The effects of gravel cushion particle size and thickness on the coefficient of restitution in rockfall impacts

Zhu, Chun; Wang, Dongsheng; Xia, Xing; Tao, Zhigang; He, Manchao; Cao, Chen

Gravel cushions are widely used to absorb the impact energy of falling rocks in open-pit mines. A particularly important application is to enhance the energy-absorbing capacity of rockfall sheds. In this paper, we study how varying the thickness and particle size of a gravel cushion influences its energy-consumption and buffering effects. We performed a series of laboratory drop tests by dropping blocks from a fixed height onto cushions of different thicknesses and particle sizes. The results indicate that, for a given impact energy, the cushion thickness has a strong influence on the measured coefficient of restitution (COR) and therefore impact pressure. Additional tests were performed to study how the radius of the block and the height it is dropped from affect the measured COR. This showed that as the movement height of the block is increased the COR also increases, and blocks with larger radii exhibit a larger variability in measured COR. Finally, we investigated the influence of rockfall block radius, inline-formular, movement height, inline-formulaH, cushion thickness, inline-formulah, and particle size, inline-formulad, on the COR and the damage depth, inline-formulaL, of the cushion. The test results reveal that the cushion thickness is the primary design parameter, controlling not only COR, but also the stability of the cushion material. The results provide a theoretical and practical basis for the design of gravel cushions for rockfall protection.

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Zhu, Chun / Wang, Dongsheng / Xia, Xing / et al: The effects of gravel cushion particle size and thickness on the coefficient of restitution in rockfall impacts. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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