & Carradine, DM 2006, ‘Numerical analysis of the performance of wire mesh and cable net rockfall protection systems’, Engineering Geology, vol. 88, issue 1–2, pp. 121–132.
Tahmasbi, S, Giacomini, A, Wendeler, C & Buzzi, O 2018, ‘3D finite element modelling of chain-link drapery system’, in V Litvinenko (ed.), Proceedings of the European Rock Mechanics Symposium, Taylor and Francis Group, Saint Petersburg.
Tahmasbi, S, Giacomini, A, Wendeler, C & Buzzi, O 2019, ‘On the Computational Efficiency of the Hybrid Approach in Numerical Simulation of Rockall Flexible Chain-Link Mesh’, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, vol. 52, issue 10, pp. 3849–3866.
Thoeni, K, Giacomini, A, Lambert, C, Sloan, SW & Carter, JP 2014, ‘A 3D discrete element modelling approach for rockfall analysis with drapery systems’, International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences, vol. 68, pp. 107–109.

© Copyright 2024, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
View copyright/legal information
Please direct any queries or error reports to