IT WAS confirmed this morning (Wednesday 22nd August) that a team of experts at a leading British lubricants company has come up with an environmentally friendly solution to keep transport on and off the Manchester Ship Canal running smoothly.
Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants was challenged to develop a lubricating, water soluble and biodegradable product that wouldn't freeze so that the swing bridges along the waterway would continue working in all weather conditions.
Passed the tests
Following a year of use, the specially formulated Morris Terralus MSC product has been declared a big success, having passed all the tests. In the picture are Morris Lubricants' Northern Area Sales Manager Aled Edwards (left), Manchester Ship Canal Superviser Peter Murphy (centre) and Hywel Roberts from Lubricants Distributor Collister and Glover.
The swing bridges employ simple hydraulic pressure, but being water based, these bridges are prone to corrosion and freezing during winter months, which can lead to very high operating overheads, that prompted a specially formulated lubricant, with Adrian Hill, Morris Lubricants' Product and Marketing Manager, taking up the story:
"Following an extensive investigation into the operation of the bridges, the solution to this issue was extremely complex as lubricity must be present even if the dilution were to fall to as low as one per cent.
"Should the bridge not open to canal traffic, heavy fines are imposed and in the worse case scenario, should the bridge not close, significant disruption to the local area traffic would arise for many hours, especially during peak periods.
"Following an extensive development programme at Morris Lubricants, a trial product was supplied and, after cleaning and refitting a new header tank, Old Quay Swing Bridge was converted to run.
"After three months of trials, the remaining bridges, Moore Lane, Northwich Road (pictured) and Knutsford Road, were converted and have now been in operation for 12 months without issue."
There have been no reported issues to date with regards to winter running and freezing, despite temperatures falling to levels where issues have been experienced in the past, so the swing bridges will no longer cause the delays, on both waterway and roads, as in the past due to freezing conditions.