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# Rockfall protection system

MACRO 1

THEORY AND BACKGROUND MANUAL

Version 1.08 JANUARY 2014

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 2
MACRO 1
THEORY AND BACKGROUND

INDEX
1 INDRODUCTION 6
2 BASIC DEFINITONS 7
3 GENERAL CONCEPTS 8
3.1 COEXISTENCE OF ANCHOR AND MESH 8
3.2 CONCEPTUAL SOLUTION 9
3.3 DESIGN APPROACH 9
4 NAIL DIMENSIONING 11
4.1 FORCE INTO THE GEOMECHANICAL SYSTEM 11
4.2 STABILIZING CONTRIBUTION OF ANCHORS 16
4.3 EVALUATION OF NAIL LENGTH 17
5 MESH DIMENSIONING 18
5.1 ULTIMATE LIMIT STATE 18
5.2 MAXIMUM ROCK VOLUME VS PUSHING ON THE MESH 21
5.3 MESH DEFORMATION UNDER PUNCH LOAD AND SCALE EFFECT 21
5.4 MESH DIMENSIONING: SERVICEABILITY LIMIT STATE 23
6 GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY 24
7 END NOTES 26

LIST OF THE FIGURES

Figure 1 - Typical configuration of the secured drapery 6
Figure 4 - Conceptual solution for the calculation of anchors and mesh 9
Figure 5 - Thickness of the unstable slope "s" evaluated with geomechanical
survey (left), or with rough estimation of the detachment niches and
size boulders (right) 12
Figure 6 Rock masses with different lithology; left: non homogeneous rock mass
(for example flysch); right: homogeneous rock mass (for example
mudstone) 13

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 3
Figure 7 Left: the weathering quickly denudates the anchors. Right: despite of the
heavy jointed rock mass, the weathering is slow. If the weathering
velocity is negligible, the anchor length L
e1
and L
e2
into the sound
rock is enough to hold the unstable surficial portion for a long time. 13
Figure 8 - Left: even slope morphology: the mesh lies in contact to the slope
surface. Right: uneven slope morphology: the mesh touches the slope
surface in few points 14
Figure 9 - Left: even slope morphology: the mesh lies in contact to the slope
surface. Right: uneven slope morphology: the mesh touches the slope
surface in few points 14
Figure 10 - Anchor bar in the rock mass. Li = length crossing the unstable mass; Lp
length in the plasticized rock mass; Ls length in stable rock mass 17
Figure 12 - Scheme of the forces acting on the mesh 20
Figure 13 Shapes of the rock volumes that can move among the anchors:
triangular (left) and trapezium (right) 20
Figure 14 - Geometry of the volume between the anchors 20
Figure 15 - Volumes B and C between the anchors 21
Figure 16 - Sketch of the geometry of the mesh with punching load 22
Figure 17 - Plan view of the punch test according to UNI 11437:2012. Legend: 1 =
tested mesh; 2 = punching device (1.0 m in diameter); 3 = perimeter
constraint between the mesh and the frame. 22
Figure 18 - Example of a curve load-displacement used for the design of the mesh
at the Serviceability Limit State 23

LISTS OF THE TABLES

Table 1 - Recap of the safety coefficients for the reduction of the destabilizing
forces and of the resistances ............................................................................... 15
Table 2 - Global safety coefficients applied to the stabilizing end driving forces ................. 15

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 4

LIST OF THE MAIN SYMBOLS

Factor of safety Factor applied to Symbol used
in the
formulas
showed
below
Partial factor
applied on the
nail
Yield stress of the steel ST
Partial factor
applied on the
mesh
Longitudinal tensile strength of the mesh M
Maximum displacement admitted on the mesh M-BULG
Partial factor
applied on the
instability/rock
Thickness of the instability T
Unit weight of the rock W
Rock behavior (i.e. weathering of the rock) B

Slope morphology MO

Category of data Data and typical unit of measure Symbol used in
the formulas
shown below
Geotechnical and
geomechanical
data
Slope inclination [deg]
Thickness of instability [m] s
Unit weight of the rock [kN/m
3
]
Inclination of the most critical joint set [deg]
Roughness of the most critical joint set [-] JRC0
Compressive strength of the most critical joint set [MPa] JCS0
Nails Horizontal distance between nails [m] ix
Vertical distance between nails [m] iy
Nominal external diameter [mm] e
Nominal internal diameter [mm] (if the bar is hollow) i
Potential thickness of corrosion on the bar diameter [mm] tc
Yield stress of the steel [N/mm
2
] ST
Inclination from the perpendicular to the slope [deg] 0
Grout-rock adhesion (bond stress) [MPa] LIM
Mesh Type of mesh i.e. commercial
name
Ultimate longitudinal tensile strength [kN/m] Tm
Curve load displacement [kN / mm] P / PUNCH
Seismic action Horizontal seismic acceleration coefficient [-] c

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 5
Parameter of the
joint
In-situ tool to define the parameter Typical values
JRC (roughness) Barton Comb

Smooth joint: 0 to
2; Very rough joint:
18 to 20
JCS (joint
compressive
strength)
Schmidt Hammer From 3 to 200 MPa
depending on the
strength of the rock
(JCS is approx. 1/3
of UCS*)
Inclination () Geological compass Can vary from 0
deg to 90 deg

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 6
MACRO 1
THEORY AND BACKGROUND

1 INDRODUCTION
Macro 1 is the software of Officine Maccaferri aimed at calculating the pin drapery systems
for rockfall protection.
Pin drapery (called also secured drapery, or cortical strengthening, or superficial
stabilization) is composed of anchors and steel mesh (rockfall net). The goal of this system is
improving the surficial rock face stability and maintaining the debris/rock on place (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Typical configuration of the secured drapery

The pin draperies could be included into the active protection measures, because they are
directly applied on the unstable zone in order to prevent the rockfall. In these terms they
absolutely differ from the rockfall barriers that are placed far from the detachment area and
can only mitigate the effect of the rockfall. But from the geomechanical point of view they
should be classified as passive interventions because they generate forces as the rockfall
displacement takes places
1
.
The design of secured drapery is not at all easy because of numerous variables, including
topography, rock mass properties, joint geometry and properties, mesh type and related
restraint conditions. Often the solution to the problem may require complex numerical
modelling which is not practical for every project, especially if the design is aimed at
interventions of modest size. Because of that, at the present, limit equilibrium models are
preferable. Taking this into consideration and incorporating field experience, Officine
Maccaferri has developed MacRo1, the limit equilibrium approach for the design of secured
drapery. The procedure is quite rough, but it is sufficient when considering the low accuracy
level of the input data, the reliability of the results and the speed of the calculations.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 7

2 BASIC DEFINITONS
The materials intended to the software are the following:
Mesh: steel meshes produced by Officine Maccaferri. The software contains a library with
the behaviour of the mesh under punch and tensile load. The knowledge of these behaviours
derives from a series of laboratory test carried out in accordance with standard UNI
11437:2012
2
. The software does not allow inserting any other mesh type.
Anchors: in the description the terms anchors, and nail are interchangeable. The steel
bars used for pin drapery applications are preferably full threaded. They are installed in a
drilled hole, previously realized with specific drilling machines. They have to be centred into
the hole and then grouted along their entire length. Normally the grout has a compression
resistance of 20 to 50 MPa in order to guarantee an efficient bond stress between the steel
bar and the rock
3
. The grout has also the function to protect the steel against corrosion. The
diameter of these bars is generally 20 to 50 mm. Frequently the drilling diameter is approx.
2.0-2.5 times the diameter of the bar. The length of the nails (L) in most of the cases is
between 2.5 to 4.0 m, and the spacing (ix and iy
4
see Figure 1) ranges between 2.0 and
4.0 m. On the rock slopes, nails mainly works in shear condition, because often they are
installed perpendicular to the sliding surface. Thus, the nail design requires the definition of
the type of steel and diameter. The software admits any steel anchor type.
Pin drapery: in these text pin drapery, secured drapery, cortical strengthening, are
interchangeable. In the pin drapery the anchor and the mesh should cooperate, and the
anchor should really stabilize the slope face. Very frequently the effective anchor spacing
ranges between 2 and 3 m: The designer should remember that the larger the spacing is, the
lower the interlocking between the instable block. Large anchor spacing means frequent
rockfall and heavy loads on the mesh facing. It is always possible choose spacing larger
than 3.0 m, but the intervention progressively loose effectiveness and smokes to something
else.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 8

3 GENERAL CONCEPTS
3.1 Coexistence of anchor and mesh
The calculation approach considers that on the slope there is a surficial weathered (or heavy
jointed, blasted, or disturbed) rock mass. The weathered mass is conveniently approximated
as pseudo continuous
5
; this continuous body most frequently generates shallow instabilities
and rockfalls. It has thickness s and inclination parallel to the slope. Several sets of
joints cross the surficial body; the most unfavourable has inclination (Figure 2).

The forces of mesh and nails are passively generated when one of these two conditions
happens:
- the whole weathered body slides down on the plane inclined . This is the problem of
the global stability of the weathered surface; it is solved by the raster of anchors
(Figure 3 on the left).
- one or more block move out from the weathered body. The dynamic of the instability
could be any one (planar or wedge sliding, toppling, bucking, fall). The software only
considers the planar sliding on the plane , which is the most unfavourable case.
Because this instability can happen only among the nails, it can be defined as local
instability of the weathered surface; the mesh fixed with the anchors answers to the
local instability (Figure 3 on the right).
-

Figure 2 - Slope with the weathered unstable surface

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 9

3.2 Conceptual solution
Both mesh and anchors can only develop reactions as the rock mass moves (passive
system). Macro 1 separately analyses the mechanisms anchors and mesh facing. But
because the spacing between the anchors dramatically changes the load on the mesh
facing, the user follows this iterative process (Figure 4):

Figure 4 - Conceptual solution for the calculation of anchors and mesh
3.3 Design approach
The adopted design approach only follows the general concepts of Eurocodes (UNI ENV
1997-1:2005). In these terms Macro 1 allows increasing the destabilizing forces and
reducing the resistances by mean of suitable safety coefficients, which should be calibrated
with probabilistic methodology. Unfortunately the Eurocodes cannot correctly be applied on
the geomechanical field
6
, and the secured draperies are quite far from the standard
problems. That is why the coefficients of Macro 1 have been based on specific parameters
like the slope morphology or the mesh behaviour. The user has to find out the suitable
Figure 3 - Elements of the pin drapery systems. Nails (left) stabilize the superficial portion. Mesh
(right) keeps in place the unstable material between the nail.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 10
coefficients considering what he has directly seen on site. This approach is more realistic
and helps in designing the secured draperies.
Macro 1 calculates the raster of anchors in order to get a more favourable equilibrium
condition of the weathered rock mass.
According to the common design practice, Macro 1 purposes the calculation of the mesh
facing for the ultimate and the serviceability limit states. The ultimate limit state allows
understanding if the mesh can be broken because of the load, whereas the serviceability
allows foreseeing the facing deformation perpendicular to the mesh plane. The knowledge of
deformation is very useful because:
- when the deformation reaches the design limit, it means that the maintenance
(cleaning) of the secured drapery is needed before that further displacements
determine the mesh rupture. A simple visual monitoring let the owner programs the
interventions.
- Too much deformed mesh implicates easy stripping on the anchors and lower
durability of the intervention. The designer must be aware of this and foresee the
right mesh type accordingly.
- Since the meshes are largely deformable, the facing of the secured drapery could
interfere with close infrastructures or vehicles.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 11

4 NAIL DIMENSIONING
4.1 Force into the geomechanical system
Considering passive behaviour, the nail calculation must assume the unstable portion of the
slope lies in condition of limit equilibrium, where the safety factor is equal to 1.0. Therefore,
the resisting forces have the same value of the driving forces and the following equation is
true (Figure 4):
Resisting forces = W sin = driving forces [1]
where
W = weight of the unstable rock mass to be consolidated
= inclination of the slope surface, where the sliding of the unstable rock mass can
occur.
Using the resistance criteria of Barton-Bandis
7
for the joints, equation [1] can be rewritten to
describe the improved stability condition:

W (sin c sin tan ) + R W (sin + c cos ) [2]
assuming
R = stabilizing contribution of the nails
c = seismic coefficients
= residual friction angle of the joint
The equation [2] is written in accordance with the concept of passive intervention
8
.
Setting tan 1 (friction angle = 45)
9
, and posing the safety factors for reducing the
stabilizing forces (
RW
) and increasing the driving ones (
DW
), the stability condition simply
becomes:
W sin (1- c) /
RW
+ R W
DW
(sin + c cos ) [3]
or
F
Sslp
> = F
Dslp
[4]
assuming

F
Dslp
= W (sin + c cos )
DW
= Sum of the driving forces [5]
and
F
Sslp
= W sin (1- c) /
RW
+ R = Sum of stabilizing forces [6]

Equation [3] allows determining the nail force that consolidates a rock mass in the limit
equilibrium state. It is a conservative equation and it is simple to be used since it basically
requires simple geometric variables.
The safety coefficients (
RW
,
DW
) depend on several factors. The rock mass features affect
the size of the stabilizing forces, so that their safety coefficient can be described as

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 12

RW
=
THl

WG

BH
[7]

where
10

-
THl
describes the uncertainties in determining the surficial instability thickness s.
Its value ranges between 1.20, when the estimation is based on a geomechanical
survey, and 1.30, when it is based on rough estimation (Figure 5). It must be
considered that the thickness of the unstable layer is not homogeneous, locally its
thickness could be thicker.
-
WG
describes the uncertainties in the unitary weight determination of the rock
mass. Usually it is assumed to equal 1.00, but if there are severe uncertainties it
can be assumed to equal 1.05. For instance it can be noticed that for non
homogenous rocks (e.g. flysch rock masses where there are thin layered clay
stone alternated to hard mudstone), the mesh and the nails can locally be heavy
loaded, whereas in other places the load is lower being the same volume of
instability (Figure 6).
-
BH
describes the uncertainties related to the rock mass behaviour. High erodibility
of the rock surface can cause stripping of the nails and weakness of the whole
system (Figure 7). One consequence is that the unstable portion held by the nails
(or by the mesh) could become quickly deeper. Usually the value is assumed
equal to 1.00, but if there are severe environmental conditions or the rock mass is
easily weathered (it is the case of several rock types containing clay), it can be
assumed to equal 1.05.

Figure 5 - Thickness of the unstable slope "s" evaluated with geomechanical survey (left), or with rough
estimation of the detachment niches and size boulders (right)

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 13

Figure 6 Rock masses with different lithology; left: non homogeneous rock mass (for example flysch);
right: homogeneous rock mass (for example mudstone)

Figure 7 Left: the weathering quickly denudates the anchors. Right: despite of the heavy jointed rock
mass, the weathering is slow. If the weathering velocity is negligible, the anchor length Le1 and Le2
into the sound rock is enough to hold the unstable surficial portion for a long time.

External conditions, especially slope morphology, play an important role in the magnitude of
the driving forces, whose safety coefficient is defined as

DW
=
MO

OL
[8]

where:
-
MO
describes the uncertainties related to slope morphology. If the slope is very
rough, then the mesh facing is not in continuous contact with the surface, and the
unstable blocks can freely move; in that case a safety coefficient of 1.30 should
be applied. If the slope surface is even, the mesh facing lies in better contact with

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 14
the ground; in the case, the unstable block movement is limited, and a safety
coefficient of 1.10 is used (Figure 8 and Figure 9).
-
OL
system. The additional loads could be related to the presence of ice or snow, or to
vegetation growing on the slope. Usually it is assumed to equal 1.00, but if severe
conditions are foreseen, it can be assumed to equal 1.20.

Figure 8 - Left: even slope morphology: the mesh lies in contact to the slope surface. Right: uneven slope
morphology: the mesh touches the slope surface in few points

Figure 9 - Left: even slope morphology: the mesh lies in contact to the slope surface. Right: uneven slope
morphology: the mesh touches the slope surface in few points

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 15
Table 1 - Recap of the safety coefficients for the reduction of the destabilizing forces and of the
resistances

The above safety coefficients (formula [7] and [8]) have been calibrated in order to get the
following range of values (Table 2):

Table 2 - Global safety coefficients applied to the stabilizing and driving forces
Safety coefficient Minimum value Maximum value
For stabilizing forces 1.20 1.43
For driving forces 1.10 1.56

With this procedure the global safety coefficient applied on the geomechanical system very
roughly ranges between 1.5 and 3.2 according to the most common experience and design
codes.

factor
Description Value
T If the superficial instability thickness is defined by:
- geomechanical survey:
- rough/visual estimation:

1.20
1.30
W If the rock unit weight is:
- homogeneous:
- not-homogeneous (i.e. flysh):

1.00
1.05
B If the rock:
- does not present any anomalous behavior (i.e. compact rock):
- is subjected to erosion and/or environmental condition that can create
weakness of the rock mass (i.e. weathering rock):

1.00

1.05
MO If the morphology of the rock is:
- regular (the mesh lies in better contact with the slope, thus the rock
movement are limited):
- rough (the mesh cannot be in adherence with the slope, thus the unstable
block can easily move):

1.10

1.30
OL If there are/are not external loads acting on the system:
- not significant loads are applied:

1.00
1.20

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 16
4.2 Stabilizing contribution of anchors
The reinforcing nail bars work principally in proximity to the sliding joint, where it is
subjected to shear stresses together with tensile stresses. The resisting force R, due to the
bar along the sliding plane
11
, is derived utilising the maximum work principal
12
:

[9]
where:
m = cotg ( + ) [10]
= angle between the bar axis and the horizontal. It is equal to
= 90 -
o
, [11]
where
o
is the angle between the bar axis and the normal to the sliding plane.
= sliding surface dilatancy
N
e
= bar strength (elasticity limit condition) = ESS
= ESS
ST
/
ST
[12]

ST
= coefficient of reduction for the steel resistance.
ESS = effective area of the steel bar = / 4 ((fe - 2 fc)
2
- fi
2
) [13]
fe = external diameter of the steel bar
fc = thickness of corrosion on the external crown
fi = minor diameter of the steel bar

In accordance with the Barton Bandis resistance criteria, the value is approximated as
13

[14]

where
14
:

[15]

= inclination of the most unfavourable sliding plane

plan
= sliding plane normal stress

JRC = joint roughness coefficient
15
= [15]

JCS = joint uni-axial compression resistance
16
= [16]

JCS
0
= joint compression strength referred to the scale joint sample
JRC
0
= roughness referred to scale joint sample
L
0
= joint length (assumed to be 0.1 m for lack of available data)
L
g
= sliding joint length (assumed to be equal to vertical nail spacing.
e N
m
m
R

+
+
=
2
1
2
2
4
1
16
1

JRC log
JCS
plan
#
\$
%
&
'
(
3
( ) 0 02 . 0
0
0
JRC
g
L
L
JRC

( ) 0 03 . 0
0
0
RC J
g
L
L
JCS

plan =
ix iy s cos
ix iy

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 17

The equations from [14] to [16] are exclusively aimed at determining the dilatancy that
increases the stabilizing contribution R of the anchor especially when it is put perpendicular
to a very rough plane
17
. Macro 1 must adopt a conservative approach because on surficial
rock masses the joints are often opened, or with filling of clay, sometime with advanced
weathering process, the uniaxial compressive strength is very low; other times the rock mass
is disturbed by the excavation
18
. In these conditions the anchors mostly works with the shear
resistance of the anchor bar. In lack of input data, the user should remember the followings:
- the roughness JRC and the uniaxial compression resistance JCS should be estimated
on the most unfavourable joints inclined . Macro 1 assumes that the joint (parallel to
the slope face) has such most unfavourable resistance, and the anchors are calculated
accordingly.
- If JRC is unknown
19
it can be set at 0.
- If JCS is unknown
20
, it can be set at 5 MPa.
- If the joint inclination is unknown, it can be assumed between 40 and 50 in order to
get al large volume sliding on a very steep plane.
4.3 Evaluation of nail length
The evaluation of nail length should consider the following:
a) The nail plays the most important role in superficial consolidation of the slope. Its
length must be deeper than the instability thickness, and should allow the bar to
reach into the stable section.
b) The steel bar and the grout are exposed to weathering actions (ice, rain, salinity,
temperature variations, etc.).
c) The steel bar can develop the shear resistance because rock and grout develop the
same opposite strength. But because rock and grouting are weaker than the steel,
generally the rock plasticizes close the sliding plane
21
. The plasticized volume
depends on the rock type.

Figure 10 - Anchor bar in the rock mass. Li = length crossing the unstable mass; Lp length in the
plasticized rock mass; Ls length in stable rock mass

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 18
The minimum theoretical length is derived by
L
t
= L
s
+ L
i
+ L
p
[17]
assuming:
L
s
= length in the stable part of the mass = P / (
drill

lim
/
gt
) [18]
L
i
= length in the weathered mass = s / cos
dw
[19]
L
P
= length of hole with plasticity phenomena in firm part of the rock mass. The values
ranges between 0.05 m for hard rock (e.g. granite or basalt) up to 0.30 m for weak rock (e.g.
marl), and exceptionally up to to 0.45 m for very weak rock (e.g. claystone or tuff).
With

drill
= diameter of the hole for the bar

lim
= bound stress (adherence tension) between grout rock
22

gt
= safety coefficient of the adhesion grout rock. According to the Eurocode EC7, it
should not be taken lower than 1.8
23
.
P = pullout force; it is the greater of the following:
P
Mesh
= ((W
Sbar
- W
Dbar
) cos ( +
o
)) i
x
= pull out due to the mesh [20]
P
Rock
= (F
Sslp
R F
Dslp
) cos (+
o
) = pull out due to the slope instability[21]

The length of the nail must be intended as a preliminary value. The final suitable length of
the bars has to be evaluated while drilling and confirmed with pull out tests.

5 MESH DIMENSIONING
5.1 Ultimate limit state
Some secondary blocks could slide among the nails on a plane with inclination , where is
smaller than the slope inclination , and push on the mesh facing. The maximum block size
pushing per horizontal linear meter of facing depends on the thickness s and the vertical
spacing i
y
between two nails. Since the load pushing is asymmetric and the mesh deforms
unevenly, the forces acting on the facing are represented with the following simplified
scheme (Figure 11 and Figure 12):

Figure 11 - Deformed mesh with forces

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 19
F - the force developed by the blocks sliding between the nails on a plane inclined at
.
T - the force acting on the facing plane, which rises when the sliding blocks push on
the facing. The force can develop because there is a large friction between mesh
and blocks, and a pocket is formed. The facing, which is considered to be nailed
on the upper part only, reacts to T with the tensile resistance of the mesh.
M the punch force developed by the blocks perpendicular to the facing plane. The
force is developed since there are several lateral restraints, like the nailing (strong
restraint) and the next meshes (weak restraint). The magnitude of M largely
depends on the stiffness of the mesh: the higher the membrane stiffness of the
mesh is, the more effectiveness the facing is.
In the case of the mesh, the ultimate limit state is satisfied when
T
- T > = 0 [22]
where
T
= admissible tensile strength of the mesh
which is
T
= T
m
/
MH
[23]
where
T
m
= Tensile resistance of the mesh

MH
= safety coefficient for the reduction of the tensile resistance of the mesh. Taking into
account the inhomogeneous stress acting on the loaded mesh, the minimum safety
coefficient should be not lower than 2.50. This safety coefficient is based upon
empirical observations on the punch tests carried out in Pont Boset with Torino Tech
University
24
and Lab IUAV Venice University
25
, where it has been noticed that the
mesh between the anchors does not give a full contribution to hold the lower facing,
and the stress basically is absorbed by the nails. Those last hold a force Q ranging
between 30 and 55 kN per anchor
26
.
The real distribution of the stress has been seen with numerical analysis
27
. The stress acting
on the mesh depends on the membrane stiffness: the higher the stiffness is, the higher the
capacity of the mesh to be like a restrain between the anchors is. The stiffer mesh is more
effective, accordingly. From the theoretical point of view, the lower the stiffness is, the higher
the safety coefficient should be, since the stress in mainly concentrated on the anchors and
not homogenously distributed on the mesh.

The stress T on the mesh depends on the force pushing on the mesh (M Figure 12), which
can be calculated using the same principles as formula [3]:

M = F sin () i
x
= (M
bdrv
M
bstb
) sin () i
x
[24]

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 20

Figure 12 - Scheme of the forces acting on the mesh

Where:
M
bdrv
= Mb (sin + c cos )
DW
= driving forces [25]
M
bstb
= (Mb sin (1- c))
RW
= resisting forces [26]
Mb = V = weight of the unstable rock mass [27]
V = maximum unstable volume between nails (Figure 13, Figure 14, Figure 15) which
is calculated in accordance with the next paragraph 5.2.

Figure 13 Shapes of the rock volumes that can move among the anchors: triangular (left) and
trapezium (right)

Figure 14 - Geometry of the volume between the anchors

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 21

Figure 15 - Volumes B and C between the anchors

5.2 Maximum rock volume VS pushing on the mesh
Macro 1 assumes that the maximum volume pushing on the mesh has the following
boundaries (Figure 14):
- top: top and anchor (for simplicity the anchors are always considered perpendicular to
the sliding plane)
- bottom: sliding surface inclined . The plane intersects the surface at the head of the
lower anchor.
- Back: sliding surface inclined
There are several procedures for the calculation of the maximum rock volume that could
move among the anchors. Hereby is described the one followed by the analytical algorithm
of Macro 1.
If (arctan (s/i
y
)) and < [28]
Then the volumes simply becomes (triangular shape in Figure 13 left)
Volume A [29]
else, if < arctan (s/i
y
) [30]
can be distinguished the following volumes (Figure 15)
Volume B V = i
y
s

- s
2
/ tan () [31]
And volume C V = 0.5 s
2
/ tan () [32]
Macro 1 determines the maximum theoretical volume as the sum of
V = Volume A + Volume B + Volume C [33]

5.3 Mesh deformation under punch load and scale effect

Macro 1 assumes that in any case the punch load on the mesh can be greater than the
weight of the rock volume among the anchors. Then Macro 1 check if
M/i
x
/sin ( p) < Mb sen [34]
then
T = M / i
x
/ sin (
p
)
else
) tan(
2
1
2
= y i V

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 22
T = Mb sen [35]
With
Z
bulg
= displacement related to the punch load M.

p
= angle of deformation of the mesh arctg (2
bulg
/ i) [36]
= average spacing between the anchors = (ix * iy)
0.5
[37]

Figure 16 - Sketch of the geometry of the mesh with punching load

Figure 17 - Plan view of the punch test according to UNI 11437:2012. Legend: 1 = tested mesh; 2 =
punching device (1.0 m in diameter); 3 = perimeter constraint between the mesh and the frame.

When the load induces the maximum displacement Z
bulg
, the process of the mesh rupture
stars. The maximum punch displacement Z
bulg
is related to the sample size: in accordance
with the results of the tests carried out
28
, it is possible to roughly say that the larger the
sample size is, the larger the displacement is (scale effect). The general law of the scale
effect is assumed in the simplified form
x = x
0

x
[38]
y = y
0

y
[39]
where
(x, y) = generic coordinate of the scaled graphic
(x
0
, y
0
) = generic coordinate of the reference graphic
(
x
,
y
) = constants correlating the scaled to the reference graphic
As the curves have been determined following the standard UNI 11437 (a sample size 3.0 x
3.0 m), the reference size for the description of scale effect is 3.0 m (Figure 17).
Macro 1 automatically modifies the typical load vs displacement curves considering the
scale effect.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 23

Figure 18 - Example of a curve load-displacement used for the design of the mesh at
the Serviceability Limit State

5.4 Mesh dimensioning: serviceability limit state
The serviceability limit state provides information concerning the following:
- required maintenance activity on the facing;
- risks of stripping because of anchor necking;
- interference between infrastructure and facing as consequence of excessive
displacements.
The serviceability limit state is satisfied if
B
ulg
- Z
bulg
>= 0
where
B
ulg
= D
mbulg
/
mbulg
D
mbulg
= maximum design displacement

mbulg
= safety coefficient. Its value ranges between
29
1.50 (facing installed properly on a
slope with an even surface) and 3.00 (facing installed improperly on a slope with
uneven morphology). The safety coefficient decreases the desired maximum

bulg
= deformation of the facing as derived from the results of Maccaferri tests on the
base due to punch force M (Figure 18).

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 24
6 GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
AICAP, (1993): Anchor in soil and rock: recommendations (in Italian).
Bertolo P. , Giacchetti G., 2008 - An approach to the design of nets and nails for surficial
rock slope revetment in Interdisciplinary Workshop on Rockfall Protection, June 23-25
2008, Morshach, Switzerland.
Bertolo P., Ferraiolo F., Giacchetti G., Oggeri C., Peila D., e Rossi B., (2007): Metodologia
per prove in vera grandezza su sistemi di protezione corticale dei versanti GEAM
Geoingegneria Ambientale e mineraria, Anno XLIV, N. 2, Maggio-Agosto 2007.
Besseghini F., Deana M., Di Prisco C., Guasti G., 2008 Modellazione meccanica di un
sistema corticale attivo per il consolidamento di versanti di terreno, Rivista GEAM
Geoingegneria ambientale e Mineraria, Anno XLV, N. III dicembre 2008 (125) pp. 25-30
(in Italian)
Bonati A., e Galimberti V., (2004): Valutazione sperimentale di sistemi di difesa attiva dalla
caduta massi in atti Bonifica dei versanti rocciosi per la difesa del territorio - Trento
2004, Peila D. Editor.
Brunet G., Giacchetti G., (2012) - Design Software for Secured Drapery- Proceedings of the
63rd Highway Geology Symposium, May 7-10, 2012, Redding, California.
Castro D., (2008) Proyetos de investigacin en la Universidad de Cantabria - II Curso
sobre proteccin contra caida de rocas Madrid, 26 27 de Febrero. Organiza STMR
Servicios tcnicos de mecnica de rocas.
Cravero M., Iabichino G., Oreste P.P., e Teodori S.P. 2004: Metodi di analisi e
dimensionamento di sostegni e rinforzi per pendii naturali o di scavo in roccia in atti
Bonifica dei versanti rocciosi per la difesa del territorio Trento 2004, Peila D. Editor.
Ferrero A.M., Giani G.P., Migliazza M., (1997): Interazione tra elementi di rinforzo di
discontinuit in roccia - atti Il modello geotecnico del sottosuolo nella progettazione
delle opere di sostegno e degli scavi IV Conv. Naz. Ricercatori universitari
Hevelius pp. 259 275.
Flumm D., Ruegger R. (2001): Slope stabilization with high performance steel wire meshes
with nails and anchors International Symposium Earth reinforcement, Fukuoka, Japan.
Goodman, R.E. and Shi, G. (1985), Block Theory and Its Application to Rock Engineering,
Prentice-Hall, London.
Jacob V., (2009): Engineering, unpublished thesis, Technical University Torino.
LCPC, (2001) : Parades contre les instabilits rocheuses - Guide technique - Paris.
Phear A., Dew C., Ozsoy B., Wharmby N.J., Judge J., e Barley A.D., (2005): Soil nailing
Best practice guidance - CIRIA C637, London, 2005.
Ribacchi R., Graziani A. e Lembo Fazio A. (1995). Analisi del comportamento dei sistemi di
rinforzo passivi in roccia, XIX Convegno Nazionale di Geotecnica: Il Miglioramento e il
Rinforzo dei Terreni e delle Rocce, Pavia, pp. 239-268
Ruegger R., e Flumm D., (2000): High performance steel wire mesh for surface protection in
combination with nails and anchors Contribution to the 2
nd
colloquium Contruction in
soil and rock Accademy of Esslingen (Germany).

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 25
aspetti tecnologici e progettuali Tesi di Laurea in Ingegneria per lAmbiente e il
Territorio, unpublished thesis, Technical University Torino.
Torres Vila J.A., Torres Vila M.A., e Castro Fresno D., (2000): Validation de los modelos
fisicos de analisis y diseno para el empleo de membranas flexibile Tecco G65 como
elemento de soporte superficial en la estabilizacion de taludes.
Valfr A., (2007): Dimensionamento di reti metalliche in aderenza per scarpate rocciose
mediante modellazioni numeriche GEAM Geoingegneria Ambientale e mineraria,
Anno XLIII, N. 4, Dicembre 2006.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 26

7 END NOTES

1
See pag. 570 of Turner A.K, Schuster R.L. Editors (2012) Rockfall Characterization
Rockfall Characterization and control Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C.
2
UNI 11437 (2012). Rockfall protection measures : Tests on meshes for slope coverage -
UNI Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione. It is the first worldwide norm that describes the
procedures for the two basic resistances of a mesh (punch and tensile). It considers and
extends the pre existing standards (ASTM 975-97 2003 and EN 15381:2008).
3
The following graph shows the effect of water content on the compressive strength, bleed
and flow resistance of grout mixes (Littlejohn and Bruce, 1975, from pag 322 of Wyllie D.C.
(1999) Foundations on Rock Second edition E & FN SPON, London and New York).

4
In Macro 1 the notation of the anchor spacing is referred to the horizontal inter-axis i
x
and
the vertical one i
y
(measured on the slope face). The Figure 1 shows the configuration of the
anchor pattern spaced i
x
and i
y
. In reality the anchor pattern could be also diamond, as
represented in following figure. Macro 1 only accepts the input with the concept of square
pattern (left in the figure). If the user wants to change from square to diamond, he has to
input a fictitious square pattern that respects the anchor density (number of anchor per area
unit).
Area per 1 anchor in the squared pattern Area = i
y
i
x
If i
y
=

i
x
, the squared area can be rewritten Area = i
x
2

Area per 1 anchor in the diamond pattern Area = d
y
d
x
/ 2
It must be that i
x
2
= d
y
d
x
/ 2
And then i
x
= (d
y
d
x
/ 2)
0.5

The last relationship allows adopting the diamond pattern in Macro 1 too.

Example: the diamond pattern to be calculated is d
y
= 5.5 m and d
x
= 2.9 m. The equivalent
square pattern to be inserted in Macro 1 is
i
x
= i
y
= (d
y
d
x
/ 2)
0.5
= (5.5 2.9

/ 2)
0.5
= 2.8 m

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 27

The best position of the anchors happens when they can cooperate each other and interfere
with the rock mass. Then the best theoretical pattern should be the diamond one, with
anchor axis spaced in order to form an equilateral triangle. But more simply, it is important
that the areal distribution of the anchor is as homogeneous as possible. In these terms it is
strongly recommended to avoid irregular pattern (examples: diamond 3.0 m x 8.0 m or
rectangular 2.5 m x 4.8 m).
For practical reasons many contractors prefer the squared pattern.

5
Ferraiolo F., Giacchetti G. (2004) Rivestimenti corticali: alcune considerazioni
sullapplicazione delle reti di protezione in parete rocciosa, in proceedings Bonifica di
versanti rocciosi per la protezione del territorio Trento 2004 Peila D. editor. In Italian.

6
At the present has been instituted a work group for the proposal of a new Eurocode for the
rock masses. For instance see: Alejano L.R., Bedi A., Bond A., Ferrero A.M., Harrison J.P.,
Lamas L., Migliazza M.R., Olsson R., Perucho ., Sofianos A., Stille H., Virely D. (2013).
Rock engineering design and the evolution of Eurocode 7. In Rock Mechanics for
Resources, Energy and Environment Kwasniewsky & Lydzba (eds.) 2013 Taylor & Francis
Group, London, ISBN 978-1-138-00080-3, pag. 777-782
Anyway, with special reference to the DIN 1054:2010-12 (Subsoil Verification of the safety
of earthworks and foundations Supplementary rules to DIN EN 1997-1 - table A 2.1 for the
approach B-SP, GEO-2), and more generally to the EC7 concepts, the user can introduce
the coefficients 1.35 for the estimation of the stabilizing forces, and 1.00 for the estimation of
the driving ones (see Tabelle Teilsicherheitsbeiwerte F1 bzw. E2 fr Einwirkungen und
Beanspruchungen, B-SP, STR und GEO-2: Grenzzustand des Versagens von Bauwerken,
Bauteilen und Baugrund, pag 30 DIN EN 1997-1). This approach implicate that the
efficiency for the system (Maccaferri internal report):
= F
Dslp
/ F
Sslp
is equals or greater than 0.77 (see equations [5] and [6]). In order to respect this efficiency,
the safety coefficient
DW
and
RW
(see Table 2) have to respect at least the following value:

DW
= (W sen /
RW
+ Rd / W sen )
(for the meaning of W, and R, please see the symbol list table)

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 28

The relation between
DW
and
RW
has been plot in the above graph for immediate use, as the
following examples shows:
Example 1: if
DW
is equals to 1.20, in order to get an efficiency not lower than 0.77,

RW
shall not be lower than 1.25.
Example 2: if
RW
is equals to 1.50, in order to get an efficiency not lower than 0.77,

DW
shall not be lower than 1.10.
The user can modulate the partial safety coefficients (see Error! Reference source not
found.) according to his knowledge of the slope until
DW
and
RW
(see the input data menu of
safety coefficients in the software) do not satisfy the required efficiency of the system, as per
the graph above.
7
The Barton-Bandis criteria does not consider the cohesion on the joints, but a peak friction
angle, which depends on a base friction angle (related to the rock type) and an increment
angle (related to JRC and JCS).
Main references:
Barton, N.R. and Choubey, V. (1977). The shear strength of rock joints in theory and
practice. Rock Mech. 10(1-2), 1-54.
Barton, N.R. and Bandis, S.C. (1982). Effects of block size on the shear behaviour of
jointed rock. 23rd U.S. symp. on rock mechanics, Berkeley, 739-760

Practical synthesis can be found in
- chapter 2 of Hoek E. (2000). Course Notes for Rock Engineering (CIV 529S) in
www.rocscience.com

8
see pag. 352 354 of Hoek, E. and Bray, J.W. 1981. Rock Slope Engineering . 3rd edn.
London: Institution of Mining and Metallurgy 402 pages.

9
According to the Barton-Bandis failure criteria, the friction angle commonly ranges between
28 and 70. Most frequently the value of 45 can be considered conservative.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 29

10
Grimod A., Giacchetti G. and Peirone B., 2013. A new design approach for pin drapery
systems. Proceedings of GeoMontreal 2013. 29
th
Spetember 3
rd
October 2013, Montreal
(QC). Paper n. 491.

11
The stabilizing contribution of a steel bar crossing a sliding plane can be described with
the following typical graphics:

The graph, developed for a specific type of steel bar, shows the effect of the dilatancy on the
stabilizing contribution R is higher when the bar perpendicular the sliding plane.
See also pag. 337- 339 of Giani G. P. (1992), Rock slope stability analysis Balkema,
Rotterdam

12
pag. 95 96 of Pellet F., e Egger P., (1995): Analytical model for the behaviour of bolded
rock joints and practical applications. In proceedings of international symposium Anchors
theory and practice. Widmann R. Editor, Balkema, Rotterdam.

13
Giani G. P. see note 11
14
see the following references:
Singh B., Goel R.K. (1999) Rock mass Classification A practical approach in civil
engineering - Elsevier
pag 69 of Bell F.G. (2007). Engineering Geology Elsevier BH

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 30

15
See pag 37 38 of Barton N. (1992): Scale effects or sampling bias? Proc. Int. Workshop
Scale Effects in Rock Masses, Balkema Publ., Rotterdam

16
Barton N. - see note 15
17
See pag. 169 171 of Goodman, R.(1989) - Rock Mechanics Second edition. John
Wiley.

18
An idea of grade of disturbance can be found on the chapter describing the rock mass
properties of Hoek E. (2000). Course Notes for Rock Engineering (CIV 529S) in
www.rocscience.com

19
The value of JRC can be measured by the Barton comb and comparing the roughness
profile to the typical of the table (from Barton, N.R. and Choubey, V. , 1977 see note 7).

20
The value of JCS can be measured with the Schmidt hammer, or in lack o information,
deduced from the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS = c) of the rock. The following table
gives the compressive frame of the most common values (from Appendix 3 of Palmstrom A.,
(1995) RMi - a system for characterization of rock masses for rock engineering purposes.
Ph. Thesis, University of Oslo, Norway. In www.rockmass.net)

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 31

21
See the references:
pag 139-141 of Wyllie D.C., e Mah C.W., (2004): Rock slope engineering civil and
mining - 4th edition Spon Press London and New York.
ITASCA (2004). UDEC universal distinct element Code User manual: Special
features Minneapolis, USA.

22
The following table the approximate relationship between rock type and working bond shear
strength for cement grout anchorages (from pag 331 of Wyllie D.C. (1999) Foundations on Rock
Second edition E & FN SPON, London and New York.)

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 32

Littlejohn, G.S. and Bruce, D.A. (1975a) Rock anchors state of the art. Part 1: Design.
Ground Eng., 8(4), 418.
Littlejohn, G.S. and Bruce, D.A. (1975b) Rock anchors - state of the art. Part 2: Construction.
Ground Eng., 8(4), 3645.
Littlejohn, G.S. and Bruce, D.A. (1976) Rock anchors state of the art. Part 3: Stressing and
testing. Ground Eng., 9(5), 33141.

23
UNI ENV 1997-1:2005
24
Bertolo P., Oggeri C., Peila D., 2009 Full scale testing of draped nets for rock fall
protection - Canadian Geotechnical Journal, No. 46 pp. 306-317.

25
The typical load vs displacement curves of the mesh have been implemented in the library
of Macro 1.

26
The values have been seen with specific tests in Cottbus University test i.e. Test 2011-
MPZ05SG/B-06 13/ May 2011

27
See the following references:
Muhunthan B., Shu S., Sasiharan N., Hattamleh O.A., Badger T.C., Lowell S.M.,
Duffy J.D., (2005): Analysis and design of wire mesh/cable net slope protection -
Final Research Report WA-RD 612.1 - Washington State Transportation Commission
Department of Transportation/U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway
Numerical analysis of the performance of wire mesh and cable net rockfall protection
systems. Engineering Geology 88, 121-132. Elsevier

28
See the following references:
Majoral R., Giacchetti G., Bertolo P., 2008 Las mallas en la estabilizacin de
taludes II Curso sobre proteccin contra caida de rocas Madrid, 26 27 de
Febrero. Organiza STMR Servicios tcnicos de mecnica de rocas.
Grimod A., Giacchetti G. , 2013, New design software for rockfall simple drapery
systems. Proceedings 23
nd
World Mining Congress & Expo, Montreal. Paper No.

MACRO 1 THEORY AND BACKGROUND Page | 33

255.

29
The safety coefficients for the diplacement normal to the mesh plane should be always
quite large in order to compensate for all the uncertainties that affect the mesh. The
installation accuracy generates one of the largest uncertainties. The most relevant research
to analyze the performance of the mesh stressed by a punch test was done by the
Polytechnic of Turin (see note 24 and the figures below with the cross section of the punch
device acting on the tested meshes). The goal of the research was to study the real behavior
of different type of mesh installed on a rock slope. The meshes were anchored to the rock by
4 nails distributed in a squared configuration. The distance between the nails was 3m x 3m.
The falling block was simulated by a piston connected to a punch device (diameter = 1.5 m);
the piston was installed in order to develop a 45 degree pressure against the mesh. The
maximum elongation of the piston was approx. 1.2 m ! The best way to reduce the
deformation is inserting cables into the mesh as suggested by Muhunthan ( see note 26).

.