Trelleborg’s engineered products operation reduced its engineering time by a third to meet the short turnaround time required to supply its tunnel segment gaskets for the new Metroline Baku tunnel, Azerbaijan.
Usually taking approximately three months to produce a new profile type, Trelleborg developed a new gasket profile to meet the project’s needs for increased water pressure in just two months. Working alongside the TBM partner and forming close internal project groups, Trelleborg maximized the efficiency of its processes to ensure that a high-performance solution could be supplied on time.
Vincent van de Vrie, Sales Manager within the Engineered Products operation of Trelleborg Offshore & Construction in Ridderkerk, the Netherlands, commented: “The time pressure that we put ourselves under was tough, as was the challenge to meet the increased water pressure of the tunnel, using a small profile to fit into the current gasket groove. The gasket also had to handle this water pressure with more than a 50 percent offset of the profile.
“As the size of the gap or displacement increases, the ability for the tunnel segment gasket to withstand water pressure decreases. This meant that rather than designing for a performance of 6 bar, we actually had to cater for 12 bar, to guarantee the pressure for over 100 years.”
Trelleborg locates the gaskets in pre-cast grooves surrounding the mating faces of each segment, which ensures a secure rubber-to-rubber waterproof seal as soon as the segments are bolted together. Even when faced with natural ground movement, differing water pressures and harsh wet and dry conditions, the gasket keeps its bond and ensures a tight seal.
The proven track record for durability and reliability of Trelleborg’s gaskets mean that costly remedial work to seal leaks after construction are eliminated.