New Delta Flume Put to the Test

The first test to be conducted in the new Delta Flume, a unique research facility in Delft that can generate the highest artificial waves in the world, was completed successfully last week.

Approximately 5000 Basalton blocks (scale 1:1.6) were positioned on the 11-meter-high dike that was built in the new Delta Flume. Last month, Deltares looked at exactly how strong this type of cladding is. Other types of stone have been tested previously in the old Delta Flume.

Mark Klein Breteler, the cladding study project director: “The new Delta Flume is quite a bit deeper than the old Delta Flume and it can also generate larger waves. The waves are 35% larger, and so we can simulate reality even more accurately and conduct more reliable studies.

This experiment was the 9th and final series in the ‘Comparative study of dike cladding’, a project involving a number of government agencies (Rijkswaterstaat, Fryslân water authority, Noorderzijlvest water authority, Hunze and Aa’s water authority, Afsluitdijk barrier dam project, Sea Defenses Project Bureau), five private bodies and Deltares.

A total of nine types of stone from five different producers were studied. Basalton®, C-Star®, Hillblock®, Hydroblock®, RONA®ton and Verkalit®, of some types different models. The final report from Deltares is expected in the autumn.

The new data will ultimately be used in software (‘Steentoets’), so that better calculations can be made to show exactly how large cladding stones should be. In this way, it will be possible to design and maintain dikes more precisely in the future.

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