FEIT Research Project Database

New approach for design of barriers for impact

Project Leader: Nelson Lam
Staff: Dr Mahdi Miri Disfani, A/Prof Tuan Ngo, Prof Emad Gad
Sponsors: Australian Research Council
Primary Contact: Prof Nelson Lam (ntkl@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: civil engineering; infrastructure protection; numerical modelling
Disciplines: Infrastructure Engineering
Domains: Optimisation of resources and infrastructure

In some mountainous areas as much as 2 billion US dollars can be spent on one city for the construction of barriers for protection against landslides. When space is limited rigid concrete barriers are more suitable than flexible (safety net) barriers and earth embankments. Free-standing roadside barriers made of cast-in-place concrete are common but such barriers are typically up to a metre tall and have very limited impact resistant capacity. The impact resistance of a free-standing barrier can be much higher than is predicted by conventional methods of analysis.

This research project is to develop new knowledge and create an efficient methodology for quantifying the effects of boulder impact on a free-standing barrierwith the following specific aims:

  1. To develop and validate methods for accurately simulating the impact action of a boulder on a concrete barrier, leading to loading protocols being recommended for safety assessment purposes.
  2. To further develop, and validate, the loading protocol to incorporate the mitigating actions of a layer of “granular cushion” taking into account the dissipation of energy and damage to the cushion.
  3. To determine the state of damage to a range of concrete barriers by applying the recommended loading protocols (developed in step 1 & 2) through a high speed actuator in order that design recommendations can be made by combining the outcomes of the three steps.
  4. To develop fragility curves and vulnerability curves for the probabilistic evaluation of the performance of concrete barriers taking into account debris pressure which co-exist impact actions by boulders.


Further information: https://www.findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/display/person14463