Patent application title: Coffer dam for servicing marine structures
Gregory B. Burkhardt (Lusby, MD, US)
IPC8 Class: AE02D1904FI
Class name: Hydraulic and earth engineering means to expose a normally wetted surface,e.g., cofferdam, etc. connectable sections
Publication date: 2010-07-29
Patent application number: 20100189503
A coffer dam for use in maintenance and repair of support pylons for
marine structures such as piers, wharfs, and drilling platforms.
Insulated bottom, side walls and roof members form an enclosure that can
be heated, or cooled, to provide a good work environment and can protect
against undesirable condensation that could adversely effect chemicals
and coating materials. A grated floor member allows for debris to be
collected and a vacuum system is used for proper disposal, and an
improved seal protects against water leaking into the enclosure.
1. A coffer dam for use in providing maintenance and repair of a support
member for a marine platform, said coffer dam comprising a plurality of
wall segments, a bottom portion and segmented roof portions for creating
a closed work space enclosed by said wall segments, means for securing
said segments together about the support member, and sealing means below
said coffer dam for keeping water from entering into said enclosed work
2. A coffer dam as defined in claim 1 wherein said sealing means is comprised of arcuate closed cell foam members for receiving said bottom portion of said coffer dam, and inflatable tubular means for forming a seal with the support member.
3. A coffer dam as defined in claim 1 wherein said wall segments, said bottom portion and said segmented roof portions each contain insulation material for providing climate control of said closed work space.
4. A coffer dam as defined in claim 3 including means for selectively heating or cooling said closed work space.
5. A coffer dam as defined in claim 1 including a grated floor member having openings for allowing debris to pass therethrough and be collected at said bottom portion.
6. A coffer dam as defined in claim 5 including vacuum means for collecting and removing said debris from said bottom portion.
This invention relates to an improved coffer dam or work enclosure
for servicing marine structures, having priority based upon U.S.
Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/148,037, filed on Jan. 28, 2009, and
is an improvement over devices such as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,991,996
granted on Feb. 12, 1991.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
It is known to position a segmented coffer dam about a piling, or pylon, or leg, hereafter referred to as a supporting member for a marine structure positioned in and over water in lakes, rivers, or oceans. Such structures include wharfs, piers, drilling platforms and the like, and the supporting members may be comprised of wood, concrete, metal beams and the like. The coffer dam is located partially under water and partially above the water line and secured to the supporting member by suitable clamps and seals. After sealing the work enclosure against inflow of water, water contained within the coffer dam during assembly is evacuated and thereby provides a suitable work environment for accommodating a workman during protecting, repairing, refurbishing, coating, painting, and/or metalizing the supporting member in, over and under the splash zone.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention includes enhancements over similar prior art devices in that the enclosed working area is provided with insulated walls, ceiling and bottom, and climate control apparatus such as a heater and/or air conditioner for providing a comfortable work area and for maintaining proper humidity levels to preclude sweating of the interior walls that could interfere with paints and other chemicals being applied to the supporting structure. A debris evacuation system is provided for eliminating scrapings of rust, paint chips, damaged material, sand from sandblasting, water from cleaning, and other debris to pass through a grated flooring to a collection area from which it can be periodically vacuumed for proper disposal thereby eliminating contamination of the surrounding water.
The present invention also includes an improved sealing apparatus for cooperating with the supporting structure, including a combination of closed cell foam sealing material, pneumatic or hydraulic tubing and structure for securely holding the tubing in proper position.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a segmented coffer dam prior to its being positioned about and secured to a supporting member of a marine structure.
FIG. 1A is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 1A-1A of FIG. 1 and shows insulation contained with the wall portion.
FIG. 2 illustrates the coffer dam in closed position, surrounding a supporting member located for supporting a portion of a pier, or the like.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view, taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and shows segmented ceiling or panel members for closing the top of the coffer dam and containing insulation therein for allowing the interior to be climate controlled.
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view through a lower clamp and seal member circumscribing the support member and forming a seal between the support member and the bottom of the coffer dam.
FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 2 showing a portion of a pier or other marine structure and having climate control apparatus and vacuum apparatus located upon the pier.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
As is shown in FIG. 1, a coffer dam, generally indicated by the numeral 10, is comprised of a pair of wall segments 12 and 14 which can be closed and secured together for forming a work enclosure having a tapered bottom portion 16 and a grated floor member 18 located above bottom portion 16 to provide a stable surface for a workman to stand upon. Grated floor member 18 includes a plurality of openings 20 for allowing debris to pass therethrough and be collected upon the bottom portion 16 for later disposal.
FIG. 1A shows a fragmentary portion of wall segment 12 to indicate that wall segments 12 and 14, as well as bottom portion 16 contain insulation 22, preferably closed cell foam, so that the space within the completed work enclosure can provide a controlled working climate.
FIG. 2 shows coffer dam 10 in a closed condition encircling a support member 24 that is shown supporting a portion of a platform 26, such as a pier, or wharf, or drilling platform, bridge, or the like.
The top of coffer dam 10 is closed by segmented roof portions 30 which, as best shown in FIG. 3, includes 3 segments which are provided with insulation 32 for complementing insulation 22 in the wall segments 12 and 14. It is to be understood that one or more roof portions 30 can be temporarily removed to provide access for a workman and/or equipment and then be secured in place to complete the enclosure of coffer dam 10.
As is best shown in FIG. 4, sealing apparatus, generally indicated by the numeral 40, is comprised of arcuate sections 42 and 44 which encircle support member 24. It is to be understood that sections 42 and 44 may be positioned on and secured to support member 24 by a diver and held in place by tubular members 46 and 48 that can be inflated through a suitable valve member 50. Tubular members 46 and 48 are held in proper locations by upper and lower parallel bars or pipes 52 which are welded or otherwise secured to clamping flanges 54. Sealing apparatus 40 also includes a pair of arcuate closed cell foam members 56 that encircle support member 24 and are supported upon a shelf 58 provided by flanges 54. After the sealing apparatus 40 is secured to the support member 24, as shown in FIG. 1, it is closed about the support member 24 and lowered into contact with the sealing apparatus 40 such that a lower tubular portion 60, of coffer dam 10 is impaled upon foam members 56 thus forming a seal that precludes entrance of water into coffer dam 10. As is shown in FIG. 4, additional sealing is provided by arcuate tubular members that are inflatable through one or more valves 64.
As is shown in FIG. 5, ancillary equipment can be placed upon the platform 26. A heating and/or air conditioning unit 70 is provided for heating and or cooling the interior of coffer dam 10 through a fluid line 72 for the comfort of workmen and also for precluding condensation which could interfere with chemicals and coating materials used to treat support member 24. In a similar fashion, vacuum apparatus 74 is provided with a suction hose 76 for retrieving debris that falls through grated floor member 20 and is collected upon bottom portion 16. As an alternative, the equipment 70 and 74 can be positioned upon a work barge or boat that can be anchored or tied up adjacent to the support member 24 and coffer dam 10.
The illustrated embodiments of the invention have been set forth only for the purposes of example and should not be taken as limiting the invention as defined in the appended claimed subject matter.
Patent applications by Gregory B. Burkhardt, Lusby, MD US