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Publication numberUS3922861 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1975
Filing dateJun 19, 1974
Priority dateJun 21, 1973
Also published asCA1026957A1, DE2429868A1
Publication numberUS 3922861 A, US 3922861A, US-A-3922861, US3922861 A, US3922861A
InventorsAndre Grihangne
Original AssigneeAndre Grihangne
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floating marine barrage
US 3922861 A
Abstract
An inflatable marine barrage having an upper buoyancy chamber and lower ballasting based on an inflatable tube of inverted tear drop cross-sections. Means for inflating and venting the tube can be remotely controlled for effecting raising or lowering of the barrage for bringing into use or rendering it inoperative.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Grihangne 1 1 Dec. 2, 1975 [54] FLOATING MARINE BARRAGE 3,613,377 10/1971 Zaugg 61/1 F 3,641.771 2/1972 S andzlu 61/1 F [76] Inventor: Andre Gflhangne- 1861mm? 3,779,020 12/1973 lVi uramatsU ct al. 61/1 F Victor Hugo, 75016 Paris, France 3792,5139 2/1974 Sayles 61/1 F [22] Filed: June 19, 1974 [2]} Appl, No; 480,868 Primary Examiner-Jacob Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & S t [30] Foreign Application Priority Data cm 0 June 21 1973 France 73.22756 May 2, 1974 France 74.15287 ABSTRACT U-S. An inflatable marine barrage having an pp y [5 lilt- Cl. l 1 y chamber and lower ballasting based on an i fl [58] held of Search 61/1 114/53 able tube of inverted tear drop cross-sections. Means 114/54 239/562 210/242 2] for inflating and venting the tube can be remotely controlled for effecting raising or lowering of the barrage {56] References cued for bringing into use or rendering it inoperative.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.491023 1/1970 McCormic 61/6 X 7 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 1 of 7 3,922,861

Patent Dec. 2,1975 Sheet20f7 3,922,861

US. Patent Dec. 2,1975 Sheet3of7 3,922,861

U.S. Patent Dec 2, 1975 Sh cet40f 7 "3,922,861

FIG. 5

US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet5 of7' 3,922,861

FIG. 7

US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 6 of? US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 7 of7 3,922,861

FLOATING MARINE BARRAGE The present invention relates to an inflatable marine anti-pollution barrage for confining floating slicks of hydrocarbons.

It is known to confine polluting slicks, more particularly of crude oil, using floating barrages comprised of identical segments which are tied to one another and formed of a rigid floating or inflatable element to the lower portion of which ballast is secured.

Now, the various modes of constructing these barrages result in high manufacturing costs which limit both their use in several areas of the world and the preventing of distribution of intervention equipment in the areas which are subject to frequent pollution. Moreover, the designs used present difficulties of transporting launching and withdrawing the barrages.

According to the present invention there is provided a floating marine barrage of adjustable draught comprising a single, ballasted, flexible, tube having a crosssection which exhibits a buoyancy chamber which assumes the shape of an inverted tear drop with an upper buoyance compartment and a narrower ballasted lower end, and at least one air inlet at one of the ends of the tube, whereby the amount of air blown into the interior of the tube enables its immersion to be adjusted.

The production of such as assembly is particularly economical since its manufacture from a single web of airtight flexible material closed edge to edge on itself necessitates only the absolute minimum of assembly operations.

By virtue of its very composition, the barrage according to the invention can be stored by winding it on a horizontal drum. Its ability to float is obtained by blowing air into the end by which it is uncoiled from the drum, for example under the action of the traction exerted by a tug-boat in the course of launching the barrage which can thus be extremely fast. The barrage can be retracted by means of the same drum while the air trapped in the tube is gradually expelled during the winding up operation.

The tear drop equilibrium shape assumed by the air tube depends both on the amount of air blown into the barrage and the linear density of the ballast secured to the lower edge. Thus the user has the possibility of regulating the height of the emergent portion of the barrage and consequently its draught, thereby enabling optimum adjustment of the device to be achieved having regard to the state of the water level and the intensity of the wind prevailing in the locality.

Preferably the barrage is equipped with metallic ballast plates which are regularly spaced and positioned in sandwich formation at the joint of the two edges of the flexible sheet constituting the structure. As a result, upon inflation, the flat deflated section of the barrage progressively transforms to firstly the shape of an inverted tear drop and then the form of a tennis racket during the launching operation. Inflation is achieved by means of a fan installed on the tug which pulls the free end of the barrage. The upper portion balloons" under the pressure exerted by the inflating air and forms the float while the lower portion is pulled by the ballast to be progressively flattened because of the hydrostatic pressure gradient and thereby forms the vertically submerged barrier.

The longitudinal buoyancy stability of the barrage may be obtained by uniformly spaced baffles which partition the ballooning buoyancy chamber portion of the structure into compartments and permit free communication between the compartments at the lower portion of the baffles, and allow circulation of the air blown over all the length of the barrage.

The barrage may suitably further comprise a flexible apron interposed between the said tube and the ballasting, this apron incorporating a ballasted traction chain or belt and the inflation pressure of the buoyancy chamber being regulated by communicating said conduit with the external water via a certain number of orifices in the lower wall of said conduit and each opening into a respective bellows attached to the wall of the tube, those bellows being closed at their upper ends and open at their lower ends.

According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a floating marine barrage including an elongate buoyance chamber, and a venting device for expelling air from the buoyancy chamber to enable the barrage to sink to the bottom when the venting device is open and make possible its surfacing and stabilisation when the venting device is closed, said venting device comprising: a succession of single or multiple orifices in the upper wall of each of the compartments of the buoyancy chamber and a flexible, flattenable pipe which closes the orifices when the pipe is inflated and opens the orifices when the pipe is deflated.

Other characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better understood from reading the following description of exemplary embodiments and referring to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view, partially sectional, of an end portion of the barrage placed flat and deflated, and comprising the connection of the air inflation tube;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a run of the barrage taken along line II--II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2a is a sectional view of a run of the barrage along line II-II when the barrage floats after air has been blown into t he inflation conduit;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view along line III-III of FIG. 1 when the barrage is placed flat and deflated;

FIG. 3a is a sectional view along line III-III of FIG. 1 when the barrage floats after air has been blown into the inflation conduit;

FIG. 4 is a view from above and in partial section, showing the barrage of FIG. 1 when floating after air has been blown into the inflation conduit;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view with portions broken away showing one embodiment of a compartmented section of barrage equipped with the inflation device, the device for adjusting the pressure in the compartments, and the two traction belts, with the lower belt ballasted;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view with portions broken away of a further embodiment equipped with chains instead of belts and further provided with the device for expelling air from the floatation conduit from the purposes of immersing the barrage;

FIG. 7 is an illustration of the mode of anchoring the end of the barrage to a quay;

FIG. 8 is an illustration of the disposition of the barrage used to confine a possible polluting slick; and

FIG. 9 is a vertical section of FIG. 8.

FIGS. 1, 2, 2a, 3, 3a and 4 show a barrage according to the invention which is comprissed of a coated fabric 1 folded on itself and having the edges 2 and 2a rendered integral in a suitable manner such as by gluing, welding or sewing, depending on the nature of the coating material which may be an elastomer or a heatweldable film, Small metal ballast plates 3 are set into the joint 4 of the edges 2 and 2a.

At the end of the barrage according to the invention traction rings 5 and 5a are fastened to the flexible envelope l by glued, welded or sewn straps 6. These rings are used for a suitable device towing the barrage and for anchoring the barrage when it has been positioned.

This end of the barrage is extended by a triangle of fabric which forms the opening 7 for the inflation pipe 8.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2a, 4, 5 and 6, the portion 9 of the barrage which balloons upon inflation comprises baffles 10 obtained by local integration of the two flatly superimposed folds of the envelope 1. These baffles serve to separate compartments l1 and are regularly spaced along the entire length of the barrage at the upper portions of the compartments, the intercommunication of the compartments at their lower portions being ensured by passages 12 which open as the inflation air enters the barrage from the pipe 8.

This arrangement ensures the horizontal stabilising of the barrage by ensuring distribution of the buoyancy over the entire length of the barrage.

The fabric 1 forming the flexible structure of the barrage is:

either a fabric of synthetic polyamide or polyester fibres coated with elastomers used in accordance with known principles by cold gluing, sewing or vulcanising,

or a fabric of synthetic fibres coated with a heatweldable material which, whenever the conditions of use permit, has the advantage that assembly can be made by a rapid and inexpensive method such as high frequency welding or hot air welding.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a barrage according to the invention which comprises a coated fabric 1 folded and welded together at 18 so as to form a buoyancy chamber 9 and the barrier 13. At the lower portion of the buoyancy chamber 9 is a flexible tube 14 which feeds air through the orifices 15 into the compartments 11 of the buoyancy chamber. A traction belt or chain 16 is disposed at the upper portion of the barrier 13 in a duct 17 formed by a flap of the fabric 1 between the welds 19 and 19 of the fabric. A ballasted belt or chain 16a is disposed in a hem at the lower portion of the barrier 13.

Staggered orifices 20 along the buoyancy chamber 9 each open into the upper portion of resepctive bellows 21 which are welded to the envelope 1 and are closed at their upper portions and open at their lower ends 22. These bellows ensure the regulation of the air pressure in the conduit to a value determined by the hydrostatic pressure prevailing at their lower ends.

FIG. 6 shows an alternative form of barrage according to the invention which comprises, in addition to the devices illustrated in FIG. 5, an embodiment of a device for controlling the submerging of the barrage. This device comprises a flattenable flexible tube 23 which passes along the upper portion of the buoyancy chamber 9 at the top of T-shaped baffles 10 compartmenting the buoyancy chamber. Upwardly of this tube are orifices 24 in the envelope 1 which are shut by pressurisation of the air within the tube 23 causing the tube to contact intimately the contours of the orifices 24.

FIG. 7 shows in detail the anchoring of the barrage end to a quay 25. A pipe 26 is vertically secured along the wall of the quay by fastenings 27 and 27a disposed above the high water mark level. In active state the barrage is held vertical by virtue of rings 28 amd 28a threaded around the pipe 26 and integral with the traction chains or belts 16 and 16a which slidingly permit the barrage to rise and fall with the tide or the swell between the high water level 36 and the lowest water level 37. A cable 33, having one end hooked to a ballast resting on the bottom or to a suspended deadweight 30 and the other end secured to a tensioning system secured to the upper portion of the pipe 26, acts as an extension of the vertical guiding function of the pipe 26 down to the sea or river bed, the lower portion of the pipe 36 being to this end equipped with a conical finger 35.

Flexible hoses l4 and 23 are mounted on an automatic coiling drum 38 so as to follow the vertical movements of the barrage.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the disposition of the barrage according to the invention to ensure that a polluting slick is confined. A tanker 29 moored at its loading or unloading station is surrounded by the barrage which is anchored by its two ends to the quay 25 as described in FIG. 7 and retained at the bottom by deadweights 30 by means of chains 31. The two flexible hoses l4 and 23, which respectively control inflation of the barrage and its emersion on the one hand, and its immersion on the other hand, extend from a handling station 32 (FIG. 9). Sailing of the tanker necessitates removal of the barrage. Reduction of the pressure in the flexible hose 23 enables the air in the buoyancy chamber 9 to escape via the orifices 24. Gradually as the barrage sinks under the effect of the chains or weighted belts 16 and 16a the air is expelled to atmosphere by the increasing hydrostatic pressure exterted on the envelope 1 of the buoyancy chamber. Under the effect of the two chains or ballasted belts 16 and 16a the barrage will lie flat on the bottom, totally evacuated, and be unaffected by any possible current of ebb or flood tide or the wake of the screws of passing vessels.

The barrage according to the invention permits remote control of the barrage between the two extreme situations namely (a) lying flat on the bottom of the sea, or (b) floating in operative state.

I claim:

1. A floatable marine barrage including an elongate buoyancy chamber, and vent means comprising means defining a succession of orifices in the upper portion of said buoyancy chamber for expelling air from the buoyancy chamber when the vent means is open, a flexible inflatable pipe for closing the orifices when inflated and for opening the orifices when deflated, and means for positioning said pipe adjacent said succession of orifices.

2. The combination of a marine barrage as set forth in claim 1, with guide mans, and means slidably connecting an end of said barrage to said guide means thus permitting the barrage toslide between an upper, active position and a lower inoperative position. I

3. A floatable marine barrage of adjustable draft comrpising: a single flexible tube having a cross-section in the shape of an inverted tear drop, with an upper buoyancy chamber, ballast means in the lower end of said tube, at least one inlet at one of the ends of said tube for admitting inflation air into the interior of said tube whereby the extent of its immersion may be adjusted, means defining a plurality of orifices in the lower portion of said tube, and bellows means attached to said tube, said bellows means having closed upper portions and open lower ends, each said orifice opening into the upper portionof a respective bellows means to enable the inflation pressure of said buoyancy chamber to be controlled in response to the hydrostatic pressure prevailing at the lower end of said fellows means.

4. A floatable marine barrage of adjustable draft comprising: a single flexible tube having a cross-section in the shape of an inverted tear drop, with an upper buoyancy chamber, ballast means in the lower end of said tube, at least one inlet at one of the ends of said tube for admitting inlation air into the interior of said tube whereby the extent of its immersion may be adjusted, baffle means distributed along the length of said tube and spaced from the top of said buoyancy chamber to define therewith a plurality of passages and further to define compartments to ensure uniformity of immersion and horizontal stability of said tube, said baffle means comprising integration of discrete portions of opposed internal surfaces of said tube, means for evacuating air confined in said buoyancy chamber to enable it to sink, said evacuation means including further means defining a succession of orifices in said passages above said baffle means, and a flexible hose extending along in said passages whereby inflating and deflating said hose controls closing and opening, respectively, of said orifices.

5. A floatable marine barrage comprising: a flexible tube having a cross-section in the shape of an inverted tear drop and defining at least one buoyancy chamber,

ballast means in the lower end of said tube, means for admitting inflation air into the interior of said tube whereby the extent of its immersion may be adjusted, means defining at least one orifice in the lower portion of the wall of said tube, at least one bellows means attached to the wall of the barrage and having a closed upper end and an open lower end, said orifice opening into the upper portion of said bellows means to enable the inflation pressure of the buoyancy chamber to be controlled in response to the hydrostatic pressure prevailing at said open lower end of said bellows means.

6. A floatable marine barrage as set forth in claim 5, and including baffle means distributed along the length of the tube to define inflatable compartments each acting as a buoyancy chamber, means for evacuating air confined in said buoyancy chambers, said evacuation means including further means defining a succession of orifices in that portion of the wall of aid buoyancy chambers remote from the narrow lower end of the connection, said orifices being formed above said baffle means, said baffle means being spaced from the top wall of said buoyancy chambers to define therewith a plurality of passages, and a flexible hose threaded into said passages whereby inflating or deflating said hose effects shutting or opening of the evacuation orifices. 7. The combination of a marine barrage as set forth in claim 5, with guide means, and means slidable connecting an end of said barrage to said guide means thus permitting the barrage to slide between an upper, ac-

tive position and a lower inoperative position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3491023 *Dec 1, 1967Jan 20, 1970Submersible Systems IncProcess for containment and deflection of aqueous surface pollutants
US3613377 *Jul 30, 1969Oct 19, 1971Ramon Earl ZauggMultichamber floating barrier
US3641771 *Aug 14, 1969Feb 15, 1972David M JohnsonApparatus and method for confining and collecting oil floating on a water surface
US3779020 *Mar 14, 1972Dec 18, 1973Bridgestone Tire Co LtdImmersible oil fence assembly
US3792589 *Jan 17, 1972Feb 19, 1974Chevron ResFloating barrier
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3998060 *Apr 14, 1976Dec 21, 1976Paul PreusBarrier for water carried pollutants
US4084380 *Jun 3, 1976Apr 18, 1978Ab SjuntorpOil fence
US4129989 *Apr 19, 1977Dec 19, 1978Conwed CorporationPolyethylene foam
US4280438 *Jun 6, 1980Jul 28, 1981Robert JacksonBoat hull anti-fouling shroud
US4484836 *Jul 26, 1982Nov 27, 1984Bailard James APneumatic spar sediment control curtain
US4693200 *Nov 27, 1985Sep 15, 1987Noble Boyd EnterpisesApparatus for enclosing a boat hull
US5064309 *Jul 12, 1990Nov 12, 1991Dickie Gerald MDockside spill containment system
US5102261 *Jan 16, 1990Apr 7, 1992Peratrovich, Nottingham & Drage, Inc.Floating containment boom
US5154537 *May 28, 1991Oct 13, 1992The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyBarrier curtain
US5310283 *Nov 16, 1990May 10, 1994Berg Marine A/SFloating barrage
US5312204 *Aug 24, 1992May 17, 1994Oil Stop, Inc.Floating barrier apparatus
US5346329 *Feb 19, 1993Sep 13, 1994Oil Stop, Inc.Floating barrier method and apparatus
US6854927 *Sep 30, 2003Feb 15, 2005Kunio MiyazakiContainment boom
US7134807 *Mar 31, 2005Nov 14, 2006Gunderboom, Inc.Submersible boom gate
US7775171 *Jan 21, 2003Aug 17, 2010Albany International Corp.Flexible fluid containment vessel featuring a keel-like seam
EP1735226A1 *Mar 31, 2005Dec 27, 2006Gunderboom, Inc.Submersible boom gate
WO1991000393A1 *Jun 19, 1990Dec 29, 1990Roulunds Fabriker AsFloating boom
WO1991007546A1 *Nov 16, 1990May 30, 1991Berg Marine AsFloating barrage
WO1992001119A1 *Jul 12, 1991Jan 23, 1992Gerald M DickieDockside spill containment system
WO2003080938A1 *Mar 27, 2003Oct 2, 2003Parmann ChristianDevice of a fender system
Classifications
U.S. Classification405/64, 114/54, 405/68
International ClassificationE02B15/06, E02B15/04
Cooperative ClassificationE02B15/0835, E02B15/0814, E02B15/08, E02B15/0864
European ClassificationE02B15/08, E02B15/08F, E02B15/08J2, E02B15/08C