Isolation washers manufactured from Tufnol’s high performance glass laminate are forming preloaded connections with the bolts that attach critical components to the bridge construction. The washers are being supplied to Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, which was responsible for the design and construction of the bridge for the Scottish Government’s transport agency, Transport Scotland.
“We needed the bolt washers manufactured from a material that would be robust enough to stand up to the rigours of being installed on a bridge situated in one of the UK’s harshest environments,” explains Gerard Kiely, Head of Section for Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors. “This is not only in terms of strength, but also includes resistance to all kinds of weather conditions and corrosion from sea salt.”
“We have found the Tufnol isolation washer to be highly suitable for use with preloaded stainless steel connections,” he adds. “These products are quite niche and initially we did not know if we would be able to source a product that would isolate different metals for corrosion purposes, while also withstanding significant preload.”
The new 2.7 km bridge is the longest three tower, cable stayed bridge in the world. The project is part of a major upgrade of the cross-Forth transport corridor in the East of Scotland, representing an investment of up to £1.35 billion from the Scottish Government.
“We’ve provided products and solutions to a wide range of projects such as this over the years, including Birmingham’s New Street Station and London Underground, and it is great to be part of yet another high profile infrastructure project,” says Roy Thomason, Managing Director for Tufnol Composites.