Composite lock gates: the material of the future
Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) recently published the research results of its study into the materialization of lock gates in the report “MultiWaterWerk: Standardization of Lock Gates”. In this report, composite proves its added value as a construction material for lock gates with a very good score on environmental impact (MKI) and lifetime costs (LCC).
Rijkswaterstaat investigated with the market how the VNR task for its 52 locks within the MultiWaterWerk project can be carried out efficiently. Rijkswaterstaat has commissioned the civil engineering market to conduct a comparison study into the materialization of lock gates. The aim of this study was to find out which material (wood, steel, fiber-reinforced plastics or hybrid) scores best with certain dimensions of the doors in terms of environmental impact and lifetime costs. As the market leader, Royal HaskoningDHV and FiberCore Europe have focused on fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP, or composite).
Unique design tool
Jan Kroon, General Manager of FiberCore Europe: “To find the optimal combination of LCA and LCC for different lock gate sizes, Royal HaskoningDHV has developed a wonderful tool. This tool makes it possible to design an optimal and material-efficient lock gate for every lock size and water level that meets the applicable standards and has a minimum MKI value. ”
Many material-specific advantages
A composite lock gate does not have to be removed in its 100-year lifespan for major maintenance and therefore has the highest availability of all materials. It is therefore sufficient to have a light ‘spare door’, which saves costs and material. Due to the light weight of the doors, existing pivot points can be reused. The great design freedom of composite makes adjustments to the lock head superfluous.
The research (tested by Nibe and Kodos) shows that FRP lock gates have a very favorable MKI value. The same applies to the LCC costs (construction and maintenance for 100 years).