Afdeling Maritieme Techniek Universiteit Gent
Shallow Water

Lock Model

The lock model at Flanders Hydraulics Research is a model of the locks of the Panama Canal, with a scale factor of λ = 80 (1 m in model scale corresponds to 80 m in full scale). By using different scale factors and with small adjustments to the tank, the lock model can also be used for other projects.

Description Length in nature (Panama) Length in model
Lock length 488 m 6.100 m
Lock width 55 m 0.688 m
Level difference removable floor (sill) 9 m 0.113 m
Outlet of culverts 43.6 m x 6.5 m 0.545 m x 0.082 m
Approach channel width (bottom) 218 m 2.725 m
Approach channel length 3040 m 38 m

The model consists of 1 lock chamber in glass (with a double floor), 1 operational lock gate and a gate chamber, outlet of culverts including an extra outlet reservoir to generate the lock spill, an approach channel of about 6 ship lengths and a turning area. This length allows the ship model to accelerate smoothly without generating unwanted waves.

general arrangement of the lock model lock3

In the axis of the lock over the overall length of the model a horizontal rectangular beam is positioned to guide the ship. The guiding beam is designed to be adapted to the required height for different ship models and different water levels. It has a bridge section in front of the lock to enable free placing of approach structures and another bridge section at the turning area.