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Recent Patents on Engineering


ISSN (Print): 1872-2121
ISSN (Online): 2212-4047

Research Article

Shield for Sand: An Innovative Barrier for Windblown Sand Mitigation

Author(s): Luca Bruno*, Nicolas Coste, Davide Fransos, Andrea Lo Giudice, Luigi Preziosi and Lorenzo Raffaele

Volume 12, Issue 3, 2018

Page: [237 - 246] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1872212112666180309151818

open access plus


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 Level scale.

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 accumulation level.

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.

Keywords: Windblown sand, mitigation measures, barrier, railway infrastructure, technology readiness levels, shield for sand.

Graphical Abstract

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