The response of proposed breakwater packing strategies to incident waves is usually tested and evaluated in a model hall. There is currently also increasing interest in using
numerical simulations to model both the packing of a breakwater, and its response to storms. In this paper, we test the use of physics engine software, which provides fast
modelling of hundreds of units, as a means of gaining insight into damage quantification
and breakwater disorder.
Both dolosse and Antifer armour units are investigated. An order parameter P2 is proposed which is shown, using the numerical models, to be a useful measure of orientational order or disorder when the randomness of the packing is in question. A rootmean-square displacement parameter is proposed as a measure of the movement of armour units from their original positions under cyclic forces. Both parameters are easy to use in simulations, and the use of these parameters in model halls and in the field is discussed.
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Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.