Different types of shell

Coastal breakwaters must be protected by a shell which is either made of a rock embankment or Concrete Armour Units (Accropode, Xbloc, Core-loc, Cubipod, Tetrapod etc). The design choice mostly depends on the wave forces that the breakwater must withstand and local availability of suitable rocks in quarries.

In case the shell is made of Concrete Units, one can again identify two categories. The multiple layers protection where several layers of block are overlaid were mostly used in the past. It is now often replaced by monolayer protection type which requires a more rigorous interlocking but less blocks and thus an economy on concrete consumption and installation time.

Monolayer concrete armour units

Regarding monolayer Concrete Armour Units, the most often seen types of blocs are listed below:

  • Xbloc® from Delta Marine Consultants

Calais Port – Credit: SPD

  • XblocPlus® from Delta Marine Consultants

Block laying in Afsluitdijk – Credit: DMC

  • Accropodes I ™ from CLI

Sainte-Rose La Réunion – Credit: ID OCEAN

  • Accropodes II ™ from CLI

NRL La Réunion – Credit: zinfos974

  • Cubipod

A Coruña – Credit: cubipod

  • Coreloc™

Crédit CLI

  • Ecopode™ from CLI

Crédit CLI

A very important step for your project is to chose the most suitable solution relative to your needs and the local climate conditions. Behind the patents of these blocks lies a very long R&D phase, an extensible knowledge of the designers in marine civil works, certified hydraulic laboratory testing and a thorough technical assistance during the installation phase. Thus be careful of the license-free copy blocks some competitors may propose as you may get into trouble at some point with your dyke.

Multiple layer concrete armour units

Regarding the multiple layers Concrete Armour Units, one can quote the famous Tetrapods, the Hanbars in Australia or the cubic Antifer-blocks.

Breakwater digital twin

Our SEABIM® numeric tool enables to generate a 3D model of all this kind of breakwater in order to improve your asset management strategy with a digital twin solution. Find out about it here: 

Seabim, modèle numérique 3D de digue à carapace (seabim-breakwater.com)

For more information on the design of breakwater and this type of concrete units:

Xbloc | Effective wave protection for breakwaters and shores

Concrete Layer Innovations – CLI | CLI, leader dans les technologies de protection des digues maritimes

– Cubipod – Home

VKC-Water (kennisbank-waterbouw.nl)