Tests for Tsunami Barrier
Published: 15 October 2014
Barrier unfolds automatically
Dyneema® is the strongest fibre in the world and, at the same time, it is very light and flexible and so it is used in many different ways. A few years ago, the idea of using it for flood defences emerged: a barrier unfolds automatically in response to a tsunami, protecting a city or a nuclear power station.
A high wall that stops waves of up to 20 metres
The barrier is installed and anchored in a trench along the coastline. When a tsunami arrives, the force of the water makes the barrier unfold and a float brings it upright. The float is anchored with Dyneema® cables. The result is a wall that can withstand up to 20 metres of water.
Barrier remains upright in all conditions
Deltares, DSM and Delft University of Technology made the calculations for the concept. Deltares then tested the unfolding mechanism in the Scheldt flume and found that the barrier does indeed unfold when a tsunami hits. The anchored float brings the barrier upright and keeps it there. The barrier remained upright in all conditions during the test, even when the tsunami exceeded the design height (over 30 metres) and flowed over it.
Business or government involvement needed for further development
DSM Dyneema now wants to develop the design further in practice. Some areas require further elaboration. For example, consideration needs to be given to the best way of designing the ends of the barrier and how to keep out floating debris. DSM Dyneema is looking for a business or government authority who wants to get involved.