ECS has collaboratively worked with Fibrecore Europe in the Netherlands to design, manufacture and install the UK’s first ever Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) lock gate. This is what makes it special. FRP is a composite material made from a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres. This is a proven technology with advantages over other materials when designing a lock gate for manufacture. It is low maintenance with a long design life, fully prefabricated and lightweight. The design life of the FRP material is expected to exceed 100 years with a warranty of 50 years, as opposed to a traditional steel lock gate that has a design life of 25 years.
The lock gate is to be installed on the entrance to a dry dock in Sunbury-on Thames, just outside London. This allows our client to fully de-water the dock when the gates have been closed to enable dry access for boat repairs and maintenance.
ECS hopefully showcase different capabilities of Tekla Structures by using it on bespoke fabrications with different elements to the design and the use of multiple materials
What are you most proud of about the project?
Following a laser scan of the existing site parameters, ECS worked closely with a design engineer & approved suppliers to design and model the gates using design software. Once the design model was completed this was subsequently imported into Tekla (via STEP & DWG files) for final modelling & detailing for manufacture. Modelling around the geometry of the reference files was challenging but ECS was able to produce fabrication drawings and NC data to hand over to the fabrication department here at ECS. We are proud of this project because we are only a handful of companies in the UK producing lock gates and this is the UK's first ever FRP lock gates.
What benefits utilizing BIM and Tekla software brought to the project?
Complex bolting arrangements were modelled in as a separate entity due to them not being standard fixings. Keeklamp style handrail fittings were inserted into Tekla using custom components and complex geometry around the pintle pot plate which is made up of multiple radius’ was done using direct modification - these are some of the benefits of using Tekla
The project in numbers
The lock gate is approximately 5.8m high and roughly 10m wide when both doors have been closed.