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Contractors World  - UK & Ireland
2013 Vol 3 No 6
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Groundforce Expertise in Support Solutions - page 5 of 5


As a result, a 7 km of earth embankment has been built inland to act as new flood defence, along with a perimeter drainage ditch and sluices in the banks to let freshwater from inland drain out to sea.As a result, a 7 km of earth embankment has been built inland to act as new flood defence, along with a perimeter drainage ditch and sluices in the banks to let freshwater from inland drain out to sea.

To complete the scheme a 110 m wide breach in the shingle bank had to be excavated to allow inundation of the site. Part of this process was to remove an existing outfall structure, whilst maintaining the existing flood defence and so the outfall pipes needed to be closed to prevent seawater entering the site.

The contractor called in Stopper Specialists to close the pipes using two of its 700 – 1,600 Trelleborg Mega Plugs.

These are large cylindrical inflatable plugs some 2.5 m long and up to 1.6 m in diameter when inflated.

“They are simply lifted into the pipes and inflated to a pressure of 1 bar which is enough to seal them in place and withstand the pressure in the pipe,” says Stopper Specialist technical sales manager Matt Maidment.

The plugs are made from tough aramid and Kevlar reinforced rubber with a heavy duty steel core and are designed to create a secure seal quickly and safely.

“These are actually the smallest in the range” says Matt. “We also offer models capable of stopping pipes of up to 2.4 m in diameter”.

Team Van Oord project manager Tony Battrick said that without the Mega Plugs, progress on this element of the job could have been much slower. “We had two solutions: the conventional one of blocking the pipes with masonry or this one, which of course was much quicker” he says.

The Mega Plugs were lifted into place with a tractor-mounted loading crane and then inflated with a compressor before closing the isolating valves to keep them at the right pressure.  “Once in place, they require no maintenance beyond a daily visual inspection” says Matt.

The plugs remained in place for one week, during which time they kept seawater out of the site whilst the excavation of the breach took place.

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