WHERE WATER AND CONCRETE MEET: THE TETRAPOD MOLD FROM BETONBLOCK®
Tetrapod molds are by far the most striking shape in the Betonblock® range. Tetrapods are concrete structures that protect shorelines and river banks by acting as breakwaters. Tetrapods, after the Greek word for ‘four feet’, are shaped like a tetrahedron: a triangular pyramid with six faces and four corners. The legs of the tetrapods hook into each other, creating a row of stable concrete breakwaters along the coast.
What are Tetrapods?
Tetrapods are originally a French invention but are used worldwide. In fact, in Japan, the concrete blocks line about half of the country's coastline. Traditional concrete blocks can easily shift due to the force of the waves, but concrete tetrapods are a very effective way to break waves, as water can flow between them. This diminishes the force of the incoming water, with waves losing force and impact. Tetrapods protect coastlines against high waves caused by natural hazards like tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and wind gusts.
The advantages of Betonblock® tetrapod molds
Making tetrapods couldn’t be easier with a Betonblock® mold. Simply pour new or leftover concrete into the mold, wait for the concrete to cure and demold your brand-new tetrapod! All Betonblock® molds are made of high-quality steel and feature a rust, impact and scratch-resistant powder coating to increase their lifespan. Our molds are build to last and will keep producing concrete elements year after year. An additional advantage of the powder coating is that you can take your pick from a wide range of colors. Betonblock® tetrapod molds come with our trademark orange exterior.
What sizes do tetrapod molds come in?
We carry various different tetrapod molds, including a 1 ton, 1.5 ton, 3 ton, 5 ton and 7.8 ton version (all metric tons). Because they are very large and consist of a large amount of concrete, it takes longer to create a ready-to-use tetrapod than a standard concrete block. While a concrete block takes approximately 24 hours, it can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for a tetrapod to cure properly and be ready for use, depending on local conditions.
What accessories are there for tetrapods?
Before casting the concrete, we recommend spraying the mold with formwork oil, using the Betonblock® oil sprayer, which causes the cured concrete to detach from the steel mold. Every tetrapod mold comes with an alignment tool as standard in order to reassemble the parts after using the mold and align the bolt holes. Finally, we also have a special cast-in anchor which can be inserted into the mold before casting and can be used to lift and move the concrete tetrapod. We offer two types of anchors with a rated capacity of 2500kg and 5000kg respectively. For larger tetrapods, we recommend using multiple cast-in anchors.
Betonblock® carries the following molds:
As explained earlier, tetrapods provide protection against water-related natural disasters. Concrete blocks and barriers can also be used to provide protection. Concrete blocks can be used as walls to protect sites against unauthorized access or serve as collision protection, while barriers can divert traffic and protect pedestrians or road workers.