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Not a British Steel concept


We must clarify elements of your article What would you do with £1,000,000 (NCE 6 January), concerning the Bi Steel dual composite sandwich. This is not, as your article implies 'a British Steel concept', but was developed in 1986 by ourselves.

The structural form was offered as alternative design for the Conwy Immersed Tube Tunnel and is fully described in a paper given by us and our partners in that project Sir Alexander Gibb at the 1990 ICE Immersed Tunnel Conference in Manchester.

We understand that any patented inventive steps made by British Steel relate to the fabrication of the dual composite, rather than the material form or the applications thereof.

If Mr Bowman was lucky enough to receive £1M, perhaps he would be better served looking into why we, after several years of research, analysis and physical testing on much larger full size elements than described by him, and very considerable financial investment, abandoned further development and put our intellectual property into the public domain.

Andrew Tomlinson, Tomlinson Consulting Engineers, 66 Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7AB

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