Eclusa da alemanha-FFB

Eclusa da alemanha-FFB

Technical data:

Work commissioned by: Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), represented by Eberswalde Waterways and Shipping Office (WSA)

Superintendent engineer: Mike Schröder, Dipl. Eng.

Building period: ongoing since December 2010, the main periods during which work can be done are the six-week periods when the boat lift is closed during the winter.

Work carried out by Litterer Korrosionsschutz GmbH, Berlin Branch

Niederfinow Boat Lift This steel structure connects the River Oder with the River Havel and overcomes a difference in elevation of 36 metres. After seven decades of almost unbroken activity, it was time for the steel giant to undergo a general overhaul. Special attention was given to the water-filled trough in which the ships are lifted and lowered. There was hardly any experience of this kind of work for us to draw on. The trick tasks involved had to be done under great pressure of time, as the Oder-Havel

Canal carries a large share of the coal needed to supply Berlin’s power stations. Some 10,0 ships use the lift each year.

The trough could only be worked on during the short winter closure period. After preliminary cleaning, the water was pumped out. The trough was surrounded by scaffolding and cocooned within a climate-controlled housing. The boat lift is held together by five million rivets. The surface area of the edges and rivets account for around 50 percent. Three coats of corrosion-protection material (four coats along the edges) were brushed or sprayed on. This called for a large amount of manual labour. An average of 60 men were employed on site at this stage. As the heating used to climatize the cocooned trough was constantly raising small amounts of dust, the horizontal surfaces, in particular, had to be cleaned again before the application of each coating.

Work carried out by LITTERER as a general contractor: approx. 16,0 square metres of corrosion protection to the steelwork supporting the trough, to the external surfaces of the trough itself and to the machinery sheds; approx.1,800 square metres of corrosion protection on the inside trough surfaces; scaffolding construction: access technology, enclosure structures and climatization; structural steelwork, repairs to steelwork; renewal of parts of the electrical installation, work on the existing galvanic installation;carpentry work to renew the tow-path gallery and the trough cladding; roof repairs to the machinery sheds.

The trough gates and the restraint gates are vertical-lift gates each of which weighs 23 tonnes. Each gate is 12.5 metres wide and 3.50 metres high. Although they have the same width, the restraint gates are slightly taller and heavier.

The trough itself is the movable part of the boat lift. It is 85 metres long, 12 metres wide and has a depth of water of 2.5 metres. The trough weighs 4,300 tonnes including the water in it. The entire Niederfinow Boat Lift is 94 metres long, 60 metres high and 27 metres wide. It took 72,0 cubic metres of concrete and 14,0 tonnes of steel to build it. The trough is suspended from 256 steel cables 52 m thick passing over 128 pulleys and is balanced by 192 counterweights. The trough is driven by four DC motors of 75 horsepower each.

Since the 1960s, the trough had been provided with galvanic corrosion protection. Occasionally bitumen had been applied or paint used to cover surface damage. But the corners of the trough had been subjected to particularly severe corrosion. The structure had to be sand-blasted to remove the old coatings. This generated enormous amounts of dust. The sand and dust had to be prevented from damaging or penetrating the old mechanical components such as the oil pumps or grease pumps. So compressed air had to be used in certain sections to prevent dust from entering cracks or equipment and to provide protection against spray mist. Some 200 tonnes of sand were blasted on and removed again by suction without damaging the unique, 76- year-old lift mechanism.

RLITTERER Korrosionsschutz GmbH, Niederlassung Berlin, Schnellerstr. 90a, 12439 Berlin,

Phone 1: 030 / 67 89 63 46, Phone 2: 030 / 67 89 75 86, Fax: 030 / 81 82 90 64, E-Mail: