Is it possible for the barrier to become "stuck down"?
It is very unlikely. There have been independent tests carried out in the past, to verify the impact of obstructions causing the barrier to fail to rise. The floating wall is designed to be buoyant and therefore creates a significant upward force. The report concludes that the buoyancy force will be enough. In normal usage, it is therefore unlikely that the barrier can be “stuck down”.
What happens if the inlet structure blocks and prevents water from entering the system?
There is a grate that is larger than the inlet pipe, and this prevents the internal structure from blockage. The inlet structure is designed to operate even if the inlet is blocked.
How do you get debris out of the unit if it enters?
In the unlikely event that debris enters the basin, it can hold about 5 cm of debris before it will impact the barrier. The debris can be washed out with water.
What if debris enters the main unit as the barrier rises and prevents the barrier fully rising, would a waterproof seal still be created?
When the wall raises a rubber seal on both sides of the barrier closes the space between the barrier wall and the basin. So no debris can enter the barrier when it is coming up. The space is in total 35 - 40 mm, so the barrier comes up unimpeded and has never blocked.
How does the product deal with silt infiltrating the system?
The silt will stay in the pit and is unlikely to enter the basin. The system needs an annual check according to a maintenance schedule. If there is silt, it must be removed.
Is the product yet kite marked or ABI approved?
The SCFB™ is approved by many institutes, universities and engineering companies. A fail chance analysis of the Self Closing Flood Barrier” was done by Arcadis in the Netherlands. and the Strength calculations by Alferink van Schieveen in the Netherlands.
Is the barrier prone to vandalism?
In its closed position the barrier is protected below ground level and therefore not prone to vandalism.
Will the barrier still work when there is a power cut?
The barrier is not energy driven and therefore still operates in case of a power cut.
What testing has the SCFB™ undergone?
The SCFB™ underwent more than 70 tests; these tests included static load, dynamic load, buoyancy force, sand and gravel tests, duration tests (35 days) extreme cold temperature tests, and obstruction tests. These tests concluded that the barrier never stayed stuck and rose up in all tests. The SCFB™ remained watertight in all tests.
Is it possible for the barrier to raise only 6 inches and create a trip hazard?
Because of the design of the pipe connection or service pit the barrier will always rise completely, normally within a few minutes.
Do you have a standard warning system for when the barrier rises?
There is an option to add an extra switch in the inspection pit, that can be used for any acoustic ore visual warning systems prior to the barrier rising.
Can heavy rain fill the service pit and falsely trigger the barrier?
The drain pipe in the pit will always drain the system if it is not surcharged as it would be in a flood situation. In some case a pump is installed with a floating switch which drains rainwater from the service pit.
Is it possible to prevent automatic operation (manual catch)?
For manual operation, the service pit can be connected to an independent supply.
Is it possible to operate the system as a test?
Yes, the service pit can be connected to the mains water or be filled with a pump from the river. By filling the pit the barrier can be tested.
Is it possible to integrate the drainage into the system?
It is possible to integrate a drainage system to the outside of the waterside of the basin.
What's the residual life of the barrier?
The system is made of very durable materials designed to at least for 50 to 100 years and remains virtually maintenance free of many years.
What is the life expectancy of the seals?
The seals have a life expectancy of over 50 years. They are protected underground and therefore are not subject to UV degradation.
How can the seals replaced if they perish?
The support block should be removed to facilitate this, but is generally a quick operation and would not leave the area protected at risk for long.
What would be the availability of spares be? (Lead times, guaranteed availability in the future)
It is not strictly necessary to keep spare parts. AII the parts can be delivered within a matter of a couple of days.
If the seals fail while the barrier is in operation what is the effect?
This is all but impossible but if it did, then the barrier would leak a little.
What are the annual maintenance procedures/costs likely to be?
It is essential to have a maintenance plan of any SCFB™ system. The recommended frequency for maintenance is once or twice a year. For a fifty-meter length of SCFB™ the maintenance time required is between 2 and 4 hours.
How do you get two units to butt up against each other? Do you need a permanent post/column between each unit?
Between the units there is a permanent guided post.
What type of foundation is most commonly used with the system?
A concrete foundation is required for a steel basin and will need verification by an Engineer.
How wide are the pre-cast units?
The width depends on the height of the barrier and varies between projects.
If people are trapped on the wrong side of the barrier as water levels rise, how do they get back over the defense?
The system has the option of visual warning flashing beacon as a warning before the barrier comes up. An audible alarm can also be sounded.
Are there any kind to procedures /costs in closing the barrier?
The barrier is self-activating and needs no service staff, hydraulics, mechanics or electric devices to operate.
What is the maximum time that the barrier can withhold flood water without leakage?
There is no time limit. In a duration test the barrier was loaded with a maximum water pressure for over 32 days without any leakage.
Is the barrier resistant to cold weather with a hard frost?
In areas, prone to hard frosts the barrier would require an extra protective layer of concrete at the sides of the basin. The barrier will still work in the winter during frosty conditions because the system itself is always dry.
Is it possible to drive over the barrier with heavy goods vehicles?
Yes, it is possible; in this case, the barrier would need a load transfer slab to reduce the effect of load surcharge on the basin.
Is it possible to design the barrier to resist earthquakes?
Yes, it is possible.
Where are the closest units that we could witness in action 'on the ground'?
The SCFB™ is installed in many countries around the world please contact Hyflo for the nearest SCFB™.