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Composite C-Channel: An Incrementally Adjustable Fluid Control System

The ability to selectively adjust levels and flow rates in fluid control systems is a fundamental aspect of dredged material and fluid management, and necessary to numerous farm and industrial processes. Historically, fluid management structures such as gates and weirs, offer limited options for controlling levels and volume. Installation is generally permanent, with modifications being difficult and expensive. Critical flow rate adjustments can be severely limited, and maintaining antiquated systems requires hazardous maneuvers dependent on extensive manpower.

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The Technology: 

Composite C-Channel is an incrementally adjustable fluid control system that allows for multi-use as a sluice, weir, or suspended orifice. Developed by Army civil engineers, C-Channel innovation allows the operator to adjust fluid height and flow by incrementally raising or lowering the stacked beams with orifices. C-Channel is externally operated using a simple actuation tool to move stacking members up and down as guided by vertical channels. All four sides are adjustable to achieve desired flow rate and fluid level. C-Channel’s negative buoyancy, watertight beams and supporting structure are entirely fabricated out of durable composites and plastics.


C-Channel provides significant improvements over traditional gate/weir designs in terms of safety, design life, materials costs, and ease of installation, operation, and removal. Composite riser boards are lighter than wood, heavier than water, and dimensionally stable, non-absorbent and inert. The easily operated functionality eliminates need for special access, such as the use of floating docks, to manipulate a common weir stack of timber beams that can be overly buoyant or waterlogged and heavy. The system can be disassembled comparatively easily for relocation, and there are no permanent openings in the C-Channel system to permit unregulated flow.

The Opportunity: 

The U.S. Army Engineering Research & Development Center, Coastal & Hydraulic Laboratory is seeking to license its U.S. Patent Application No. 14,677,547, “Incrementally Adjustable Fluid Control System,” filed April 4, 2014, and International filing, PCTUS15/24131