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1. (WO2017131533) ARTIFICIAL REEF AND METHOD OF ASSEMBLY
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

What we claim is:

1 : An artificial reef 1 comprising a base layer 10 and a surface layer 11 wherein the base layer 10 is joined and sealed to the surface layer 11 forming at least one sealed compartment there between for receipt of air or pourable material there between to form a volumetric shaped artificial reef 1 for location on a seabed or lakebed and providing an external surface to cause the waves to be altered in a way suitable for surfing and/or protection of a coastline, the artificial reef 1 also includes at least one inlet and outlet valve to allow air or any pourable material to be filled or discharged therefrom the sealed compartment wherein artificial reef 1 is constructed to allow it to be built on a dry surface and be floated out to a precise position whereby when in position on the seabed or lakebed whereby the artificial reef 1 comprises a broad base with horizontal planar dimensions being at least 8 m to prevent toppling over by waves and sinkage into a sandy seabed or lakebed under wave and current action.

2. The artificial reef as claimed in claim 1 wherein the dimensions of the artificial reef 1 will exceed 15 m in at least one horizontal planar dimension and a base surface area exceeding 100 m and a ratio of (volume): (base surface area) not exceeding 3 to prevent toppling over by waves and sinkage into a sandy seabed under wave and current action, wherein the volume to base area ratio not exceeding of 4.

3. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 2 wherein the pourable material is a formed as a granular or powdery material such as sand and/or fluid such as a liquid and the base layer 10 and surface layer 11 comprise a waterproof planar material.

4. The artificial reef 2 as claimed in claim 3 wherein, the base layer 10 and the surface layer 11 comprise a flexible and resilient material such as plastics material, rubber or cloth or alternatively the base layer 10 and surface layer 11 is foimed of a stiff material such as metal like for example steel or aluminium.

5. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 4 wherein at least a portion of an external or top surface will have minimal sharp or dangerous protuberances or shape edges that may be a hazard for surfing or at least a portion of the top surface of the artificial reef 1 is rippled, corrugated or irregular in some way to induce more frictional resistance and thereby minimise the intensity of wave-induced currents passing over the artificial reef 1.

6. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 5 wherein, at least one support member 12 is located between the base layer 10 and support layer 11 inside the sealed compartment and functions to temporarily support an initial shape of the artificial reef 1 and open up an air filled interior void to allow access for the pourable material therein wherein the support member 12 is formed of a stiff or rigid material such as metal or plastics member having a length between ends wherein at least one end includes a looped end shaped to be connected with a connector support assembly to at least the base layer 10.

7. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 6 wherein, at least one resilient elongate member 13 is connected by a resilient elongate member connection assembly, to the base layer 10 and to the surface layer 11, and functions to resist any upward forces from the sand on the surface layer 11 wherein the resilient elongate member is a strap member having looped ends wherein, the sand and strap members are shaped and designed to keep the artificial reef 1 shape.

8. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 7 wherein, the artificial reef 1 (shape, volume) is designed using computer software to obtain a shape which provides quality surfing wherein the computer software is used determine the correct length of the posts and straps which give the artificial reef 1 the designed shape.

9. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 8 wherein, the resilient elongate member connection assembly is a strap connector assembly is for connecting an end of each strap member to the base layer 10 and surface layer 11, the strap connector assembly includes two circular plates 36 and bolts 37 wherein the two plates 36 clamp a portion of the surface layer 11.

10. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 8 wherein the resilient elongate member connection assembly is a strap connector assembly for connecting one strap member to the base layer 10 and surface layer 11 which includes one plate member 45 and a handle member 50 forming a gap 50a there between the handle member 50 and plate member 45 whereby the

plate member is welded to an inner surface of the surface layer 11 and base layer 10 and one looped end of the strap member 13 is connected to the handle member 50.

11. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 8 wherein the support member 12 includes post members formed as a tripod frame 33 comprising three post members with one end together connecting all three member at one position to the surface layer and the other end of the tripod having the three members splayed apart or the support member 12 is a lattice frame 33a.

12. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 1 1 wherein a post connector assembly 35 connects one end of a post member to the base layer and surface layer, wherein each post connector assembly comprises two plate members 36 and bolts 37 whereby the plate members 36 are joined or connected to the upper portion of the tripod frame 33 which in use clamp a portion of the surface layer 1 1 whereby one plate member 36 is connected to an upper portion of the support member 12 and the other plate member 36 is a separate member adapted to abut the outer surface 23 of the surface layer 11 which are then clamped by at least one bolt 37 through the plate members 36 and the thickness 24 of surface layer 11 there between.

13. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 12 wherein the surface layer 11 and base layer 10 are joined at their edges with elongate strip members which clamp an edge portion of the HDPE by bolting through the HDPE and elongate strip member to form the sealed compartment which is able to allow air water or sand therein when filling without leakage.

14. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 13 wherein the sealed compartment which creates a water-tight, air-filled cavity with sufficient buoyancy to allow the structure to float and be controlled by a series of valves which exchange air in the cavity with a pourable material to control the sinking of the object to a precise location on the seabed for deployment.

15. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 14 wherein the artificial reef 1 includes an inlet and outlet connection assembly which comprises two plate members 51, seal cap and bolts, whereby the plate members 51 are bolted together, to sandwich a portion of the surface layer 11 there between the two plate members, and the plate members 51 have a central hole 54 with a threaded portion which is co-linear and fluidly connected with an aperture 25 in the surface layer 1 1, to allow the threading engagement of the dredge pipes and fluid travel there through, and the seal caps 53 can be used to seal the central hole 54.

16. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 15 wherein, the surface layer 1 1 includes at least one inlet and outlet aperture 25 for a dredge pump having main dredge pipes fluidly connected to a splitter pipe member which is then fluidly connected to several flexible dredge pipes which are then connected to an inlet and outlet connection assembly which is fluidly connected to aperture 25 through the surface layer 11.

17. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 16 wherein, the inlet and outlet connection assembly has a smooth rounded edges for surfing safety and the edges of the artificial reef 1 include means to stabilize the artificial reef 1 on the substrate, comprising sand bags, rocks or anchors.

18. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 17 wherein, the base layer 10 of the artificial reef

I is left incomplete leaving an opening in the base whereby air is still trapped under the upper surface for flotation, deployment and retrieval of the artificial reef 1 by adopting the methods and valve system described already.

19. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 18 wherein in a first stage of construction of the artificial reef 1, a data collection programme is undertaken at a proposed artificial reef 1 site to determine the extreme wave heights and currents, whereby a steel artificial reef 1 would then be designed using standard practice by an expert of the structural engineering profession who would ensure that internal beams and steel plates for the base layer 10 and surface layer

I I have sufficient strength to withstand the forces of nature and waves breaking on the artificial reef 1.

20. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 19 wherein computer software and engineering tables are used which specify the strength and bending moments of steel beams so that the steel artificial reef 1 can have sufficient weight to be stable with only water inside the artificial reef 1 's internal cavity, but sand can be added and to reduce rusting, welding would be done within the artificial reef 1 cavity which is not receiving new oxygenated water once sealed.

21. The artificial reef 1 as claimed in claim 20 wherein the artificial reef 1 is shaped as a triangular shaped wedge box like member or as a curved slice box like member.

22. A method of assembly of an artificial reef 1 which comprises comprising a base layer 10 and a surface layer 11 wherein the base layer 10 is joined and sealed to the surface layer 11 forming at least one sealed compartment there between for receipt of air or pourable material there between to form a volumetric shaped artificial reef 1 for location on a seabed or lakebed and providing an external surface to cause the waves to break in a way suitable for surfing and/or protection of a coastline, the artificial reef 1 also includes at least one valve to allow air or any pourable material to be filled or discharged therefrom the sealed

compartment wherein artificial reef 1 is constructed to allow it to be built on land and be floated out to a precise position whereby when in position on the seabed or lakebed the dimensions of the artificial reef 1 will exceed 25 m in at least one horizontal planar dimension and a base surface area exceeding 200 m2 and a ratio of (volume): (base surface area) not exceeding 2 to prevent toppling over by waves and sinkage into a sandy seabed or lakebed under wave and current action wherein the method includes the steps of:

a) On a suitable dry work site close to a proposed location of an artificial reef 1, a base layer 10 is formed of a certain areaf

b) Support members 12 are placed on top of the base layer 10 and are connected by post member connection assemblies to the base layer 10;

c) A surface layer 11 is formed of a certain area and is then connected to the post member connection assemblies;

d) The surface layer 11 is edge joined to the base layer 10 to form a water tight compartment between the layers without the pourable material inside;

e) Inlet and outlet connection assemblies are then formed whereby plate members 51 clamp a portion the surface layer 10 with holes 54 in the plate members fluidly connecting an aperture 25 in the surface layer 11 to allow filling or emptying;

f) The watertight compartment is then placed on the water to float and then is towed into position;

g) A splitter pipe member 58 is fluidly connected by a flexible pipe 59 to the inlet outlet connection assembly and also fluidly to a main pipe 56 which is connected to a sand and water pump;

h) the air in the artificial reef 1 is then discharged and replaced with water and then if required, filled with water and enough sand to cause the artificial reef 1 to be stable and sink down to a location on the s'ea/lake bed;

i) if more weight is needed for stability, the artificial reef 1 is then filled with more granular material such as sand or rocks to displace any water, and/or to form the required volumetric artificial reef 1 shape.