Underwater construction and diving service providers have a wide range of expertise to offer clients. Tied under the concept of marine construction, they offer jobs accomplished by experts in underwater engineering, consulting, maintenance, and inspection. Companies operating in the United States must comply with standards for all these activities, especially high-risk operations that may endanger lives, property, and the environment.
A Sneak Peek at Underwater Construction Projects: Putting Up Foundations
Underwater construction services are at the core of projects like bridge repair, marine encapsulation, restoration of reef systems, pile jackets, installation of pipelines, and in some instances corrosion control of existing structures. There are more.
One of the most common marine projects involving skilled engineers, technicians, and divers is pouring concrete foundations. This is one of the basic tasks involved in building bridges, which span a strait or a river and will serve to connect opposing shores. Underwater concrete foundations are also the building blocks of near-shore installations such as piers.
To prevent the concrete from washing away, a mixture of cement (e.g. lime and heated clay), gravel, and water are poured into tubes with one end buried on the sea floor or riverbed. The cement used should set underwater readily—that is the key, and therefore the setup should facilitate the chemical interaction between water and cement, which then produces new compounds, which harden. Even Portland cement, which is highly recommended for underwater projects, takes about a month to harden fully.
Risks and Challenges of Underwater Operations
Only skilled divers should become involved in marine construction, according to Underwater Construction Corporation. Although concrete pouring seems straightforward enough, let us not forget they must contend with high pressures and strong currents. Underwater currents can be so violent only certain types of equipment will work. It also takes a huge amount of skill and bravery on the part of the divers to complete the necessary work.
Experienced divers and engineers are crucial to the success of any building project performed underwater. If you plan to hire their services, make sure they have a wealth of experience and have an impeccable service record.