Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm

M63 at Port of Tyne

M63 setting up at Port of Tyne

A pioneering wind farm development off the coast of Blyth has reached a notable milestone, with the first turbine foundation making its journey up the River Tyne on route to its final destination.

The GBFs have been constructed at the Neptune dry dock over the past 12 months by BAM Nuttall and these structures will be floated down the river to the Port of Tyne, where extra ballast will be added ahead of their ‘tow-out’ to the offshore wind farm site. Camfaud is involved at the Port of Tyne, pumping the extra ballast to secure the bases on the seabed.

Gravity based foundation en route to Port of Tyne

Gravity based foundation en route to Port of Tyne

The project will see five wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 41.5MW installed around 6.5km off the coast of Blyth. Once operational, they will generate enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes.

Concrete gravity based foundations (GBFs) form part of the project and are being installed using a new ‘float and submerge’ method – the first time this method has been used for offshore wind turbines. Designed and built by Royal BAM Group in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne, the GBFs are being floated into position at sea and submerged onto the seabed to provide the support structures that act as the foundations for the installation of the wind turbines.

Five gravity based foundations ready for transit

Five gravity based foundations ready for transit

Each GBF is made up of more than 1,800 m3 of concrete and weighs over 15,000 tonnes when fully installed on the seabed. The structures have a total height of around 60 metres from the base to the access platform.

The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway

BBC tv's Fifteen Billion Pound  Railway

BBC tv’s Fifteen Billion Pound Railway

BBC tv’s documentary “The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway”, which follow the construction of London’s Crossrail project, is back on our screens.

Episode 1 of the new series shows our team pumping heavyweight concrete at Farringdon Station to form a sound deadening track slab underneath the Barbican theatre and concert hall. The programme explains the construction of the floating track slab in some detail but what it doesn’t tell you is that our pipeline was 1,000m long!

Episode 2 shows two of our M36 pumps pouring a post-tensioned floor at Liverpool Street Station.

They are available to watch on the BBC iPlayer until the third week of June 2017 and will doubtless be repeated at some time in the future.

Railtex 2017

Railtex 2017

Railtex 2017

We will be exhibiting at Railtex 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham. The show runs from 9th to 11th May 2017. Please come and visit us on Stand N81 in Hall 3. We will be showing a small Schwing mobile boom pump, ideal for setting up on tight sites, and a high pressure Putzmeister static pump, built to pump long pipelines – 1,000 metres plus.

Crossrail – Technical paper on Moorgate shaft base slab

As previously reported, Crossrail now has a Learning Legacy website dedicated to “the collation and dissemination of good practice, lessons learned and innovation from the Crossrail construction programme”. The material, consisting of case studies, technical papers, documents, templates and datasets, is being “shared for use by other major projects and is relevant to clients, corporates, and suppliers from main contractors to small and medium enterprises.”

Recently a technical paper was published on the Learning Legacy website about the design, detailing and construction of the Moorgate shaft base slab – a 1750 m3 pour carried out using Camfaud pumps.

Moorgate shaft base pour

Moorgate shaft base pour

The technical paper makes for fascinating reading, especially in regard to the pour preparations. As the paper concludes: “Careful planning of the concrete pour from reinforcement detailing through to road closures to give access to a constrained site in the heart of the City of London, the contingency measures for disrupted concrete supply and the control of concrete temperature led to the successful execution of what was at that time Crossrail’s largest concrete pour.”

Concrete magazine article – pumping heavyweight concrete

Crossrail C610 - Heavyweight concrete pumping

Crossrail C610 – Heavyweight concrete pumping

The February 2017 edition of the Concrete Society’s magazine Concrete, has an article about placing heavyweight concrete to form part of the Crossrail track slab in central London. The joint venture contractor installing the track on this project is ATC jv (Alstom, TSO and Costain), the concrete is supplied by London Concrete and the concrete pumping is being carried out by Camfaud.

Heavyweight concrete was considered the best option for this section of track bed in order to minimise the noise and vibration generated by the Elizabeth line when it is in service, especially in noise sensitive areas with recording studios above.

The heavyweight concrete used contains MagnaDense, a natural aggregate which is approximately twice as dense as normal aggregate. MagnaDense from LKAB Minerals is formed of black ferrimagnetic natural iron oxide (magnetite) and is mined in Kiruna and Malmberget in northern Sweden.

As the article notes, Camfaud Concrete Pumps chose a Putzmeister BSA2110HP static pump as the main pump, with another high-pressure pump being used as a backup and also to clean the lines using a water wash-out system. The concrete has been pumped through 1100m of pipeline, during which time there was approximately 40 tonnes of material contained in the line.

The same edition of Concrete magazine has an article about the new Medway valley crossing, built by BAM Nuttall to give access to the new 1000 home, Peters Village. Camfaud carried out the concrete pumping on this project too and further information about Camfaud’s work on this innovative bridge construction can be found here.