Physical Modelling

MHL has been constructing and testing physical models of water infrastructure projects since the 1940s. The laboratory is located at the base of Manly Dam from where waters are directed over scale models before being returned to Manly Creek.

Modelling facilities comprise random and monochromatic wave flumes and a multi-directional wave basin, housed in buildings that remove wind effects during testing, as well as large enclosed hardstand areas for construction of dam and spillway models. See also MHL Facilities.

A diverse range of physical model projects has been
undertaken, including

  • seawall stability testing
  • design of stormwater structures, road kerb inlets, dam inlet and outlet works and fountains
  • analysis of river floods and design of flood mitigation structures
  • testing of flow patterns around bridge piers
  • design of harbour and lake flushing
  • analysis of plume dispersion from ocean outfalls
  • design of dam and weir spillways and fishways
  • irrigation system testing
  • calibration and pattern design approval of small and large flow meters
  • all varieties of research such as sediment transport
    and beach response to different wave climates

Physical models are a cost effective means to evaluate the performance of structures and devices before construction. Design refinement through the modelling process typically results in improved operating efficiency and equipment life, providing savings to our clients.