Designers and engineers go to work with LOCKFILL, hydraulic lock design

Published: 17 July 2015

Designers and engineering firms can now make the calculations to determine filling times and the forces exerted on ships passing through locks. Deltares has adapted the LOCKFILL program for the market. It is now available free of charge. Designers and engineering firms can use LOCKFILL to look at filling and emptying systems in new locks early in the design process, or to check existing locks, using a range of variables such as the size of the ship or water levels. This makes the hydraulic design process much easier.

Fast computation of lock design

The Netherlands has hundreds of hydraulic engineering structures that will be reaching the end of their technical lives in the decades to come. That means that locks and sluices will have to be replaced in the short term. Furthermore, locks are being extended and adapted in response to economic requirements. LOCKFILL helps to determine at an early stage in the process whether the ideas and the designs for new locks or renovation are feasible. Precise computation and optimisation can then proceed on the definitive design.

Sluis Terneuzen, bron: beeldbank RWS

From hydraulics to longitudinal forces on the ships

LOCKFILL calculates the longitudinal forces exerted on ships by translation waves, momentum variation, skin friction and filling jets. It is also possible to include a range of filling and emptying systems in the heads of the lock such as pipes through the gates fitted with butterfly valves, or short culverts. Graphic displays showing graphs and the main indicators can be displayed easily. Would you like to work with LOCKFILL? Go to and download the tool and the manual.