Hans Werner Pertenscky, John Rutte, Reinold Schmidt


As a result of the large-scale failure of the rubblemound breakwater at SINES, Portugal in 1978 a number of research programs were begun. At present, however, very little information is available from technical publications regarding new design criteria, recommendations, or test procedures for model tests of rubblemound breakwaters. The need still exists, therefore, for economically practical model tests and standardized test procedures so that more tests can be conducted and reproducible results from different institutions can be compared. At the same time, a number of factors related to the stability of rubblemound surface elements, and the interrelationships between those factors, have not been adequately examined or explained. Apparently without extensive model tests, for example, it has been suggested that greater stability can be obtained by using elements with greater unit weights (comparing elements of the same absolute weight) , either by adding scrap metal or denser materials, such as granite, to the concrete. Furthermore, susceptibility to breakage is of major importance to the long-term stability of armour layer units, particularly for dolos and similar less massive element types. This aspect has been generally neglected in laboratory tests, however, and attempts to simulate the lower ultimate strength of elements in reduced-scale model tests appear extremely difficult, as well as costly in terms of time and materials. Several other factors which can significantly affect the stability of an armour layer include the surface roughness of the individual elements, as well as boundary conditions such as the beach slope.


armor behavior; armor unit; cover layer

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9753/icce.v20.%25p