Floating system for horizontal and vertical transport
Buitink Technology not only produces inflatable floating
cushions, but also develops and designs complete floating systems
for specific projects.
Below is shown the concept to integrate the required
functionality for a project at sea in one single system without the
need for a pontoon and a large crane.
As an example the assignment to deliver multipurpose floats for
a specific project (project: recovery of a submerged tunnel drill
at sea). The various project steps:
- Moving a floating lifting frame (20 tons) from the harbour to
the water location.
- To lower the lifting frame towards the tunnel drill at the
bottom of the water area
- Lifting the frame including the tunnel drill to the water
surface (total 185 tons)
- Moving the floating frame with tunnel drill back towards the
The required integrated functionally of the floating system
(combined horizontal movement, lowering and lifting in water) is
unique. To meet with the different demands we developed a fully new
3. Our solution
We developed a solution that envisaged a combination of a number
of horizontal and vertical floats.
3.1 Horizontal floats
Horizontal floats are used to move a load floating on water
(towards a location on water and backwards again).
3.2 Combined horizontal and vertical floats
Combined horizontal and vertical floats are used to lower the
lifting frame (20 tons) towards the bottom of the sea in a
controlled way. Note that the vertical floats stay near the water
surface; essential for a proper operation.
During lowering the floats the water pressure increases. As a
result the buoyancy of the floats is reduced such that the
lowering without vertical floats would be uncontrolled with a
continuously increasing speed. A combination of horizontal and
vertical floats avoids this problem.
To lift the frame including tunnel drill (185 tons) up to the
water surface under controlled conditions, horizontal floats
combined with vertical floats are used. The verical floats stay at
the water surface partially submerged, essential for a guaranteed
4. Visualizing the various process steps
Horizontal and vertical transport in various steps.
4.1 To location at sea
- Fixing all cushions to the lifting frame. These cushions carry
the frame during transport of the frame to the location at
- The floats, lateron in vertical position during operation, now
are fixed horizontally on top of the horizontal floats.
4.2 To lower 20Tons Frame
- Reducing air pressure in the horizontal cushions till the
vertical floats carry the load (position at minimum lift
- Increase length of chains under water to enable lowering the
frame in the water. The vertical cushions carry the frame. During
descend of the frame the level of
the vertical floats have to stay between MIN LIFT LEVEL en MAX LIFT
4.3 Start lifting the 20T Frame + 165T TBM from the sea
- Anchor lifting frame to TBM.
- Shorten the chains in the water such that vertical floats are
at position MAX LIFT LEVEL.
- Inflate horizontal floats such that vertical floats are at
position MEDIUM LIFT LEVEL.
4.4 Lifting 20T Frame + 165T TBM towards sea level
- Shorten chains under water untill vertical floats are at
position MIN LIFT LEVEL. The TBM moves upwards, increasing the
buoyancy of the horizontal floats. This reduces the load on the
vertical floats, so they move towards MIN LIFT LEVEL.
- Reduce pressure in the horizontal floats until the vertical
floats move downwards till MAX LIFT LEVEL. De TBM will sink a
little bit as the horizontal floats "feel" a heaviour load.
- Shorten the chains under water until the vertical cushions are
at position: MIN LIFT LEVEL. The TBM raises so the buoyancy of the
horizontal floats increases. As a result the vertical floats "feel"
a reducing load and raise upwards towards position: MIN LIFT
- Repeat reducing pressure in horizontal floats and shorten the
chains under water until close to sea level.
4.5 Situation during last 2 meter of lifting process
- At minimum length of the chains the vertical floats will tumble
- Inflate the horizontal floats till 1.1 bar above
- Fixing all cushions to the frame such that they all carry the
frame during transport to the harbour.
4.6 Transport of 20T Frame + 165T TBM to the harbour
5. Manifolds en air compressor system
Besides development, engineering and production of inflatable
floats, we also deliver accessories like manifolds and air systems. We
also offer operational support on location during
More information on pontoon flotation bags or any other
industrial solution, call us on +31 (0)316-250830 or email us at email@example.com.
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