Durable interlocking concrete components for shore breakwaters

Improved wave energy dissipation in an inexpensive, simple design


The destructive force of water inflicted on populations by hurricanes, superstorms, and tsunamis can be measured in lives lost, property destroyed, lost trade, and certainly many other statistics. One driving factor is our desire to live near the oceans coupled with our inability to tame them. But, we are getting better at defending land from mother nature.

We don’t normally associate jetties, revetments, breakwaters, and other man-made ocean barriers with technology but in fact these structures are highly engineered for effectiveness, cost-containment, ease of installation, and longevity. There is a lot more to these structures than randomly scattered rubble.

Pushing the above qualities forward, the Army has developed new revetment components which integrate to form superior armor against the damaging forces of waves and currents. While their size can be varied at the time of manufacturing they can be sufficiently large to necessitate placement by hydraulic lifting equipment. The components are designed with a central rectangular box which has three half H-shaped appendages and one conical end as shown in the drawing. These armor units are made from concrete and may be further strengthened with re-bar.

The technical design of these component pieces makes them easy to place end-to-end and stack – even in low visibility, high background wave conditions. The design also pushes mass away from the center for improved energy mitigation. Dramatic reductions in mold cost, labor cost, and unit cost of the concrete are all achieved while armor unit performance criteria are not compromised.

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