Reef Ball Foundation Inc. Services Division Internet Brochure


Picture Of Reef Ball

[Pictured above is a Reef Ball.
They come in many sizes from 6 inches to 6 feet
and ranging from 6 to 6,000 pounds]


Why Build Reefs

Man's activities and natural disasters have led to a reductions in our natural reef systems. Recreationally, growth in sports fishing, scuba diving, and boating has increased the pressures on these systems. Commercially, our seafood industry is dependent on developing the ocean to enable ever larger, yet sustainable, harvests. The loss of our natural systems, coupled with increased use, COMPELS US TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO SAVE NATURAL REEFS. Even so, the natural reefs cannot rebuild themselves fast enough to meet human demands. Long lasting artificial reefs are useful tools for restoring our reef systems to a natural and productive balance.

What's Involved

Photo of Set Up Reef Ball Mold

Reef Ballstm are made by pouring concrete into a fiberglass mold (shown) containing a central Polyform buoy surrounded by various sized inflatable balls to make holes. Six mold sizes are available. Molds can be leased, bought or one can simply pay a per use fee. Any type of concrete can generally be used, including end-of-day waste, but additives are needed to give the Reef Ballstm high strength and to make the concrete suitable for marine life growth.

The Reef Ball Group provides clients with concrete specifications and can supply the additives at special discounts. Building an artificial reef usually requires artificial reef permits or access to use a permitted area. The Reef Ball Group can help clients get or secure permission to use a permit. A training manual on how to use the molds and how to deploy the modules is also included with the mold systems. Authorized Reef Ball contractors can provide additional on-site training to make sure your project goes smoothly. Special programs are available to subsidize university research projects and other worthy projects through the Reef Ball Foundation. Reef Ball Foundation also encourages participation in projects by private organizations and has several sponsorship packages available for companies that want to help the environment while gaining excellent press exposure. The Group was formed to help folks build quality artificial reefs.

Floating Deployment

Boat Towing a Floating Reef Ball

Reef Ballstm are cast around an extremely durable Polyform bladder. This bladder can be left in the unit to provide flotation so the Reef Balltm can be towed behind any size boat. Once at the site, the bladder is deflated and removed. When divers are used, the unit can be placed precisely on the sea floor with a controlled descent, making repairs to damaged reefs possible without endangering natural reefs. If desired, the units can be deployed by barge without divers. Multiple units can be towed behind a single boat. Seas should be 3-4 feet or less. Recommended towing speed is 2-3 knots, but techniques are available to attain 5 knots for long hauls.

Unique Hole Sizing & Placement

Diagram of Reef Ball Mold System

Natural reefs are variable in size, shape and hole density. Artificial reefs function better when they mimic nature. The balls which create holes are inflated to different pressures to vary hole sizes. Interconnected holes are possible by inflating the balls until they touch. Additional casting techniques are taught by our trainers so users can customize to fit any need.

Photo Of Textured Bay Ball

[This is a Bay Ball(tm) which weighs 325 pounds and is 3 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet high. Three different surface textures were applied (rubber mat, surface retarder, and air entrainment).]

Surface Textures

Close Up Photo Of Surface Texture

[The Above Close Up Shows Aggregate Exposed By Using Sugar Water On Molds]

A variety of surface textures that enhance the settlement of marine life are available. A popular surface texture is made by spraying sugar water onto the surfaces of the mold before casting. After the cement mixture hardens, the mold panels are removed and the last 1/2 inch of concrete remains unhardened. A rough stony surface is exposed by rinsing the module with a garden hose. All surfaces are enhanced by the use of an air entrainment admixture. This non-toxic, soapy-like additive creates tiny pockets in the concrete which pits the surface of the Reef Balls. These pits offer tiny marine organisms (such as larval corals) a place to easily attach themselves.


Graphical Representation Of Water Flow Through Reef Ball

Reef Ballstm are designed so that over half of the weight is in the bottom near the sea floor. All sizes of Reef Balls have withstood, without movement, heavy tropical storms in as little as 20 feet of water without anchors. Reef Ballstm are stable because the opening in the top of the unit breaks up the lifting force of the hydrofoil effect common to dome shapes. Side holes are wider near the center of the walls and narrow near the units surface. This feature creates miniature vortexes which further reduce lifting forces and bring rich nutrients to life on the reef. Reef Ballstm can be cast up to double the standard weight to accommodate high energy zones, or they can be cast at 75% of the standard weight to save concrete for bay, deep or protected water locations. Our staff will help you determine the best way to insure stability.

Check out our Stability Analysis By Florida Institute of Technology

Marine Friendly Concrete

Photo Of Atlantis Submarine Deploying Reef Balls

[Deployment By Atlantis Submarine in Cancun, Mexico-Allen Force pictured]

The concrete used to make Reef Balls features W.R. Grace's Force 10,000 micro silica to create a super high strength, abrasion resistant, concrete that has a pH similar to natural sea water. This is unlike regular concrete which has a surface pH as high as 12. This high pH (the sea has a natural pH of 8.3) can inhibit the settlement and growth of many species of marine life including some larval corals. Micro silica gives Reef Balls an expected life of 500 or more years.

Additional smaller and larger sizes are now available for nearly any application need.

Technical Specifications
for Comparing To Other Reef Materials

Learn the gross tonnage equivalency, macro & micro surface area, bio-mass carrying capacity and number of "fish" holes in the various sizes of Reef Balls for comparing to other artificial reef materials. You'll see why Reef Balls are the BEST value for your budget!

Looking for prices?, they have moved to here

Staff Directory

This page is copyright 1993-2006 by Reef Ball Foundation, Inc.., all rights reserved . Polyform is a trademarked of Polyform U.S., Kent WA. Force 10,000 is a trademark of W.R Grace and Company. Od-Job is a trademark of Scepter. Reef Ball, Pallet Ball, Bay Ball, Lo-Pro Ball, Oyster Ball, Model Ball, Reef Cube, Pallet Cube, Bay Cube, Lo-Pro Cube, Oyster Cube, Model Cube and the RBDG logo are trademarks of the Reef Ball Foundation Inc. Services Division since 1993. Mold systems, Swiss cheese hole patterns, deployment systems and construction techniques are patented or patent pending and all sizes of Reef Balls are copyrighted internationally. Reproduction in any form is prohibited. Reefs Around The Nation, Reef Around The World, and other RBDG program names are service marked by The Reef Ball Foundation Inc. Services Division