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Linkflote pontoons

Linkflote pontoons are versatile, road transportable and easily handled modular flotation pontoons used for both temporary and permanent marine infrastructure, transportation applications, civil engineering and marine developments across the globe.

Manufactured at our facilities in the North West of the UK, we are the only manufacturer of this type of pontoon unit in the world. Our Linkflote units, which are fully compatible with existing Uniflote pontoons, are sold and hired to a range of customers both in the UK and overseas.

Using location lugs and couplers, fixed to the sides and ends of each Linkflote, our units can be easily connected to form almost any pontoon shape, configuration and/or specific requirement. Linkflote pontoons can be easily formatted for use as marine work platforms, ferries, barges, causeways, floating and swing bridges, access ramps and landing stages. Linkflote units can also be used with panel bridges and a range of standard accessories to suit a wide variety of applications, including floating roads with our bespoke road deck units.

Linkflotes’ modular design and robust construction provides flexibility and strength, which combine to give a long and effective working life. Whatever the application, units can be assembled to provide an effective and economical solution. 

Linkflote applications

VolkerBrooks can provide advice on Linkflote configurations and applications. All buoyancy and stability checks, specific to an application.

Linkflote is used for a wide range of applications; some examples of which are detailed below.

Rafts and platforms

Linkflote pontoons can be easily configured to meet the most varied of needs. Whatever the application, units can be assembled to provide an effective and economical solution. For example, a simple square or H shape configuration should be appropriate, when producing a crane platform for all round cranage. For pile driving or dredging applications, a U shape may be more appropriate. Other applications may require a hollow square or rectangle configuration.

Irrespective of configuration, all rafts and platforms are constructed using the basic Linkflote unit, which ensures complete stability. Buoyancy checks are kept as simple as possible to allow the most suitable configuration of platform or raft to be easily and quickly selected.

Ferries and barges

Linkflote shore loading ferries can be independently powered with propulsion units or towed using either underwater or overhead wire rope and shore-based winches. Ship to shore and offloading ferries can be constructed with ramps at the bow end and propulsion units at the stern.

VolkerBrooks maintains a hire fleet of workboats and winches that can be used for the movement of ferries and barges.

Landing stages and causeways

With the simple addition of decking, mooring bollards and ramps, a wide range of landing stages and causeways can be formed using Linkflote units.

Linkflote landing stages can be constructed in any size or shape to suit customer requirements. Where heavy loads are placed on a long landing stage it may be necessary to fit articulating connections to reduce bending stresses.

By fitting ramps at each end of the pontoon’s landing stages and causeways, vehicles can drive straight across without difficulty. Depending on customer requirements steel or timber decking/ mats may be used, to spread loads.

Linkflote specification

Basic Linkflote Unit

Each Linkflote has two watertight bulkheads, which divide the units into three equal compartments for safety and to allow ballasting and/or trimming. The bulkheads also serve to significantly increase the rigidity of the Linkflote unit. Access to each compartment is via a watertight hatch in the Linkflote deck.

Strong sledge-type runners, fitted to the base of the Linkflote, assist with skidding the units on shore and lifting points are provided, as an integral part of each unit, to facilitate handling by crane.

The standard Linkflote is constructed with steel gunwales, standing 80mm proud of the deck plates, and which facilitate the fitting of a removable timber deck, hand railing, winches, saddles and bollards.

The deck of the standard unit is constructed from 5mm steel plate. Chequer plate or reinforced steel decks can be provided to meet specific customer requirements.

Dimensions

Each Linkflote unit is comprised of a robust, all welded structural steel frame, with steel skin plates and a reinforced deck. A standard Linkflote unit is:

Length - 5,272mm

Width - 2,428mm

Depth - 1,230mm

Weight – 4,000kg (approx)

1,840mm deep Linkflote pontoons and special units can also be manufactured to order.

Load support

Standard Linkflote units will support a uniformly distributed load of 95kN whilst maintaining a freeboard of 225mm. The maximum permissible uniformly distributed deck load on each Linkflote is 20kN/m2. To ensure these loads can be safely applied to a particular Linkflote arrangement, stability analysis and buoyancy checks are carried out on proposed deck arrangements and plant layouts.

VolkerBrooks can provide advice on the adequacy of units, to resist different loading conditions. Whatever the application our Linkflote units can be assembled to give an effective and economical solution, irrespective of configuration.

Transportation

Linkflote units and equipment can be readily transported on standard commercial vehicles. Once off loaded they can be easily connected in the water without mechanical assistance, thanks to the precision engineered close tolerance coupling system. Once assembled the full Linkflote pontoon can be towed or self-propelled to its working location. Standard Linkflote units can be transported four at a time on a standard 12m trailer with Linkflote spud units two at a time.

Linkflote ancillary equipment

Articulating connectors - Where a long raft or block of Linkflote units are coupled together as a causeway, or similar floating bridge structure, articulating connectors are incorporated to prevent bending moments being generated; when the structure is loaded.

Decks - Where mobile plant or vehicles are to traffic the Linkflote deck, timber decking should be fitted to distribute the load. Each Linkflote decking is comprised of two pre-assembled mats.  The top surface of the timber mats stands 50mm above gunwale level. End and side junction mats are used to bridge the gap between the Linkflotes creating a deck which is level throughout the ferry or platform.

Decking is also available to fit over spaces created by Linkflote inter-connectors. Special decking can be manufactured to meet specific customer requirements.

Inter-connectors - Inter-connectors help increase pontoon stability and reduce the number of Linkflote units required on floating rafts and platforms, where increased buoyancy is not required. Various inter-connector sizes are available, giving the flexibility to create a gap between Linkflote units of anything up to 3,600mm.

Linkflote ramps - Linkflote ramp units share the same robust design and construction as pontoon units and can be connected to the ends or sides of the basic Linkflote unit. Ramp connectors allow movement of the ramps and facilitate shore loading and access, whilst accommodating a wide range of tidal heights; relative to the shore or bank.

Linkflote scow ends - These strong and robust units are used to reduce water resistance on the flat sides and ends of a Linkflote pontoon. When used on a pier or ferry application the 30° angular shape deflects the water flow under the Linkflote, aiding buoyancy.

Ramps and scow ends do not have internal compartments; the whole interior is served by a single watertight hatch in the deck, which has the same couplings as a standard Linkflote unit.

Spud units and poles - Based on the basic Linkflote unit, spud pontoons are constructed with a central sleeve opening which accommodates a spud pole. Used in pairs on Linkflote assemblies, spud units are particularly useful as an alternative to anchors, when operating floating platforms in shallow waters. Spud poles are generally lifted using onboard winches.

Winches - Winches can be fitted to Linkflote rafts and platforms and used for mooring or operational requirements. Winches can be hand or air operated and specific configurations can be provided.

For further information please email enquiries@volkerbrooks.co.uk or complete a marine equipment enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch.

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