Trelleborg’s engineered products operation has supplied its high performance inflatable gaskets for the maintenance of the ball joint of the world’s longest floating dock at La Condamine Port in Monaco.
After being specified due to its unrivalled track record of supplying proven high quality solutions to ports and harbors across the globe, Trelleborg worked closely with Strukton Immersion Projects BV from conceptual design through to the completion of the project which saw the installation of its inflatable gaskets. These successfully sealed-off a watertight work space for the maintenance of the ball joint which connects the 160,000 tonne and 350 meter long construction to the port and ensures that the quay moves with the tide, waves and current.
Andre de Graaf, Sales Manager, Infrastructure for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, says: “With a double gasket design of 15.1 by 10.9 meters, our inflatable seals were specifically designed to meet an inflation pressure of 6 BAR. Accommodating rotations of the jetty and the mainland of one degree around the three axis, the inflatable gaskets are also highly resistant to wave and current pressures – making them an ideal aid for the maintenance of the dock’s ball joint for years to come.”
The jetty was designed to provide a car park and a dry boat park allowing for the mooring of cruise ships of overall length in excess of 250 meters. The double-hull structure was constructed on land at the Crinavis (Algeciras) protected bay and towed by sea to La Condamine Port. A 650-tonne steel hinge provides the connection with land and the movement of the dock is controlled by ten chains in tension anchored to piles driven into the seabed.
Oscar Koster, Director Acquisition at Strukton Immersion Projects BV, commented: “We worked closely with Trelleborg from the beginning of the project, and the company was able to provide a one-stop shop for the design and manufacture of the inflatable gaskets and assistance during installation on the steel structure.”
Trelleborg’s inflatable gaskets are flat, with a rubber flange to facilitate installation. During inflation, the flat gasket expands to a larger thickness and the sides will deform into a circular shape. The gasket is provided with ridges on the upper and lower contact area to improve sealing capacity. Manufactured using a Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) rubber compound in combination with nylon plies, the gasket can be inflated by air or water.
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