Ferry terminal steel bridge deck

Highly durable, anti-skid surfacing
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Triflex has been providing durable waterproofing, surfacing and protection solutions for large steel structures, for over 20 years. Steel bridge decks in the marine environment however provide some specific challenges.
West Scotland
November 2020

The challenge

With their traditional materials being discontinued due to rising material costs and alternatives notoriously problematic to install, the Client was seeking a new solution. 

Primarily, the system had to be a thick layer filled resin, broadcast with a heavy-duty aggregate and able to handle the frequent, vehicle traffic that ferry link bridges endure, which include HGVs. 

An added consideration was the location. Being a marine environment, protecting the steel structure from salt and related corrosion processes was key, as was the ability to deliver high levels of anti-skid character, even in wet, icy, and snowy conditions. 

Finally, to meet the tight programme timings, the solution needed to be quick to install even at low temperatures, therefore maximizing all available weather windows.

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The solution

Triflex have delivered waterproofing, surfacing and protection solutions across a variety of steel structures including link bridges, balconies and more commonly, providing anti-skid coatings for demountable podium car parks.

The high levels of durability required in ferry bridge deck situations are similar to those found in a car park environment, therefore EN 1504-2 certified Triflex DeckFloor with its’ 20-year track record in some of the UK’s busiest car parks, was the preferred solution. 

This heavy duty, flexible system utilises market leading PMMA waterproofing technology and incorporates a high tensile strength reinforcement in high-risk areas.

And being resistant to chlorides (salts), petrol, diesel, brake fluid, engine oil, battery acid, de-icing and cleaning products, the Triflex DeckFloor delivers protection that's built to last, with a low lifecycle cost.

To allow greater flexibility of design, a variety of aggregates types and sizes are compatible with the Triflex DeckFloor system, including, quartz, emery, bauxite and silicon carbide.

This particular aggregate is specified by Triflex following extensive testing, for a military barrack project that is regularly trafficked by horses. The elevated point loadings of horses’ hooves demand high crush and compressive strength, in combination with high levels of skid resistance in both wet and dry conditions.

The steel bridge deck panels were prepared off site by SA3 blasting, under the Swedish SA standard classification. Once prepared, the plates were cleaned with Triflex Cleaner to remove any oils or other contaminants from the manufacturing process, before being primed with Triflex Metal Primer and shipped to site. The bridge deck was constructed of 9 steel panels, that were assembled on site by the steel fabricator. Although extremely stable, a reinforced crack bridging detail was proposed by Triflex to deal with potential movement at the joints and to mask fixings between the steel plates.

Being exceptionally fast curing, Triflex DeckFloor allows a quick installation, limiting access restrictions and unnecessary disruptions. Installation can be carried out all year round as the system still cures quickly at temperatures down to 0°C.

The black version of the rapid curing, Triflex DeckFloor waterproofing and surfacing system was selected, featuring a full embedment of the robust, 1.0mm to 3.0mm Triflex Emery. 

Once cured, the system was sealed with the highly abrasion resistant Triflex Cryl Finish 202. Being colourless, the finish boasts an unusually high resin content and therefore exceptionally high levels of durability, whilst allowing the natural appearance of the emery aggregate to shine through for years to come.

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