RIDDERKERK, Netherlands—Trelleborg A.B.'s engineered products operation played a key role in a project aimed at keeping the world's longest floating dock up and running.
It produced and was heavily involved in the installation of the firm's high performance inflatable gaskets for the maintenance of the ball joint of the floating dock at La Condamine Port in Monaco, a Trelleborg spokeswoman said.
Part of the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction business, the engineered products unit worked closely with Strukton Immersion Projects B.V. from construction design through the installation of the gaskets, said Oscar Kosler, acquisition director for Strukton Immersion.
He said Trelleborg "was able to provide a one-stop shop for the design and manufacture of the inflatable gaskets and (provided) assistance during installation on the steel structure."
The gaskets successfully sealed off a watertight workspace for the maintenance of the floating dock's ball joint, which connects the 160,000-ton and 350-meter-long construction to the port and ensures that the structure moves with the tide, waves and current, Trelleborg said.
Trelleborg began working on the design phase of the inflatable gaskets in early 2015, and in March of this year started work in the floating dock's ball joint, the spokeswoman said, adding that it completed its part of the project in October.
"With a double gasket design of 15.1 by 10.9 meters, our inflatable seals specifically were designed to meet an inflation pressure of 6 BAR," according to Andre de Graaf, infrastructure sales manager for the engineered products operation, which is based in Ridderkerk.
"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," he said.
Trelleborg said the jetty was designed to provide a car park and a dry boat park allowing for mooring of cruise ships in excess of 250 meters in length. Its double hull structure was constructed on land at the Crinavis protected bay and towed to La Condamine Port.
A 650 ton steel hinge provides the connection with land and the movement of the dock is controlled by 10 chains in tension anchored to piles driven into the seabed.
Trelleborg's inflatable gaskets are flat with a rubber flange to facilitate installation. During inflation, Trelleborg said, the flat gasket expands to a larger thickness and the sides will deform into a circular shape.
It said the gasket is provided with ridges on the upper and lower contact area to improve sealing capacity. Manufactured using an SBR compound in combination with nylon plies, the gasket can be inflated using air or water.