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Brisbane Ferry Decoupling System

Posted 13/05/2024
RUD Group, Conveyor Systems, RUD News, Drive Technology,

Ensuring a safe and controlled operation is critical in the challenging conditions of marine projects. Marine environments are corrosive and heavily influenced by currents and tides. Hence, it is paramount that all factors are considered before installation to ensure long-term performance.

This article discusses the reasons why the RUD TECDOS drive solution was ideal for the Brisbane River Ferry Terminals.

The Challenge: Decoupling Walkway in a Marine Environment

International Consulting Engineering company Aurecon approached RUD seeking a drive solution to decouple the Brisbane River Ferry Terminal walkways. The biggest challenge was enabling controlled release and rotation of the walkway undercurrents and tides and preventing damage caused by the ebb and recess of the water flow.

Why TECDOS? Addressing Key Requirements

RUD invited Aurecon to a site visit to the Brisbane factory to demonstrate and showcase the capabilities of the RUD TECDOS system.

RUD TECDOS possessed several benefits that aligned with the project's specific requirements:

  • Corrosion Resistance: The zinc-coated RUD TECDOS chain is specially designed to withstand challenging marine environments, ensuring long-lasting performance without rusting even in a static position.
  • 3D Flexibility: The inherent flexibility of the TECDOS chain allows for smooth and controlled movement of the walkway, accommodating slight misalignments while maintaining structural integrity. This is crucial for ensuring proper engagement and release during operation.
  • Compact Design: Compared to conventional wire rope cables, the TECDOS system utilises compact wheels with six pocket teeth, minimising space constraints within the terminal design.
  • Static Functionality: The system is designed to remain idle in a static position until decoupling is required. This ensures minimal wear and tear on the components during normal operation, extending their lifespan and reducing maintenance needs.
  • Accurately Rated Load Capacity: The TECDOS system offers accurately rated load capacities, ensuring the safe and reliable handling of the walkway under various load conditions, including potential debris accumulation or high water levels.

Click for more details of TECDOS Pi-Gamma Drive and Omega Drive technology and why RUD is the world leader in drive technology based on the RUD round steel chain mechanism for horizontal, vertical and rotational applications.

The RUD Solution: A Controlled and Safe Decoupling Mechanism

The implemented solution leverages the TECDOS chain drive system to achieve a controlled and safe decoupling process:

  • Chain Release with Damping: The mechanism utilises the TECDOS chain to control and lift the rotating gangway (walkway support structure) away from its cradle through a dampener system. This dampener ensures smooth lifting motion, preventing sudden movements and potential damage.
  • Controlled Decoupling and Rotation: The control arm is integrated with the TECDOS chain to facilitate the lifting and subsequent release of the walkway. This allows the walkway to rotate controlled, aligning it with the downstream river flow to prevent damage during high tides, which increase water levels.

The Result: A Proven and Replicable Solution

The success of the RUD TECDOS implementation at the Brisbane River Ferry Terminal is evident by:

  • Multiple Installations: We have installed the TECDOS drive solution in seven ferry terminals across Brisbane. Each terminal uses nine TECDOS six-tooth pocket wheels, chains, and terminations per unit. Each unit features a fixed pocket wheel connected to the dampener for controlled speed and additional wheels facilitating lifting and releasing the gangway.
  • Operational Success: The fully fabricated and controlled system is operational across all seven ferry terminals, demonstrating its effectiveness in safely managing walkway decoupling during high tides and debris during flooding.

Watch the video of the engineering and design from Aurecon, which ensured an ideal option to ensure the critical ferry infrastructure is flood resilient, accessible and for travellers to enjoy and celebrate the river.

Conclusion: Addressing Marine Challenges with Innovative Solutions

The RUD TECDOS system on the Brisbane River Ferry Terminal demonstrates its versatility and effectiveness in addressing complex challenges in the marine sector. Its corrosion resistance, 3D flexibility, compact design, and precisely rated load capacity make it an ideal solution for applications requiring controlled movement and reliable operation in challenging environments.

In addition, the system's modular design and proven track record across multiple installations highlight its potential for wider implementation within the conveying and drive sectors, where accurate control, corrosion resistance, and space optimisation are critical considerations.

Article copyright to RUD Ketten and RUD Australia. This information is accurate at the time of publication, and RUD Australia takes no responsibility for any errors, inadvertent or otherwise. Some pictures are for illustration only

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