Contractors World UK & Ireland Vol 3 No 6 - page 16

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 exca-
vated 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
andwithstand the pressure in the
pipe,” says Stopper Specialist
technical sales manager Matt
The plugs are made from
tough aramid and Kevlar rein-
forced rubber with a heavy duty
steel core and are designed to
create a secure seal quickly and
“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
“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 main-
tenance 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.
Page 16
Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 3 No 6
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