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Predicting Performance in Articulating Concrete Blocks: Block Geometry


Matthew Stovall, P.E., and Daniel Priest, P.E.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this article, the reader should be able to:

• Predict the performance of an ACB system.

• Calculate and apply the block system lift coefficient.

• Understand what inputs are necessary to calculate the factor of safety for ACB systems.


“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”

— Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu

When left uncontrolled, water has created the deepest of canyons and destroyed countless properties. Sediment transport in streams and rivers is inevitable, but erosion must be controlled in critical areas for safety and economic reasons. Stream restoration and stabilization may require the use of armoring countermeasures to provide lateral or vertical stability to a stream. Articulated concrete block (ACB) revetment systems provide permanent erosion protection against the hydraulic forces of moving water. They are used when vegetation, soil remediation or other forms of hard armoring are unstable or unsuitable for a given hydraulic event or where the consequence of failure is not acceptable.

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