Case Study: Fiberglass Structures Used to Reclaim Beaches

0552-beach builderSome residents around the Lake Erie shoreline in Ohio are getting their beach restored thanks to an innovative beach building and erosion control system constructed using EXTREN® structural shapes and DURAGRID® grating.

The patented Martin Beach Builder™ is a new triangular framing system anchored to a precast concrete base. The frame, which is pre-fabricated by Strongwell, is comprised of EXTREN® Series 500 channel, angle, and square tube. EXTREN® plate bonded to DURAGRID® grating forms the face of the system.

The Beach Builder™ system, which is partially submerged underwater at various distances from the shore, dissipates wave energy and then captures sand normally washed away by the receding waves. Eventually, the frame is completely covered by sand, which results in the establishment of a maintenance-free, permanent beach.

Product: Beach Erosion Control System
Process: Pultrusion

  • EXTREN® Series 500 fiberglass reinforced polyester
  • Fiberglass reinforced vinyl ester grating
Sizes: EXTREN® structural shapes:

  • 3" x 3/8" Angle
  • 6" x 1/2" Angle
  • 3" x 1/4" Square tube
  • 1/8" Plate

DURAGRID® I-7000 1" grating

For: Martin Beach Builder

Byron Martin, the inventor of the Martin Beach Builder™, chose to use Strongwell's FRP materials instead of steel because of their superior corrosion and UV resistance and overall durability. The weight of the FRP also is an advantage over steel. The frames are light enough to be installed quickly using a standard backhoe.

Dave Eardley, Martin's business partner, is excited about the prospects of the new system. "We think there is a tremendous market for this product because it is the on!y device that will actually build and maintain a beach," he said. Eardley expects that the economic benefits combined with the ease of installation and the durability that fiberglass provides will make the Martin Beach Builder™ the best beach building system for communities trying to reclaim their beaches.

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