The researchers say theirs is the first design that places a windbreak on top of a floating breakwater structure.
Original Published Date: 
Monday, June 24, 2019

Full article issued by The University of Queensland (UQ).

A team of civil engineers at the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Nanoscience-based Construction Material Manufacturing (the Nanocomm Hub) has invented and patented a 'floating forest' they say is capable of reducing wind and wave damage during a natural disaster.

UQ researcher and ARC grant recipient, Professor Chien Ming Wang, said the invention could prevent beach erosion and protect coastal infrastructure and floating assets such as boats. The structure consists of a concrete deck tilted upstream to allow a wave run-up, which will dissipate the wave’s energy, similar to the way a truck safety ramp can slow a speeding truck. Several arrays of hollow column tubes are placed on top of the breakwater deck to form the 'trees' of the floating forest and ultimately reduce wind speed, the first time that a wave-breaker has incorporated a windbreak.

The researchers are hoping to commercialise the technology, with particular application in places that experience strong cyclone seasons.

Photo credit: 

Image: The researchers say theirs is the first design that places a windbreak on top of a floating breakwater structure. Credit: UQ.