The impact of placement method on Antifer-block stability

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The main objective of this research was to assess the impact of different placement methods, with different packing densities, on the stability of double layered Antifer-block armour layers. This was done by experimental research in the wave-flume of the Fluid mechanics laboratory of the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Delft University of Technology. 17 experiments were performed with packing densities between 44.8 and 61.1 percent. For every experiment the under layer, toe and armour layer were rebuilt. The placed Antifer layer was tested with eight irregular wave series with increasing significant wave heights from 9cm up to 20cm. From these experiments followed that regular placement methods behave more stable than irregular placement methods with a similar packing density. Also the more irregular (less accurate) positioning of blocks within a regular placement method caused a decrease in stability. Higher packing densities for equal placement methods lead to higher stabilities and higher reflection coefficients. The resulting -values were between 4.0 and 23.7. If the reflection coefficients during the first wave series were high, this resulted in more overtopping during the latest wave series, which indicates that there is a positive correlation between the reflection and the overtopping. Overall it could be concluded that, when the under layer and the toe are smooth and the blocks can be placed accurately, the best performing placement methods are the closed pyramid placement method for packing densities around 45% and 50% and the double pyramid placement method for packing densities around 55% and 60%. The size of the openings to the under layer, of the double pyramid placement method, influenced the reflection coefficients. When the second layer was shifted half a nominal diameter upwards the reflection coefficients were minimal. It is recommended to investigate the possible negative influence of oblique incoming waves on the stability of the double pyramid placement method. The eventual choice of the placement method and packing density depends on the allowed reflection and/or overtopping and the construction costs. The construction costs can be divided into the production costs, the placement costs and the constant costs. For equal constant costs and equal or small differences in placement costs the placement with the higher packing density and accompanying stability value is cheaper for high design wave heights. When the placement costs decrease for both placements or only for the placement with the higher packing density, then the placement with the higher packing density becomes also cheaper for lower wave heights.