The ARMORMAX® system has been used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). One of the most critical measures of HSDRRS is protecting refurbished earthen levees against the erosion-causing hydraulic forces of storm surge overtopping. Without protection, overtopping can lead to significant landside erosion and potentially a breach of the levee. During Hurricane Katrina, most levee failures were due to water overtopping.
The USACE required rigorous testing of the High-Performance Turf Reinforcement Mat (HPTRM) before ARMORMAX was installed on any project. USACE partnered with Colorado State University (CSU) to conduct testing on its full-scale wave overtopping simulator. The simulator tests erosion resistance of armoring materials for 500-year resiliency HSDRRS overtopping conditions.
Testing showed that ARMORMAX provided increased levee resilience and durability. Additionally, testing showed that using ARMORMAX reduces the risk of breaching caused by overtopping waves.
In Spring 2008, ARMORMAX was used to armor Penn Levee. In September 2008 Penn Levee withstood overtopping from Hurricane Ike, and in August 2012 it withstood a second overtopping from Hurricane Isaac. Propex is the only geotextile manufacturer whose levee armoring product has successfully withstood multiple overtopping in Louisiana.
Watch this video to hear Chris Thornton, Director of the Engineering Research Center and Hydraulics Laboratory, explain how Colorado State University simulates wave overtopping and conduct research on levee performance.