100- 8000k J
GBE rockfall protection barriers:
The most economic solution to
your safety problems.
Tested under the most
rigorous conditions in
vertical drop according
to European ETAG 027
guidelines and under
the scrutiny of the Swiss
Federal Institute WSL;
with ETA approval and
The Geobrugg GBE rockfall
protection barriers offer
- protection against impact
energies up to 8,000 kJ
- maximum residual useful
height in ETAG 027 category A
- low anchor forces, short
anchors, shorter drilling times
- short installation times thanks
to modular construction and
European Technical Approval
The GBE barrier series:
protection against impact energies
from 100 – 8,000 kJ.
Overview of the GBE barrier series.
In development of the GBE barrier series in accordance
with ETAG 027 – the Guideline for European Technical
Approval of Falling Rock Protection Kits – our engineers
left nothing to chance, neither functionally nor mechanically. With very simple installation and maximum protection in mind, we are setting a new standard in rockfall
GBE barriers up to 3,000 kJ are pre-assembled as standard and delivered to construction sites with net packs
folded on the posts (see pages 6/7). Depending on the
height and weight of the posts, GBE high-energy barriers
GBE-500A to GBE-1000A rockfall
GBE-100A-R to GBE-1000A-R.
up to 8,000 kJ can be pre-assembled on the construction
We provide A-R barriers wherever rockfall protection
site prior to installation (see page 10).
TECCO mesh is used for rockfall events of 500 and
barriers need to be installed in front of a service road or
1,000 kJ. The small opening of TECCO® mesh stops even
on retaining walls. Fitted with special posts, the A-R
barriers do not need any retaining ropes.
GBE-2000A rockfall protection
GBE-3000A rockfall protection
GBE-5000A and GBE-8000A
rockfall protection barriers.
The SPIDER spiral rope net is used for rockfall events
For rockfall events of 3,000 kJ, the SPIDER spiral rope
For the most serious rockfall events of 5,000 and 8,000 kJ,
of 2,000 kJ. An additional secondary mesh holds back
net is reinforced with TECCO® mesh, which retains smaller
we deploy ROCCO® ring nets with 16 and 19 wire coils
respectively. An additional secondary mesh is fitted to
retain even small stones.
The GBE system:
Easy-to-install components that
work as an integrated system.
The TECCO® mesh.
The SPIDER® spiral rope net.
The ROCCO® ring net.
TECCO® mesh, which is used in the GBE barriers for impact
SPIDER® S4/130 spiral rope nets are used as the main
ROCCO® ring nets are used in the GBE barriers for impact
energies of 100, 500 and 1,000 kJ, is made from robust,
net in the GBE barriers for impact energies of 2,000
energies of 5,000 and 8,000 kJ. They are made from steel
high-tensile steel wire with a diameter of 4 mm and
and 3,000 kJ. Like TECCO® mesh, it is made from robust
wire with a diameter of 3 mm and nominal tensile
nominal tensile strength of 1,770 N/mm . (Conventional
strand of high-tensile steel wire with a diameter of 4 mm
strength of at least 1,770 N/mm2. Depending on the
meshes have a strength of only 500 N/mm .) Thanks to the
and nominal tensile strength of 1,770 N/mm2. The
amount of energy to be absorbed, between 16 and 19
small opening size of 80 mm, no secondary mesh is neces-
3,000 kJ barrier is further reinforced with TECCO mesh.
wire coils are bundled in each ring. Here too, a secondary
sary: a considerable benefit for a simplified installation.
mesh provides additional protection.
The running wheel.
Regardless of whether installing into loose rock, concrete
HEA profile posts contribute to low installation and
The support ropes are directed to the post heads and
foundation or solid rock: the baseplates are easily and
transport weights. The post head is fitted with holes for
baseplates through running wheels, whose function is
quickly installed using two or, at most, three conventional
guiding the support rope and the retaining rope as well
similar to rope pulleys. The running wheels always
anchors. The posts are hinged on the plate. The bolts
as for a shackle, permitting transport by helicopter or
align in the direction of the rope, giving it a larger sup-
between the baseplate and the post have been designed
crane together with the pre-assembled mesh or net.
porting surface. Because they are rotating with the rope,
the wheels allow the support rope to slide practically
with a predetermined breaking point.
friction-free through the suspension in case of an impact.
This conserves the supporting ropes and prevents wire
The rope anchorage.
Only four U-brakes are used per section in the case of
In the event of an impact, the bars or rods are drawn
Rope anchorages can be made from our proven spiral
barriers for up to 3,000 kJ. They are mounted laterally at
around the mandrel, absorbing energy and also releasing
rope anchors, the new DSA wire loop anchors or standard
the ends of the support ropes, greatly simplifying both
some of the rope. This enables a very uniform, non-
self-drilling anchors with the Geobrugg FLEX head. These
the installation and any necessary maintenance. A visual
increasing force-path characteristic, permitting more
types of anchorages are suitable because they permit an
check of brake condition can be carried out at any time.
lightweight system components to be used and keeping
anchor head deflection of up to 30° while still being able
anchor forces low.
to bear the full tensile load. Thanks to the U-brake,
The main component of the U-brake is made from either
anchor forces can be kept very low. For this reason only
a flat steel bar, bent around a mandrel, or from two steel
very short drilling lengths are necessary.
rods (see picture).
Installing the GBE barrier:
Amazingly quick and easy for
energy classes up to 3,000 kJ.
Making less work for you.
The time spent installing rockfall protection barriers
plays an extremely significant role in cost calculations.
This is why we compromised on nothing in designing GBE
barriers to be an installation-friendly system.
- Posts are delivered with pre-assembled mesh and
running wheels (picture 1).
- Depending on the barrier type, only one, two or
three anchors suffice to mount the very lightweight
baseplates (picture 2).
- The HEA profile posts are connected to the baseplate
by a bolt (picture 3).
- The lightweight HEA profile posts with pre-assembled
mesh or net can be installed quickly and easily
together with the retaining ropes, either manually
or using a crane or helicopter (pictures 4/5).
- The U-brakes only need to be fitted at the sides and
close to the ground (picture 6).
- The support rope is simply pulled through the folded
mesh or net and tensioned (picture 7).
- The mesh or net can be easily pulled across the
support rope like a curtain (picture 8).
- The mesh and net sections can be quickly connected
with shackles (picture 9).
LINK-TIP – watch GBE movie
gbe-en or scan QR code
High-performance rockfall protection
barriers: withstanding impact energy
that would be too much for even
concrete galleries to bear.
Permafrost is thawing.
Rockfall events are becoming
As a result of the changing climate, the risk of landslides,
falling rocks and tumbling blocks in certain areas may be
significantly higher. The increased risk potential can
often exceed the absorption capacity of existing protective barriers. The result is a growing demand for barriers
that can absorb even higher levels of impact energy than
have been possible to date.
Falling rocks with impact energy
of between 5,000 and 8,000 kJ can
Applications of rockfall protection systems.
crash through concrete galleries.
Impact energy properties in kJ.
The new GBE-5000A and GBE-8000A rockfall barriers,
for impact energies of 5,000 and 8,000 kJ respectively, are
made for very difficult situations: they offer protection
wherever sizeable blocks are expected to break off and
fall from great heights or over large distances. Because
the energy absorption capacity of GBE-5000A and GBE8000A barriers is higher than many existing or planned
without rope retention
concrete galleries and retention dams, the two barrier
systems can either supplement intended construction
with rope retention
methods or even replace them entirely. In addition, they
are suitable as an alternative in cases when, for topographic or esthetic reasons, it is not possible to build a
GBE-5000A and GBE-8000A
rockfall protection barriers.
In making both these high-performance rockfall protection barriers, we have further developed components
and construction elements that have proven their worth
thousands of times over:
- Baseplates with hinged HEA 220 or RRW 400
posts with a predetermined breaking point.
- Retaining, support and catch ropes, that run
on running wheels with virtually no friction along
the entire protective barrier.
- U-brakes installed on the retaining ropes and
laterally on the support and catch ropes
- ROCCO® ring nets made of rings with 16 or 19
wire coils, that will safely hold back falling rock
even during a maximum-impact event thanks to
excellent elastic-plastic deformation behavior.
The world record:
The GBE-8000A rockfall barrier
stops 20 metric tons at 103 km/h.
Pre-assembled posts cut
The ring nets for GBE-5000A and GBE-8000A barriers
are supplied in folded packs. In the storage yard on the
construction site, the ring nets, retaining ropes, running
wheels and shackles are fitted to the posts in accordance
with the installation manual. The pre-assembled posts
are then fitted and anchored to the baseplates with the
aid of a crane or helicopter.
Barrier or earth dam?
Comparing the high-energy rockfall protection barrier
with an earth dam for impact energies of up to 8,000 kJ
reveals further benefits: whereas some 100 metric tons
are required for each linear meter of earth dam, the high-
8,000 kJ rockfall protection
8,000 kJ rockfall protection
Filling with earth dam
GBE-8000A rockfall protection
barrier with retaining rope
energy GBE-8000A rockfall protection barrier needs only
around one metric ton per linear meter. Opting for a rockfall protection barrier significantly reduces the material
and time required and cuts installation costs considerably.
Diagram 1: solution using a retention dam – requires
berm excavation and material filling (gray section).
Diagram 2: solution using a rockfall protection barrier
– no removal or filling required.
Tested according to ETAG 027,
i.e. under the most rigorous conditions.
Vertical drop tests for maximum
Following this test, a residual useful height of over 50 %
The test results set a new
of the original barrier height was measured in the
The tests for the certification of the barriers were carried
impact zone. This corresponds to the highest category
On November 29, 2011, a GBE-8000A rockfall protection
out according to guideline ETAG 027 of the European
available under ETAG 027, category A. You can find more
barrier, with a construction height of 7 m and post spacings
Organization for Technical Approvals EOTA and
information about the test procedure at www.eota.eu.
of 10 m, passed the MEL 100% test under ETAG 027: a
concrete block weighing 20 metric tons smashed into the
monitored by an accredited testing institute. The testing
facility in Walenstadt, accredited to European standards,
European Technical Approval
ring net of the barrier after free-falling from a height of
allows rockfall protection barriers to be tested under the
(ETA) and CE marking confirm
43 m at 103 km/h. This corresponds to an impact energy
toughest possible conditions – vertical drop. The Swiss
conformity with ETAG 027.
of 8,000 kJ, a world record for flexible rockfall protection
Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape
All successfully tested GBE rockfall protection barriers are
Research (WSL) serves as the independent institution
registered with an official ETA approval number and also
responsible for test monitoring, measuring technology
bear a CE marking number, underlining the conformity of
and a neutral assessment.
the GBE rockfall protection barriers with the requirements
of the ETAG 027 guideline.
GBE barriers satisfy the most
stringent requirements of ETAG
027 category A.
All GBE rockfall protection barriers were tested in two socalled SEL (Service Energy Level) tests: the barriers were
loaded with two hits of 33 % of the nominal energy
without intermediary maintenance. The main MEL
(Maximum Energy Level) test was then performed with
100 % of the nominal energy.
LINK-TIP – watch test movie
or scan QR code
Only the best is good enough –
because life span depends on it.
Essentially we supply all steel components (posts, ground
GEOBRUGG ULTRACOATING® surpasses even SUPERCOATING®
plates and U-brakes) hot-dip galvanized, the TECCO
two- or threefold:
mesh, the SPIDER® net as well as the ropes with GEO-
The cross sections illustrated below show a comparison of wires treated with GEOBRUGG SUPERCOATING® and hot-
BRUGG SUPERCOATING or GEOBRUGG ULTRACOATING ,
dip galvanization. The pictures were taken by an electron microscope after the wires had been exposed to environmental
the 3rd generation of our zinc/aluminium coating. This
influences for 14 years. GEOBRUGG ULTRACOATING® even surpasses this comparison two- or threefold.
considerably improves the corrosion resistance of the wire:
comparison tests with galvanized wires demonstrate a
working life six to ten times longer for wires treated with
ULTRACOATING®, and two or three times longer for those
treated with SUPERCOATING®.
The intelligent type of coating.
Like with SUPERCOATING®, the wires first run through
a zinc bath and afterwards a zinc/aluminum-bath. The
(1) smooth surface (aluminum oxide layer)
(1) heterogeneous surface (zinc), partially complete
result is an eutectic alloy with 5% aluminum, 94.5%
(2) homogeneous coating (zinc/aluminum)
zinc and 0.5% of a special add-on. Thanks to this the
(3) wire (Fe)
disintegration and/or already with rust formation
(2) hard zinc layer (iron/zinc)
smooth surface remains after being attacked by corrosion,
(3) wire (Fe)
since the corrosion leads to a reduction of the zinc layer
and to formation of an aluminum oxide layer. This latter
guarantees the protected object an economical lifespan
GEOBRUGG ULTRACOATING® in the salt spray test.
even in corrosive environments (roads, railways, industry,
In the salt spray test (NaCI) according to EN ISO 9227/DIN 50021/ASTM B117, with ULTRACOATING® it takes six to
coastal and volcanic regions).
ten times longer for 5% dark brown rust to occur than with zinc. In order to achieve the same corrosion protection as
that provided by 150 g/m² ULTRACOATING®, it would be necessary to apply min. 900 g/m² with hot-dip galvanizing.
Required coating (g/m²)
GEOBRUGG SUPERCOATING® / ULTRACOATING®
2-3 x b
standard coated wires.
which gives a better corrosion protection compared to
6 -10 x
final drawn. This results in a very compacted fine surface
Exposure in hours until the occurrence of 5% dark-brown rust
The coating is applied in a double dip procedure and
Behavior in the salt spray test
Required coating thicknesses
to achieve the same performance for 2900
hours of salt spray test until the occurrence
of 5% dark-brown rust
What counts for customers,
planners and constructors:
- Supervised by an accredited testing institute, all GBE
rockfall protection barriers have passed the approval
test in accordance with the ETAG 027 guidelines laid
- All GBE rockfall protection barriers are registered
with an official ETA approval number and bear the
Installation and maintenance.
- Shorter construction times thanks to components,
CE conformity marking.
including running wheels and shackles, supplied
- Approval can be verified at
pre-assembled, nets prefitted to posts, and post
www.eota.eu>valid ETAs>criteria: ETA number
spacings of up to 12 m
- Maximum deflections of 4.0 to 8.8 m allow barriers
down by the European Organization for Technical
Approvals. The test involved a vertical drop at least
to be installed close to the area being protected
25 m/s (90 km/h).
- GBE barriers have a considerably smaller carbon
(road, railroad track). This simplifies installation
- The maximum deflections were verified by
high- speed cameras and measured data.
- The anchor forces acting during the tests were
footprint than concrete galleries or steel
- The lightweight, transparent design of the GBE
(e.g. mobile cranes can be used) and maintenance.
- Due to the proven low anchor forces (max. 310 kN),
there is no need to use anchors with high load-
documented in detail. They provide the basis for
barriers allows them to blend more easily into
bearing capacity, and hence no need to use large
the project-specific choice of anchors (spiral rope
anchors, self-drilling anchors with concrete
foundation and FLEX head, etc.).
- GBE rockfall protection barriers have a proven
residual useful height that complies with ETAG 027
category A: following the MEL (Maximum Energy
Level) test with 100 % of the nominal energy,
a residual useful height of over 50 % of the original
barrier height was measured in the impact zone.
- If desired, entire systems can also be camouflaged
using coloring. This is often done at national parks
in the USA, for example.
- A well-illustrated assembly manual helps the
construction crew with the installation process.
- Our systems can also be installed in regions where
the terrain is very irregular.
- Nets and U-brakes can be repaired with minimum
effort following a rockfall event.
- Our comprehensive service manual describes barrier
clearing and maintenance.
In the adjacent zones, this figure was almost 100 %.
A proven track record:
GBE barriers offer maximum safety.
1. Ötztal, Tyrol (Austria).
February 2012 – A GBE-1000A rockfall protection barrier
along the L186 highway in the region of Sölden successfully held back several snowslides following an unexpected
spell of warm weather.
2. Reisseck, Carinthia (Austria).
July 2011 – Along the access road to the Reisseck pumpedstorage plant, a GBE-2000A rockfall protection barrier
stopped a rockslide triggered by heavy rainfall. The
largest slabs measured 2 m by 2 m by 0.5 m.
3. Silz, Tyrol (Austria).
July 2011 – A GBE-2000A rockfall protection barrier
installed along the A12/E60 Inntal highway successfully
held back an avalanche covering some 50 m3 following
4. Hidroeléctrico do Baixo Sabor,
March 2011 – The Hidroeléctrico do Baixo Sabor hydropower plant was constructing a new dam. A GBE-1000A
rockfall protection barrier set up temporarily to protect
workers successfully stopped a rockfall event. The largest
block was estimated to weigh 14 metric tons.
The important facts:
Rockfall barriers GBE-100A-R
0 (100 kJ)
0 (150 kJ)
2 (500 kJ)
2 (500 kJ)
3 (1000 kJ)
3 (1000 kJ)
5 (2000 kJ)
6 (3000 kJ)
8 (5000 kJ)
8 (8000 kJ)
Approval no. ETA**
1301-CPD-0572 1301-CPD-0695 1301-CPD-0573
SPIDER®-spiral rope net
Strand diameter Ø
TECCO® G80/4 TECCO® G80/4
TECCO® G80/4 ROCCO® 16/3/350 ROCCO® 19/3/300
350 or 300 mm
Distance between posts
6 –12 m
6 –12 m
6 –12 m
8 –12 m
Rope diameter min.
Rope diameter max.
22 mm Geobinex 22 mm
Per 80-100 m structure length:
22 mm Geobinex
48 x various
Brake elements in support rope –
4 x U-150
4 x U-150
4 x U-300
4 x U-300
4 x U-300-R16
4 x U-300-R20
12 x U-300-R20 u-brakes
Barrier height min./max.
With ETAG 027 approval
residual useful height*
>50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A) >50 % (Cat. A)
** See www.eota.eu>valid ETAs>criteria: ETA number
without retaining ropes
WSL test according ETAG 027
Right to technical alterations reserved
Geobrugg, a reliable partner.
components right to the construction site. There we
means that to provide the protection we strive for, it is
It is the task of our engineers (and partners) to analyze
provide support, if desired, including technical support
imperative to maintain and service protective systems
the problem together with you in detail and then,
– from installation right on up until acceptance of the
regularly and appropriately. Moreover, the degree of
together with local consultants, to present solutions.
protection can be diminished by events that exceed the
absorption capacity of the system as calculated to good
Painstaking planning is not the only thing you can expect
from us, however; since we have our own production
engineering practice, failure to use original parts or
plants on four continents, we can offer not only short
Rockfall, slides, mudflows and avalanches are natural
corrosion (i.e., from environmental pollution or other
delivery paths and times, but also optimal local customer
events and therefore cannot be calculated. This is why it
service. With a view towards a trouble-free execution, we
is impossible to determine or guarantee absolute safety
deliver pre-assembled and clearly identified system
for persons and property with scientific methods. This
Aachstrasse 11 • CH-8590 Romanshorn • Switzerland
Phone +41 71 466 81 55 • Fax +41 71 466 81 50
www.geobrugg.com • [email protected]
A company of the BRUGG Group
ISO 9001 certiﬁed
*according to ETAG 027