Geotechnical outfit Maccaferri has launched a modular flood barrier system, designed to protect vulnerable homes and properties.
The system, FlexMac DT, is a gabion-derived, flat-pack structure made from double-twisted, heavily galvanised wire mesh panels, reinforced with vertical steel bars and lined with a geotextile membrane.
The geotextile lining allows the barrier to be filled with locally available bulk materials such as sand, general fill or similar.
FlexMac DT is supplied ready assembled but folded to allow easy handling on site.
The unit opens to form a cube 500mm across, which can be connected to form linear runs of any required length. The barrier height can also be increased by stacking additional units on top of the bottom run.
The open base of the FlexMac DT cells means that the units can be removed by mechanical lifting, allowing the fill to discharge, then folded away and retained for future use.
They are intended chiefly for temporary flood protection, embankment repair and rapid-response, inundation-prevention.
Maccaferri says a single FlexMac DT unit can be assembled by two to three people in around 20 to 30 seconds. It estimates that, using conventional hand-placed sand bags, 30 people would require three hours to construct a 10m long embankment, whereas using FlexMac DT, five people could construct a 60m long embankment in the same time period.