Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation has supplied a specially designed Gina gasket (G110-80) to the floating dry dock which protects the renowned museum ship, Pommern, located in the Mariehamn Maritime Museum in the Åland Islands, Finland. Built in 1903, Pommern is the only four masted steel merchant barque in the world left in its original state. After sailing for over 70 years, the ship has provided the centerpiece to the museum since 1957.
Trelleborg was tasked by EE Engineering, who constructed the dry dock where the ship is now housed, to provide a purpose-built leak-free alternative to a standard D-fender. The option chosen was the Gina gasket. Only one of this type of gasket is required as opposed to several gaskets needed in the D-fender to obtain the same result as the smaller Gina gasket. In addition to this, Trelleborg also supplied its low friction, wear resistant UHMW-PE fender panels, which guide the floating dry dock door into its recess before the Gina gasket is compressed and closes off the dry dock.
Emil Engblom, CEO at EE Engineering, commented: “The Pommern is widely considered a symbol for Mariehamn and its maritime heritage. Therefore, there has been significant investment in the ship’s refurbishment and preservation. Central to that plan is the construction of a dry dock to safely and effectively moor the ship at the western harbor of Mariehamn.
“It was imperative that a manufacturer was specified that could provide a solution, with a proven track record, to successfully seal the dry dock door. Trelleborg approached the challenge head-on and proved to be a very experienced and trustworthy partner.”
Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation, commented: “Our custom Gina gasket provided the ideal solution as it ensured a watertight closure, greater tolerance bandwidth and low jacking force due to its various levels of hardness. It also facilitated less fixation materials on the dry dock door and offered a simple, hassle-free installation process.”
To seal the dry dock door, the Gina gasket is made from natural rubber combined with various levels of hardness to accommodate for the variation in hydrostatic pressure and is supplied as a U- frame. The fender panels were faced with Trelleborg’s ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene UHMW-PE, a first choice for this and other heavy duty applications. It combines very low friction with excellent impact strength and a wear resistance superior to that of steel.