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Sealed Success

Newquay Cornwall Airport is making use of what is thought to be the UK’s only self-contained joint sealing machine for runway joints and cracks.

Newquay Cornwall Airport is converting the military airfield at RAF St Mawgan into a civilian-operated airport.

The expansion of arrival and departure lounges is already complete. Now lighting contractor ATG Airports is working alongside principal contractor Mansell Airports to provide new lighting for the 2.75km long runway.

Contractor Allied Drilling is core drilling large diameter holes for new runway lights and saw cutting slots for cables. ATG Airports installs the new cables and then Allied Drilling follows on with the Cimline Magma 110, rapidly sealing the slots with polymer-modified hot bituminous Armourseal N2 JS joint-sealing compound, using the machine’s heated flexible hose, wand and adjustable nozzle.

The Magma 110 being used at the airport is thought to be the only self-contained joint sealing machine in the UK. Sealing work is done during night-time airfield closures. Allied Drilling is sawing about 15km of 15mm-wide slots, varying in depth from 100mm to 255mm, and sealing them after the cables have been installed.

"We’ve been looking for a safer method or machine to replace sealing with hand-applied methods," says Allied Drilling contracts manager Rob Brown. "The machine is easy to operate, does a quick, neat job and has saved us a lot of money. "We see it having a major impact on motorways and trunk roads, sealing transverse and long horizontal joints."

The trailer-mounted Magma 110 is a self-contained, 415l capacity, indirect-heated, diesel-fired boiler with a hydraulically driven pump and agitator. A diesel hydraulic drive system powers the material agitator and external pump. This circulates the temperature-controlled, hot material through a 6m-long heated hose to a hand-held lance, which has a variable flow nozzle controlled by the operator.

The sealant comes in 15kg blocks, which are placed in the machine’s heated mixing tank through angled splash proof doors, and can be ready for work within 40 minutes of start-up. Emissions are minimal.

Cimline distributor Castellan Group managing director Colin Jailler says: "I couldn’t believe that in 2008, with all the emphasis on site health and safety, contractors were still using hazardous propane gas-fired boilers and running back and forth with a two gallon watering can full of hot bitumen to make a sealed joint. "I thought there must be a safer, faster, more productive way and found the Cimline machines in the US, where they have been used for the past 20 years."

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