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Dredging hoses are multi-layer

constructions, which have to perform in

the cold, in the heat and keep going while they

suck up rocks, scrap and abrasive sand from

the sea bed. Trelleborg is using a high-tech

manufacturing technique to ensure the

products last longer and to innovate new

products which cannot be made by any other


ERJ has previously written about the 


approach to fibre winding. The company has

developed the system further and one of its first

commercial applications is going to be in the

manufacture of heavy duty hoses at Trelleborg

in the Netherlands. 

The companies have successfully applied

the fibre reinforcement methods in expansion

joints and pipe plugs (to form temporary seals

while repairs are carried out in drains and

sewers). For this, the production is about to

start. Simultaneously Trelleborg plans to use the

same approach to manufacture other products

based around fibre-reinforced rubber. Examples

of this are dredging hoses, oil sand hoses and

lifting bags. 


's approach is to use sophisticated

numerical analysis to calculate the stresses

throughout a flexible, fibre-reinforced envelope.

The system looks at the plane stresses across

the surfaces, and throughout each layer within

the construction, so that they can optimise the

distribution of stresses and hence fibre

reinforcement layers though the thickness of

the product.

Once the stress pattern has been calculated

and the fibre layout designed, 


uses a

robotic manufacturing cell to apply the fibres

and the rubber compound over a mandrel so as

to ensure perfect repeatability from component

to component. The same robotic approach

applies tapes used to apply pressure to the

component during curing.

Historically, these components have been

hand-built. This introduces three areas of

production risk – first is that the operator varies

the amount and orientation of the sheets placed

on the component, and second that the fibres

can not correctly be aligned with the stresses.

Third, the tapes are not always applied with the

same tension.

All  these risks are eliminated using the 


approach. The result is a component which

uses the fibres more efficiently and can

therefore be thinner and lighter than

conventional designs. Furthermore, since the

lay-up process is fully automated, every aspect

of production is  repeatable, even when there is

By David Shaw, ERJ Staff, dshaw@crain.com

A unique, science-based fibre winding

system is helping Trelleborg

Infrastructure to improve reliability and

repeatability in heavy-duty hoses,

while permitting the company to

develop new products and investing in

state of the art production technology

in Western-Europe.

an interval of months or years between

production cycles.

As a result, said Ruud Bokhout, Business

Development Director for Trelleborg

Infrastructure, Trelleborg continues to

manufacture its more complex dredging hoses

for the EU market in the Netherlands. 

In the next few months, said Bokhout, 


will install one manufacturing cell at the Trelleborg

facility in Ridderkerk, the Netherlands and has

already planned a second, larger unit to make a

variety of fibre-reinforced rubber components up

to 14 metres in length at the site. 

Trelleborg uses TANIQ’s

reinforcement technology

on dredge hoses

New products for the oil 

sands market

Apart from dredging hoses, Trelleborg expects to use

the technique in hoses for the oil sands market in

Northern Canada. The oil-bearing rocks are processed

in large extraction facilities. Abrasive material  is sent

down pipes and hoses.  Trelleborg supplies these

hoses, and expects to use the 


approach in their

manufacture in due course. 

The technique opens up new opportunities.

Currently the  common way to make elbows in the

pipes is to use steel fabrications, but these can wear

out after just 3 months. Trelleborg want so make these

elbows in rubber, as this offers improved wear life and

is more flexible. These elbows cannot be made using

conventional techniques. 

Manufacturing cells for 

robotic assembly

To make a components around 2m in size, the first

manufacturing cell requires a floor area of 100 m


. This

comprises two robotic work stations. While one station

is performing all the assembly operations, the other is

available for an operator to add any finishing markings

to the product and perform other ancillary work and

then replace the mandrel for the next production cycle

Once wrapping operations are completed on the

active station, the robot switches stations and begins

work on the newly-prepared mandrel. 

And you thought all you 

needed to know about hoses

was 54.7 degrees?

Those in the hose industry may think that

sophisticated stress analysis is not needed to analyse

a hose. Long ago, engineers worked out that the

neutral angle in a simple hose is 54.7 degrees. The

reinforcement needs to be applied at that angle, in

order to deliver optimum fibre performance. 

However, this is not the whole story, especially in

multi-layer hoses. Inefficient transfer of stresses within

the hose wall means that the inner layer of

reinforcement will carry most of the load. To optimise

the efficiency, not every layer should be assembled at

the neutral angle. 

Siebe Nooij, 


and founder at 


, said that in a

multilayer hose made with high modulus fibres (e.g.

aramid), if both reinforcement layers are the same,

then the second layer might only carry 50 percent of its

maximum load capacity, while the inner layer is on the

point of failure. The more layers are used, the further

this efficiency is reduced if no action is taken. This, he

said, points to inefficiencies in the system. 



mathematical model of the hose wall allows engineers

to optimize for the most efficient use of fibre

reinforcement, even for dredging hoses which carry

eight or more layers of reinforcement. This also

prevents over-designing the hose.

Trelleborg makes

large-scale components

“This new technology enhances our offering, providing added value to our customers in terms of light-

weighting and a superior component that can give outstanding performance with incomparable consistency.”

— Peter Stello, MD of Trelleborg Infrastructure, pictured (left) with Siebe Nooij, MD of 


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