US 3625014 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
7, 1971 H. F. J. M. HILLEN 3,625,014
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE UNDERWATER DEPOSITION 0F SETTABLE MATERIALS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 11,- 1969 INVENTOR. HEA/R/lfU-S FREDERIKU; 'Q'DSEPHUS MHRNE \MLLEN BY M FITI'ORNEYS Dec. 7, 1971 H. F. J. M. HILLEN METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE UNDERWATER DEPOSITION 0F SETTABLE MATERIALS Filed June 11, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet z INVENTOR. HENRlKUS FREDERIKUS UOSEPHUS H. H/LLEN United States Patent O 3,625,014 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR UNDERWATER DEPOSITION OF SETTABLE MATERIALS Henrikus Frederikus Josephus Marie Hillen, Laan van Meerdervoort, Netherlands, assignor to Prepakt N. Gouda, Netherlands Filed June 11, 1969, Ser. No. 832,275 Claims priority, application Netherlands, June 13, 1968, 6808349 Int. Cl. E021) 3/12, 5/02 U.S. Cl. 6172.4 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method and apparatus for the underwater deposition of settable materials, such as (concrete) mortar, asphalt and the like. Use is made of a pouring bag or envelope of flexible material, which is moved along with its lower end sliding on the underwater surface to be treated and tends to be constantly flattened by the static pressure of the surrounding water, so that the bag or envelope walls will continuously contract around the material flowing therethrough from a location above water level and consequently braking the free fall of the material. As a result of this the material will leave the lower outlet slot as a slowly outflowing uniform web and the danger of de mixing of the outfiowing material by the action of the surrounding water is reduced to a minimum.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to a method and apparatus for the underwater deposition of settable materials, such as (concrete) mortar, asphalt and the like. The underwater deposition of settable materials is e.g. of importance where it is desired to consolidate a shingle covering or similar covering on the bottom of a canal or other waterway by depositing a concrete or asphalt mortar on it, where a body of concrete is to be built by casting underwater.
In these cases it is not practicable to have the plastic mass of the settable material simply flow out of a pouring or casting tube as this would lead to substantially degree of demixing of the material and consequently to poor results.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART For the underwater deposition of concrete it has been known to apply the so-called contractor-method, with which a rigid tube is used, which is to be continuously kept filled by concrete and which has to be kept with its pouring opening constantly under the mass of concrete already deposited. To achieve the latter condition generally valves are used, which close when the tube is empty and open when the tube is being filled, while it is also known to have a temporary wad pass through the tube prior to the concrete. In dependence on the extensiveness of the area to be covered, general use is made of a number of pouring tubes distributed across this area. This manner of underwater depositing is relatively expensive, requires continuous attention of the operating personnel and-if valves are made use ofhas the disadvantage of buoyancy of the pouring tube. There are, however,
no special problems concerning the risk of demixing etc. of the concrete.
The latter problems, however, are encountered, when one wishes to consolidate shingle covering or similar covering deposited on a bottom or slope of a canal or other waterway by means of a suitable mortar, e.g. asphalt mortar.
The settable mass, in this case the consolidating mortar, must penetrate into the spaces between the individual shingle parts or similar particles to a certain depth and must also be evenly distributed across the covering layer to be consolidated. In such a case it is practically impossible to keep the outlet opening of a pouring tube or conduit continuously under the mass which has already been poured, as the layer of settable material extending above the surface of the gravel has a thickness, which is too small for that purpose and besides, in view of the purpose of this mass, should not even have an appreciable thickness as this would involve an insuflicient penetration and flowing of the mass. Moreover, the surface of a covering layer is generally too irregular for this purpose. Thus from sheer necessity the consolidating mass is allowed to flow out freely into the water over the layer to be consolidated. Former tests with hoses, which are gradually drawn across the covering to be consolidated, however, did not yield satisfying results. It turned out that With the flowing out of the mass pumped through the hose an uncontrollable demixing occurred resulting in an irregular and poor penetration of the mass into the covering. For this reason it has been impossible until the present to apply the consolidating procedure used for consolidating covering of gravel or similar material deposited on slopes and the like above water level also for underwater purposes.
SUMMARY The invention aims at providing a method enabling settable materials to be deposited in relating thin layers underwater and to be evenly spread across the bottom underwater, without any appreciable demixing of the mass occurring therewith.
In accordance with the method of the invention a bag or tube is used having a maximum cross section which is large as compared with the average amount of settable material per time unit supplied to it and having a flexibility such that the surrounding (water) pressure will cause the bag or tube walls to contract continuously around the material descending through it. Preferably the pouring bag or tube is moved along with its outlet opening sliding on the surface to be covered.
The flexible pouring bag or tube as used with this method thus will tend to continuously flatten as a result of the external pressure of the surrounding water, so that here is no danger of Water entering into the pouring space confined by the bag or tube. The walls of the bag or tube will effectively permit the settable material supplied to the bag or tube at the upper end to flow downwardly and consequently will control the cross section of the bag or tube in dependence on the amount of material supplied to it so that a slow and uniform flowing out or discharge of the material across the surface to be covered or treated is ensured. Due to this slow and uniform flowing out of the settable material no appreciable demixing will occur even when the outlet opening is not constantly under the surface of the material already deposited.
In this manner e.g. a condition may be fulfilled which is critical for obtaining a uniform mortar consolidating or fastening of an underwater shingle covering, as the desired depth of penetration and uniformity of consolidation is achievable only when the predetermined degree of mixing and consistency of the settable material is maintained.
The flexible bag or tube walls may readily suit themselves to any irregularity occuring in the underground to be covered and already covered respectively, which would not achievable with a rigid pouring pipe. Thus a uniformly and slowly flowing web may be drawn onto the underground to be covered or consolidated.
The invention also relates to an apparatus for carrying out the above identified method, which apparatus is characterized by a supporting structure adapted to be moved above the site to be treated, a pouring bag or tube having flexible walls depending from said structure and a supplying device.
To cover larger working widths a plurality of tubes or ba'gs may be suspended side by side from the supporting structure so that their outlet openings together form an elongated narrow slot. This outlet slot formed by the joint tubes shows a number of partitions formed by adjoining tube wall portions which, particularly on rather steep slopes, yield the advantage, that they keep the bandlike web sections corresponding to the various tubes in their paths while the web is being drawn in a horizontal direction onto the slope, so that the mass is prevented from flowing downwardly from the slope.
Due to the outlet slot formed by the joint tubes being of a plurality of separate outlet openings this slot may easily suit itself to relatively large irregularities, deep valleys and high hills of the underground to be treated, while the water which must be displaced when the pouring bag assembly is moved along across the underground may easily pass between the individual bags so that the necessary water displacement will not resist the progress of the bag assembly to such an extent that the slot would be lifted from the underground.
By suspending the bags independently from the supporting structure at adjustable heights the bag assembly may be readily adapted to slopes having different angles of inclination.
In a special embodiment which is also suited for a relatively large working width, the pouring bag or tube is in the form of a flat envelope, provided with passage openings located between the inlet opening and the outlet slot and isolated from the interior of the envelope. With the progress of the pouring bag the necessary water displacement may take place through these passage openings. By use of such a pouring bag for covering slopes it is preferred to provide a number of flexible partitions in the lower portion of the envelope adjacent the outlet slot so as to prevent the deposited web of material from moving downwardly along the slope. At the same time these partitions limit the distance through which the adjacent flexible walls may move apart.
In a practical embodiment the pouring bag or tube assembly is suspended from a bridge extending transversely of the direction of displacement of the supporting structure, the latter being carried out as a pontoon, the supplying device being mounted for reciprocation on said bridge, the latter being supported on the pontoon at an adjustable height by means of one or more posts. In order that the width of the outlet slot of the pouring bag or tube may not locally increase beyond a certain amount it may be of use to limit the extent to which the opposite bag or tube walls may move apart by surrounding at least a part of the wall surface of the bag or tube by a rigid shell which also may serve as an external protection of the bag or tube.
A special construction may then be obtained by closing the space defined by the rigid shell at the opposite bag or tube wall and connecting this space to a controllable source of pressure. In that case the rate of flow of the material through the bag or tube may be regulated by increasing or decreasing the pressure in said space, particularly in shallow sites, where the static pressure of the water flowing down the free fall of the material may be increased and consequently the rate of flowing of the material may be still better controlled.
By making use of the method and the apparatus according to the invention settable materials of various kinds may be used such as concrete and various other types of mortar.
A particular application of the method and apparatus according to the invention is to be seen in the underwater deposition of mortar, asphalt and similar heat plastifyable and settable materials.
For this purpose the flexible bag or tube wall portions could be made of a heat-insulating nature on the outer side and a heat-giving off nature on the inner side.
A practical embodiment for this is a laminated wall structure comprising an outer heat-insulating layer, an inner heat-conducting layer and an intermediary layer which e.g. is heated such as an electrically heated blanket.
For other application a fabric of plastic material, such as a fabric of polyamide, a fabric of cotton or similar material may be used.
The invention will be hereinafter further explained by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawin-gs, wherein:
FIG. 1 shows a cross section of a canal and of the apparatus according to the invention located above a slope;
FIG. 2 shows a cross section of the canal with the apparatus according to the invention shown in side elevation view,
FIG. 3 shows a vertical section of a part of the pouring bag in a particular embodiment,
FIG. 4 is a View similar to FIG. 1 illustrating another embodiment of the invention, and FIG. 5 is a detail view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
The apparatus shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and located above the slope 1 of a canal 2 or other waterway consists of a pontoon 3 having two supporting posts 4 fixed on the rearward part of thereof, from which posts a bridge 7 is suspended by means of two supporting cables 6 passing over sheaves 5, the height of the bridge above the waterline 8 being adjustable by taking the two cables 6 in or letting them out more or less by means of a winch 9. The bridge 7 consists of three pivotally interconnected sections 7a, 7b and 7c, the two side sections 7a and 7b of which may be swung longitudinally into the position of nonuse, see FIG. 5.
A pouring bag 11 is suspended from the bridge 7 by means of cables 10, which bag depends at the rear of the pontoon 3 freely onto the slope 1. This pouring bag consists of a flexible material and in the example shown it is in the form of a flattened envelope which has its opposite upper edges clamped between ledges 12 suspended from the cables 10 and having its lower opposite edges suited to the trend of the slope 1 to be treated. The position of the pouring bag with respect to the bridge 7 can be adjusted by means of the cable drums indicated at 13. The bag 11 is provided with passage openings 11b, which are isolated from the interior of the bag and serve for the necessary water displacement when the bag is to be drawn along. Adjacent the outlet slot defined by the lower edges of the bag \11 flexible partitions 11c extend in the out-flowing direction and divide the outlet slot of the bag into a number of sections and prevent the out-flowing web from running downwardly on the slope 1.
In the embodiment shown two supplying carriages 14 are mounted for riding on the bridge 7, which carriages are fed by a pumping device (not shown) through hoses 15 or in a different manner from a supply container 16 and the outlet openings of which are located above the inlet slot of the pouring bag 11, between the ledges 12.
The lower part of pouring bag 11 depending transversely at the rear of the pontoon 3 is located adjacent the lower edge by a rod or chain 17 on the side turned away from the pontoon and is adjusted at such a height, that, when the pontoon 3 is hauled along in the direction of the arrow (FIG. 2) the bag slides with its bent lower end portion 11a on the covering 18 on the slope 1.
The static pressure of the water will tend to compress the pouring bag 1-1, so that the settable material 19 flowing out of the supply carriage 14 is caught and slowed down by the compressed flexible bag walls and thereby uniformly distributed in transverse direction and allowed to pass under metered conditions. The slowing down action of the material supplied at the upper side may be promoted, if desired, by guiding the pouring bag over a guide rod parallel to the ledges 12 rather than having the pouring bag depend freely at the rear of the pontoon 3. The bent lower end portion 11a of the bag 11 sliding on the covering 1-8 defines a passage slot the cross section of which suits itself in a precise and sensitive manner to the thickness of the supplied layer, as a result of which a uniform web of the settable material is drawn slowly onto the covering 18. Due to the steady nature of the flowing out from the end portion 11a of the bag 11 the extent to which demixing of the settable material will occur is negligible and the delivered web will penetrate uniformly and to the desired predetermined depth into the covering 18.
In dependence on the nature of the material to be used and more in particularly on dependence on the question whether this material can be worked in a cold state or not, the bag or tube walls may consist of a single flexible water tight layer of any suitable material or must be of a heat insulating nature at least on the outer side while the inner side may have to be heat producing; in the latter case a laminated wall construction comprising a heat insulating outer-layer, a heat conducting inner layer and a e.g. electrically heated intermediary layer may constitute a practical solution, which thus permitting the use of warm asphalt.
The envelope-shaped embodiment of the pouring case 11 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is specially adapted to the angle of inclination of the slope to be treated, although some variation is possible by suspending the ledges 12 from the cables in a more or less oblique position. For the treatment of substantial slope lengths it is justified to use a pouring case in the embodiment shown and specially out to measure, as probably the case may not be suitable for being reused. A more flexible construction, however, may be obtained by composing the case of a plurality of side by side depending individual tubular pouring bags note FIG. 4, which may be connected at their lower ends by means of a rod or chain indicated at 17 and which may be individually suspended at adjustable heights and consequently may be adjusted to suit to each occurring angle of inclination. The outlet slot constituted by the joint outlet openings of the individual bags may even better suit itself to irregularities occurring in the underground to be treated than the outlet slot of an envelope-shaped pouring bag.
In FIG. 3 a particular embodiment of a part of a pouring tube 20 is shown, the flexible wall portions 21 of which are surrounded by a rigid shell 122, which shell constitutes an external protection for the concerned tube portion and together with the tube wall portions 21 defines a closed space 23, within which the pressure may be controlled by means of a conduit 24 for controlling the 1 lowing down action or valve action of the tube walls. This embodiment of the pouring tube is not only adapted to be used with the apparatus shown by way of example in the drawing, but may also be advantageously used for underwater deposition of concrete and similar material.
What I claim is:
1. A method of depositing settable materials, such as concrete mortar, asphalt and the like, on an underwater surface, comprising the steps of providing a flexible passageway having an inlet and an outlet for conveying the settable material to the underwater surface with the wall of the passageway being capable of contracting under the influence of water pressure surrounding the passageway, supporting the flexible passageway with its outlet resting on the underwater surface to receive the settable material, supplying the settable material to the flexible passageway in an average amount per unit of time which provides a flow therethrough less than the maximum cross section of the passageway and with the water pressure contracting the passageway about the settable material, and movably displacing the flexible passageway so that its outlet moves over the underwater surface to receive the settable material.
2. A method, as set forth in claim 1, characterized therein by heating the settable material as it passes downwardly through the flexible passageway.
3. A device for the underwater deposition of settable materials, such as concrete mortar, asphalt, and the like, comprising a movably displaceable support structure, a pouring tube dependently supported from said support structure and forming a passageway having an inlet opening at its upper end and an outlet opening at its lower end for conveying the settable material to an underwater deposition location, said pouring tube comprising flexible walls capable of contracting and closing the passageway through said pouring tube under the effect of surrounding water pressure, and a supply device for delivering the settable material into the inlet opening of said pouring tube.
4. A device, as set forth in claim 3, characterized therein by means for adjustably suspending said pouring tube from said support structure.
5. A device, as set forth in claim 3, characterized therein that said pouring tube comprises a plurality of tubular members having flexible walls suspended in side by side relationship from said support structure with the outlet openings from said bags disposed in adjacent relationship for forming an elongated narrow slot-like outlet for the settable material at the location of underwater deposition.
6. A device, asset forth in claim 5, an elongated member extending transversely of the direction between the inlets and outlets of said tubular members and positioned adjacent to and attached to the lower ends of said tubular members for securing them together for providing the elongated narrow slot-like outlet.
7. A device, as set forth in claim 6, characterized therein by means for individually adjustably supporting said tubular members.
8. A device, as set forth in claim 3, characterized therein that said pouring tube being in the shape of a laterally elongated flattened envelope, and the opposed flexible walls of said pouring tube having connected openings therethrough spaced from the inlet and outlet openings to the passageway and isolated from the passageway through said pouring tube for admitting water through the openings when said pouring tube is suspended downwardly in the working position through a body of water.
9. A device, as set forth in claim 8, characterized therein a plurality of flexible partitions located at the outlet end of the passageway through said pouring member with said flexible partitions extending in the direction of flow through the passageway and connected to the opposite flexible walls of said pouring tube for dividing the outlet opening into a number of side by side sections.
10. A device, as set forth in claim 3, characterized therein by a rigid tubular shell enveloping and spaced outwardly from a portion of the axial length of said pouring tube, wall means secured to the opposite ends of said shell for closing-off the space between said shell and wall means and said pouring tube, and an inlet provided to the space within said tubular shell for admitting a controlled pressure source into the space.
11. A device, as set forth in claim 3, characterized therein that the exterior surface of said flexible walls of said pouring tube having a layer of heat insulating material thereon.
12. A device, as set forth in claim 11, characterized therein that the interior surface of said flexible wall having a layer of heat conducting material and an electrically heatable intermediate layer being positioned between the exterior surface and the interior surface of said flexible walls.
13. A device, as set forth in claim 3, characterized therein that said support structure comprises a pontoon movable in the direction of deposition of the settable material on the underwater surface, a bridge supported on said pontoon, and said supply device being movably supported on said bridge for movement transversely of the direction of movement of said pontoon for the deposition of the settable material into said pouring tube.
14. A device, as set forth in claim 13, characterized therein by at least two posts secured to and extending upwardly from' said pontoon, means for supporting said bridge from said posts for adjusting the height of said bridge relative to said pontoon.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES The Oil and Gas Journal, June 5, 1961, p. 54.
J. KARL BELL, Primary Examiner