Flood defences for Ipswich: mitre gates and modern design

Flood defences for Ipswich: mitre gates and modern design


As part of the new multi-faceted FDMS, the gate was to be electrically and mechanically driven and controlled as an important component of the larger flood defence scheme.


Hunton have been established for more than 25 years, and are a leading design, fabrication and installation company who design, manufacture and install river control structures and flood defences.


After the initial design was completed, Hunton took on the project of the gate detail design and build. Design Engineer Nigel Molton and Company Director Sean Trow worked on the technical specification, based on previous successfully implemented flood defence solutions the team had fabricated and installed. Drive Lines Sales Manager Matt Jones worked closely with Hunton’s team to select the most technically suitable electromechanical solution from our product range, including 3D models, to integrate into the design.


Drive Lines, also established for three decades, have a wealth of industry knowledge and used this experience to recommend the most effective solution to challenges the design raised.


As a vital part of the FDMS, these 5m long mitre gates are designed to close off the railway lines and form a barrier against flood water. The reliable opening and closing of such large gates would require a marine specification electric actuator on each gate, with a stroke of nearly 1400mm and a linear force of up to 70KN. Drive Lines recommended and supplied two ADE MSK50 electrical actuators, specially designed for use within hydraulic structures including marine paint specification C5M.


With precision stainless steel body and ceramic coated piston rods, the unit is IP68 (submerged) protected as well as benefitting from ice and dirt protection.  Both of these ADE linear actuators are driven via an integrated 3phase electric motor, and an Auma SA14.6 rotary actuator with anti-back-drive. The actuator also includes an integrated spring assembly, to absorb axial impacts from any potential obstructions or extreme water forces.


When the gates are in place over the railway lines, Hunton also wanted to include flap seals which could be lowered in position to stop flood water escaping under the gates as, in order to function over the railway lines, clearances for safety are required. Drive Lines suggested a mechanically linked, multiple screw jack arrangement for each gate. This included four MJ1 compact cubic screw jacks with stainless steel construction to protect against the elements. The R+W stainless steel ZAE line shafts transmitted the torque between each jack, and were driven by two robust stainless steel Graessner PowerGear bevel gearboxes. The drive was energised by a marine specification IP67 WELKON/OBEKI Motor from Drive Lines, which completed the required drive package.


Once installed, Hunton connected the ADE actuators and set the torque limits and final positions via integral mechanical switches.  The flap seals are controlled for raise and lower functionality via integrated limit switches mounted into the screw jacks on each gate, so all could be easily controlled remotely and centrally by the user.


The final installation is an impressive sight, with smooth and quiet electrical drives for both applications which will ensure a clean and environmentally friendly flood protection solution for years to come, with little to no maintenance required for the electro-mechanical parts.


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