On 31 January 2018, IHC Hytech, part of Royal IHC, signed a contract with NORDSEETAUCHER GmbH for the design, manufacture and delivery of a dual hyperbaric tunnelling spread. The German company, operating out of Ammersbek, will use the system for a tunnelling project in China.

The dual hyperbaric tunnelling spread will consist of two main transfer shuttles (MTSs) for four people and will include all associated equipment. The pressurised transport units will enable the divers to travel safely from a special decompression chamber (SDC) to the tunnel boring machine and vice versa. The shuttles will be single lock, fitted with a clamping arrangement and built in a protective frame. The maximum working pressure of this system is 17 bar.

The two SDC systems – each also accommodating up to four people – will be complete with control and machinery containers. The chambers will be living compartments in which divers can reside in saturation and eventually decompress.

The SDCs, life-support machinery and control systems will all be installed in individual 20ft dedicated containers. The SDCs will have a pressure separation bulkhead, that will divide the main chamber into two sections: one with a sleeping/resting area (the living section); and the other with a toilet, shower and sanitary provisions (the wet pod section).

The MTSs and SDC systems will be manufactured and delivered according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) classification standards. IHC Hytech will manufacture the chambers using materials of the highest quality and components suitable for use in hyperbaric chambers.

IHC Hytech is ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 Management System certified.

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