Deltares: New Delta Flume (The Netherlands)

Deltares to Buy New Delta Flume

Deltares will acquire a new Delta Flume at its Rotterdamseweg location in Delft in late November.

It will replace the present facility in the North-East Polder and be a lot more advanced.

In terms of its size and test facilities, the new facility is unique in the world.

The flume will be used for government questions about flood risk management, but also to answer questions interesting the business community.

Full scale

The Delta Flume is where Deltares conducts tests for national and international hydraulic engineering projects such as breakwaters and dike revetments. It will measure wave heights, wave pressures, flow velocities, wave overtopping and profiles.

The new facility will make it possible to conduct full-scale tests looking at the effects of wave impact on different structures. Conducting tests at larger scales reduces the likelihood of interference with the test results. Furthermore, current and future research issues are not the same as those of twenty years ago. More and more questions are being asked about the robustness of dikes and dunes, making it necessary to simulate storms that occur once every 10,000 years.

Technical specifications

Wave flume

-Overall length approximately 291m;

-Width 5 m;

-Depth 9.5 m.

Wave generator

-Full stroke 7 m;

-“Dry-back”, piston-type wave board drive (cradle, 4 pistons);

-Second-order wave steering system;

-Active Reflection Compensation;

-Installed electric power for wave generation 1.9 MW;

-Wave machine design and supplier MTS (USA).

Wave characteristics

Maximum height (regular) H max,r 3.3 m

Maximum wave height H = 4.5 m

Maximum significant wave height H m0 2.2 m

Wave peak period (H m0 = 2.2 m): 5.7 s < Tp < 13.4 s

Wave period 1 s < T < 20 s.


Reservoir (length, width, depth equal to flume dimensions).

Pumps between flume and reservoir to simulate tides or wind surge and to fill or empty different parts of the flume. Measurement cavity (width 9 m, depth 10 m, length 1.5 m).

Flume gantry crane (2 pulley arrays, 125 kN each).

Pull/measurement trolley (maximum speed 1 m/s and pulling power of 10 kN).

High-tech wave board

The controls and the power for the wave board that generates the waves are advanced systems. A realistic storm can be simulated in the flume and the associated technology is improving all the time. For example, when testing dikes, as in reality, reflected waves run up against the wave board. The software can manage these reflected waves without difficulty. Deltares itself developed the technology, which is also supplied to a range of laboratories throughout the world.

Ballast Nedam Infra is building the Delta Flume and the associated buildings (Operating Building with monitoring room and Construction Hall). MTS System Corp (USA) is building the wave generator. Breijer is responsible for the electrical connections and mechanical engineering. Consmema is building the pump chambers and a range of steel structures. CraneBuilders is building the new flume crane.


Press Release, April 11, 2014

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