In particularly complex or steep areas, concreting is completed by hand, to ensure an accurate finish. While this sounds like a simple process, large models may require in excess of 200 metres of bars, 600 tonnes of ballast material and 50m3 of concrete to form the bathymetry.
In parallel with the bathymetry construction, the structures to be tested may be under construction in the in-house workshops, the rock to be used in breakwater construction is being prepared using an automated weighing system, while our technicians prepare the data logging systems and instrumentation required – typically wave probes, pressure transducers, load cells, strain gauges, laser scanners, video and photo cameras.
Following completion of the bathymetry construction, the wavemakers are moved into position, instrumentation is installed, and any structures required during the model calibration phase are positioned. Our typical construction tolerances are within +/-2mm, so that if you stood on one of our physical models, at a typical scale of 1:50 (though many of our models operate at much larger scales due to the sizes of our facilities) you would with be within 0.1m of the actual location at full scale.
Other types of models – including pumping stations or drop shafts – follow a similar design procedure, but may be entirely constructed by the workshops team from timber, foam and Perspex, and built in our extensive custom-build facilities area. Pumps, pipework and instrumentation are prepared by our technicians and installed on the model.
With over 70 years’ experience of scaling, designing and constructing physical models, we are world-leaders in this field. With expert engineers, scientists and technicians taking care of every aspect from model design, through construction, instrumentation, calibration and testing, we produce highly accurate physical models, leading to both reduced risks, and reduced costs, for our suite of world-wide clients.