Preventing falling stones with plated mesh
Plated mesh is a system of active surface protection which is there to evade falling stones and blocks of a reasonable size (500l max). Unstable areas are plated and confined to their natural area by plating and confinement. The mesh is as such fixed by anchors fixed to the top of the rock face at a gap of at least three meters from the ridge. The mesh is then plated and tightening by a network of plating anchors. In general 1U / 9 m2 of mesh These amounts are to be adapted depending on the requirements and composition of the rock face (+ or -)
Make use of an experienced professional team
The relevance and effectiveness of plated mesh is linked to the abilities of the team employed. Notably, a technician, engineer and geotechnician need to provide a sufficient number of plating anchors. The competence of the person applying them is crucial, as choosing where to attach plating anchors requires plenty of experience.
How can the effectiveness of plated mesh be guaranteed?
Unfortunately, it’s a frequent occurence to see, by the side of the road, work of an ineffective nature due to bad decisions in where the anchors have been placed. When a mesh is sufficently plated with a sufficient number of anchors, it can almost never be overloaded (due to the regular pockets in the material). In addition, it is easy to maintain. However, a plated mesh with an insufficient number of anchors is almost equivalent to a hanging mesh (no containment of unstable areas). Maintenance would be difficult due to the fact that material cannot exit to the foot of the rock face, as the ropes are still plating the mesh there.
The client may believe they have chosen a good method, but will perhaps be disappointed by the maintenance cost of an insufficiently sheeted mesh. Clearly, the issue here is the initial investment which determines the future maintenance of the plated mesh.
Is it possible to protect cliffs in an aesthetic manner?
Plated mesh remains an option worth considering for protecting cliffs and integrating this work into the landscape.. In effect, if the work is caried out correctly, the visual result is extremely pleasing and harmonizes perfectly with the rock face.
The capacity for breakage is limited when using a mesh; nonetheless, rock masses exceeding the capacity of mesh need to be reinforced and removed. Care needs to be taken with eroded banks or heads of rock faces with little vegetation, where a plantable 3D geogrid can be positioned. This limits gully erosion and allows for rapid revegetation. It also allows the head of the rock face to be better maintained and also leads to better management of the landscape.