Stonbury are immensely proud to be supporting our clients across the UK at such a crucial time and have been designated as 'key workers' by DEFRA and the UK water utility companies. Our teams are working tirelessly to help secure and maintain drinking water supplies, ensuring clean and safe drinking water is provided without interruption to critical services such as our hospitals as well as the general public. Now more than ever, the safety and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance and we have adapted our safe working practices to ensure social distancing precautions are in place and that the correct hygiene practices are being followed. Safety is our priority, and we endeavour to make sure everyone at Stonbury goes home safe to their family.
Due to deterioration and heavy rusting over time, the client required a trial section to be completed for inspection by a section 10 engineer. This was to assist the client in understanding the requirements of a full refurbishment to the tunnel.
A sealed scaffold structure was erected to provide access to the work area and remove the risk of dust and debris affecting the coating application. The scaffolding also allowed the conditions within the tunnel to be controlled during the coating works.
In addition to the original scope, the team were asked to remove and replace the bolts which appeared heavily corroded. The bolts were removed one at a time with the use of a hydraulic bolt splitter, mitigating the need for cutting, as grinders could not be used inside the tunnel.
Once all the bolts were replaced, the section was flash blasted to key the new bolts. The steel panels were then grit blasted by a trained and competent steel coating teams who have experience in working under similar conditions.
The delivery team worked closely with a partner engineering firm and coating suppliers to select a suitable coating for the environment. A solvent-free epoxy coating was chosen and applied to the structure under strict application and cure conditions. During the application, quality documents were completed using Stonbury’s standard quality, inspection and testing procedure developed for regulation 31.
Two spark tests were conducted to identify pinholes in the coating system; these were then filled before final snagging and overcoating. The clients’ clerk of works inspected the tunnel before final sign off and demobilisation.
The trial application was a complete success and has enabled Stonbury to identify the risk and costs involved with the works, so the remaining sections of the tunnel can be quoted accurately.