The production of large tunnel seals at Trelleborg Ridderkerk.
Henk de Bruijn
Large rubber seals are needed for megastructures such as immersed tunnels all over the world. Trelleborg Ridderkerk B.V. has designed and produced large rubber seals for the 6 km long immersed tunnel, which is part of the Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau fixed link in the Pearl River Delta.
This project has special requirements for product performance, physical properties, durability, lead time, product- tests and packing. The combination of dimensions and requirements causes some challenges in the area of product design, compounding, processing, manufacturing, testing and logistics.
Several different natural rubber compounds and processing methods are used for the assembly of the sections of one rubber seal. Because of the large dimensions, some of the most interesting production parameters are curing time and curing temperature.