Preventing Flooding and Erosion with Fiber Reinforced Plastic

It is difficult to put a price on the significance of flood prevention and coastal erosion infrastructures. An estimate proposes that erosion is the cause of an estimated $500 million annually in coastal property damage and land loss alone.

The price of the recent floods in the Midwest, meanwhile, has been reported to cost no less than $3 billion. The threat to life and financial risks related to coastal flooding and erosion are only expected to increase in the next decade with a rise in sea levels and an increasing global population.

Sheet piling is frequently diagnosed for flood prevention and coastal erosion. Despite this, traditional materials such as steel and timber will be difficult to use in this increasingly demanding environment.

Timber sheet piling provides a partly effective barrier, however water will permeate the pile in time. Freshwater will result in the wood rotting, while grains of salt from seawater settling between its fibers will prise them apart and cause the timber to mottle as it contracts and expands in the heat.

In-oxidizable steels are preferred instead of timber. However, steel sheet piling is vulnerable to a unique kind of degradation called galvanic corrosion, which forms pits and crevices in the sheet surface.

Where steel and timber fails, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) sheet piling succeeds, creating an effective barrier against saltwater and freshwater of different salinity.

With a demonstrated history in aquatic conditions, polymers embedded with high-strength glass strands give the level of performance needed to fight the dangers of increasingly common floods and quicker rates of coastal erosion.

FRP Sheet Piling Explained

Strongwell supplies UltraCompositeTM sheet piling in partnership with Crane Materials International (CMI) for flood and coastal protection in areas of high risk. This unique profile combines with others of its category to create a continual barrier of troughs, with long-lasting tensile strength and excellent durability.

It provides proven anticorrosive advantages which are better than steel or timber, and upholds its properties from the moment of installation when employed in marine and aquatic applications. These features include:

  • Seawalls
  • Cut-off walls
  • Containment barriers
  • Levee extensions
  • Flood walls
  • Bulkheads

The dynamic nature of UltraCompositeTM sheet piling has led to it being installed in various important applications to change the course of erosion and prevent floods.

It has been utilized to shield worksites at risk of floods for example the East Campus Operations Centre at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

In this example, UltraCompositeTM sheet piling not only performed as a successful flood barrier to enable the completion of work, but it also achieved a reduction in both up-front product costs and installation. Read more about this example in the following case study: Case Study: Composite Pilings Protect Platinum Leed Site from Flooding.

UltraCompositeTM sheet piling also played a critical part in the restoration of Seabrook Harbor, which was at risk of losing important economic advantages as a result of coastal erosion. The comprehensive installation and achievements of the sheet piling is outlined in the Case Study: Composite Sheet Pilings Alter Course of Erosion.

For any questions about flood prevention and coastal erosion utilizing UltraCompositeTM sheet piling, simply contact a member of the Strongwell team now.

References and Further Reading

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell.

For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell.

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