Oosterschelde storm surge barrier is with its 9 kilometres length the largest on of its kind in the world. The barrier is the last defense protecting The Netherlands from the sea. It has been built after the devastating North Sea flood of 1953. The North Sea flood disaster took the life of 1835 people. Not log after reclaiming the land from the sea the Dutch Government decided that an enormous storm surge barrier would be constructed to protect the land from the sea. The creation of these barriers would cause the land to be safe from floods for the first time in history.
The sea has been fighting the barrier since its construction. Therefore the maintenance is key to make sure it’s able to stay in working condition. However, the problem arises that for several maintenance activities the crew has to work partially partially submerged underwater. They have been working in 1 meter of seawater for prolonged periods, making for harsh working conditions especially during bad weather. By making a special inflatable seal in only 40mm wide with expansion possibility of 70 mm. we succeeded by designing & creating a flexible moving dry area. This area resulted in the crew being able to perform their maintenance without the obtrusion of flowing water.