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Water jets blast ahead on dredging trials

DREDGING INTERNATIONAL has completed successful trials in the UK and Belgium of its new high pressure jetting dredging system. The Dracula (Dredging Assisted Cutting by Liquid Action) system allows trailer hopper suction dredgers to work more effectively in stiff soils, achieving higher production rates.

The Dracula system consists of a trailer draghead equipped with high pressure water jets (up to 400bar). The company says it offers an alternative to the two traditional options for stiff soils, the bucket dredger or cutter dredger.

Trials of the system were performed over a three week period by the trailer dredger Jade River in the River Scheldt in Belgium, where the new system was used to dredge cemented sand. It was also used to dredge clay at Zeebrugge and to excavate very stiff clay at Harwich in the UK.

Dredging International claimed results from both trials were encouraging, with production rates significantly higher than conventional dragheads in similar conditions.

Following on from the trial, it is now finalising design of a modified Dracula system for a cutter dredger, that should result in an improvement in efficiency when dealing with cemented sand, sandstone and limestone.

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