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Record breaking barrier takes the strain

Rock fall barrier specialist Geobrugg and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have set a new world record during trials for a new barrier system in Switzerland.

The new barrier successfully stopped an 8000kJ impact, which is significantly higher than the previous record of 5000kJ, during last week’s test at the Lochenzen facility in Walendstadt. The test involved dropping a 20t concrete weight from a height of 43m to achieve a free-fall speed of 103km/h before it hit the new net-based barrier system.

The record-breaking test forms part of the approval process for Geobrugg’s new flexible rock fall protection system and was carried out in front of an audience of 450 industry specialists who travelled from 50 countries to see the trial.

WSL became the first EU-notified testing body for rock fall protection netting last year and final tests of the new Geobrugg system necessary for EU approval and certification will be performed in November 2011.

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