Home Ports & TerminalsCanals Royal HaskoningDHV deploys leading expertise for the largest fibre reinforced polymers lock gates in the world

Royal HaskoningDHV deploys leading expertise for the largest fibre reinforced polymers lock gates in the world

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The largest RFP lock gates

The largest RFP lock gates

Amersfoort, Monday, 11 January 2016 – Saturday 9 January the largest fibre reinforced polymer lock gates in the world were installed in the new Lock III in the Wilhelmina canal in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

On behalf of Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), Royal HaskoningDHV has deployed its valuable expertise in the field of fibre reinforced polymers for the design principles, the design review and quality control. Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) expert Liesbeth Tromp of Royal HaskoningDHV: ‘This project demonstrates that we are increasingly making better use of the benefits of RFP in infrastructure and that the Netherlands has a leading position in this field!’

Sustainable world first
Never before have FRP lock gates of these dimensions (6.2 x 12.5 metres) been installed.
The mitred gates can control a water level difference of no less than 7.90 metres. Fibre
reinforced polymers are strong, light and require very little maintenance. An important
sustainable benefit is that the gates have a two to three times longer lifetime than
conventional gates of wood or steel, because fibre reinforced polymers do not corrode. In
addition, there is very little wear on the pivot points of the gates, because the gates have
the same specific weight as the water. The project is therefore a sustainable world first.

International interest
Rijkswaterstaat and Royal HaskoningDHV are the initiators in the development of
regulations for the application of this innovative material in civil engineering structures.
Together with market participants, a revision of the national ‘CUR guidelines’ has been
carried out and will be published this year. ‘Good regulations and an understanding of the
material is crucial to enable projects of this nature, ’ says Liesbeth. There is also
international interest in this expertise. This was apparent during the Smart Rivers
Conference in Buenos Aires in September 2015. The presentation of the gates by
Rijkswaterstaat was followed with much interest by international governments and
manufacturers attending the conference. The innovation was reason enough for PIANC
(the organiser of the conference) to establish a new, international working group
‘Composites for Hydraulic Structures’ in which, in addition to Rijkswaterstaat, the American
government is represented, among others. Royal HaskoningDHV is also represented in
this committee.

The use of FRP for the lock gates was a joint decision of the province of North Brabant and
Rijkswaterstaat and was realised in cooperation with the knowledge of Royal
HaskoningDHV and the contractor combination Heijmans/Boskalis. The lock gates were
produced by the Dutch company FiberCore Europe and the construction company
Hillebrand was responsible for the assembly.

Widening of the Wilhelmina canal project
The Wilhelmina canal near Tilburg will be made wider and deeper. Also, the current locks II
and III will be replaced with a new lock, new dam walls will be constructed and
environmentally friendly embankments will be built. Widening of the Wilhelmina canal will
enable larger ships (class IV ships) to sail through the canal in Tilburg faster. This will
mean less freight traffic on the roads, less traffic jams and less CO₂ and particulate

Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy with more than 130 years of experience in aviation, buildings, energy, industry,  infrastructure, maritime, mining, rural and urban areas, and water. Backed by the expertise and experience of 7, 000 colleagues from 100 offices in 35 countries, our professionals combineglobal
expertise with local knowledge to deliver a multidisciplinary range of consultancy services for the entire living environment. By showing leadership in sustainable development and innovation,  together with our clients, we are working to become part of the solution to a more sustainable society now and into the future. See for more information our website:  www.royalhaskoningdhv.com

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