Articles | Volume 18, issue 10
Research article
02 Oct 2018
Research article |  | 02 Oct 2018

Large-scale physical modelling study of a flexible barrier under the impact of granular flows

Dao-Yuan Tan, Jian-Hua Yin, Wei-Qiang Feng, Jie-Qiong Qin, and Zhuo-Hui Zhu

Abstract. Flexible barriers are being increasingly applied to mitigate the danger of debris flows. However, how barriers can be better designed to withstand the impact loads of debris flows is still an open question in natural hazard engineering. Here we report an improved large-scale physical modelling device and the results of two consecutive large-scale granular flow tests using this device to study how flexible barriers react under the impact of granular flows. In the study, the impact force directly on the flexible barrier and the impact force transferred to the supporting structures are measured, calculated, and compared. Based on the comparison, the impact loading attenuated by the flexible barrier is quantified. The hydro-dynamic approaches with different dynamic coefficients and the hydro-static approach are validated using the measured impact forces.

Short summary
This study presents the large-scale test results of dry granular flows impacting a flexible barrier. Motions and deposition characteristics of granular flows are described and analysed. Impact forces on the flexible barrier directly and on the supporting structures are measured and compared. It is found that the flexible ring net can reduce the impact force from a granular flow with large deformation. Furthermore, existing simple approaches for impact force estimation are verified.
Final-revised paper