Background: Windblown sand mitigation for civil structures in arid environment is crucial.
Indeed, the number of railways crossing deserts and arid lands is increasing. A number of sand mitigation
measures already exist. Among them, sand barriers are particularly intended for line-like infrastructures.
We reviewed patented sand barriers on the basis of their shape and porosity.
Objective: A new solid barrier for windblown sand mitigation called Shield for Sand is presented.
Shield for Sand has been designed with the aim of maximizing the sand trapping efficiency through
an upper windward deflector and simplifying its maintenance by complaining to sand removal machines.
The development of Shield for Sand follows the path traced by the Technology Readiness
Methods: The preliminary design of Shield for Sand has been supported by computational simulations
of the wind flow around the barrier. Then, Shield for Sand has been tested in a wind tunnel with drifting
sand in order to assess its efficiency. Both computational and experimental approaches allow an increase
of the Technology Readiness Level.
Results: The reversed flow induced by Shield for Sand increases its sand accumulation potential with respect
to similar existing sand mitigation measures, such as the straight vertical wall. The efficiency of
Shield for Sand resulting from the wind tunnel test is very high and almost constant with increasing sand
Conclusion: The Shield for Sand working principles and performances are confirmed excellent. Final fullscale
in-situ experiments are necessary to test the barrier under real environmental operational conditions.