Rotork provides bespoke solution for London’s Carpenter’s Lock Restoration project


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Rotork provides bespoke solution for London’s Carpenter’s Lock Restoration project

The Carpenter’s Road Lock in Newham, London consists of the only double radial lock gates in the United Kingdom. Rotork’s IQ intelligent actuators with MTW multi-turn worm gearboxes play a critical role which enables this lock to operate.

The lock is located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and incorporates radial gates each weighing 14 tonnes that rise above the passing canal boats to allow entry and exit.

The Rotork actuators and their gearboxes have been installed to raise and lower the 14 tonne rising radial lock gates at each end of the lock. The actuators drives two cable drums which are connected to the counterbalanced lock gate and are responsible for raising and lowering them to control water levels and to allow canal boats to easily travel through them.

Although Carpenter’s Lock was considered revolutionary at the time of its construction in 1934, by the late 1960s it ceased to receive further investment. In 2017, the Canal & River Trust invested £1.9 million into restoring it for the modern day, with Rotork playing a critical role alongside M&E Designer, KGAL Consulting Engineers Ltd and Civil Designer, Arcadis.

Rotork was able to provide a bespoke solution, involving an actuator and gearbox installed with an electromagnetic spring-applied brake attached at the back end of the gearbox. When powered on the brake is disengaged with its internal springs compressed allowing the output shaft to turn, when powered off or if the actuator loses power, the springs are released and the brake activated, meaning the gate will not fall. This fail-safe function is critical, as it removes the risk of the gate closing in error, which would pose a serious threat to those on board any canal boats passing through.

The IQ actuators with MTW gearboxes and electromagnetic brakes were selected for this application as they were the only way to install an electric actuator which could also provide fail-safe functionality. This ensured that the actuator was able to meet the standards of safety and performance which were required.

Rotork’s IQ range of intelligent electric actuators monitor the actuator output position at all times, even without power and have a torque range of 10 to 3,000 Nm (7 to 2,200 lbf.ft) and when combined with an MTW range multi-turn worm gear box, that torque range increases up to 162,000 Nm (119,000 lbf.ft). With double O-ring sealing they are watertight to IP66/IP68 (7 m for 72 hrs).

Read more about the IQ range and MTW gearboxes.

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