DISCOVER Magazine #7

Protection technology

Published in category: Dredging & Marine Contracting
Edwin Cengerink Damen Dop Edwin Zengerink
Technical Manager Water & Environment
Gerben Van den Berg Damen Dop Gerben van den Berg
Market Manager


TenCate, like Damen, is a company rooted in a rich, Dutch heritage. Its history reaches back to the end of the 17th century, when the TenCate family are first recorded as being involved in the textile industry in the Twente region of the Netherlands’ province of Overijssel.

The company operates in five high-end markets – advanced armour, geosynthetics, synthetic grass, protective fabrics and outdoor fabrics – offering products for personal protection, defence, infrastructure & water management and sport & leisure.

Emerging from the flood

The North Sea flood of 1953 launched TenCate’s geosynthetics arm on a quest for innovative product development for a new generation of dike building. One of the solutions that TenCate developed at this time is one which brings the company into Damen’s orbit – the world of dredging. TenCate Geotube® system has protected shorelines, rebuilt beaches and reclaimed land from the sea throughout the world in the last 40-plus years.

From the creation of an island near Gabon to protect a nature reserve, to a breakwater in the IJselmeer to protect container vessels in the harbour in the Netherlands. From the creation of a silt deposit in the Dutch Markermeer to sustain the ecological system to the clean-up of a mercury-contaminated lake in Sweden; the applications of the TenCate Geotube® systems are many and varied. Edwin Zengerink, Technical Manager Water & Environment at TenCate explains, “TenCate Geotube® technology involves the permeable containment of fills and wastes. The specially engineered textiles enable the passage of water, while at the same time retaining the solids component – and any contaminants that may be present – in a protective container with a lifespan of over 100 years.”

TenCate supplies the TenCate Geotube® containers in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the application – they can be tubular, bag, mattress, or more general container-shaped.

The technology can be applied to hydraulic engineering projects – where the systems are used to contain sandfill in order to provide erosion-resistant structural units – and environmental dredging. Here, the systems are used to contain and dewater slurry wastes.

In environmental applications, TenCate Geotube® technology may be used to contain contaminated sediments for safe offshore disposal when onshore disposal is not possible,

explains Market Manager Gerben van den Berg.

Pump partnership

For both engineering and environmental projects, TenCate Geotube® technology can be applied to a project along with a Damen DOP pump.

If a project involves pumping sand and slurries, there’s one pump that is always front of mind that I advise contractors to use – the Damen DOP,

says Edwin.

Sustainable solution

Examples of TenCate Geotube® projects drawing on Damen DOP pumps are many and include jobs all over the world. One example is the installation of a submerged breakwater at Azzefoun on the Mediterranean coast in Algeria. When the beach began to erode, local company Laberatoire d’Etude Maritime collected data on the waves and came up with a solution to reduce wave heights.

It involved three breakwaters – two of 120 metres and one of 100 metres, serving to protect an area of beach 500 metres in length. Around 1500 linear of systems were successfully filled with Damen DOP pumps.

“Due to an absence of rock in the local area, the TenCate Geotube® solution was a natural fit,” states Gerben. “A conventional project would have seen a lot of rock transported to the site in order to build the breakwaters. Aside from the costs implicated in moving large quantities of rocks to the site, reducing transportation also significantly lowers the carbon footprint of a project.”

The environmental credentials of the TenCate Geotube® technology go further than this, however, as consideration of another DOP-related project shows.

Reduced footprint

In Grimsby in the UK, the lake in the People’s Park – a home to many birds and fish – had become contaminated with silt and debris and had to be dredged as part of a major restoration project.

“A traditional dredging project with large settling lagoons would have taken too much time and damaged the surrounding environment too much. The solution proved to be the application of three TenCate Geotube® units and a Damen DOP pump. The pump filled the units, which in turn dewatered the sludge,” says Edwin.

This solution required just 25% of the footprint of the traditional method.

“As a result of this method, the execution of the project had no significant social impact and was executed in under a month – it also speeded up the drying process, making it possible to simply spread the silt on-site.

“It also meant that the dredging process could be carried out without draining the lake – much better for the flora and fauna, and also reducing the risk of the clay liner drying out and failing,” continues Gerben.

“And, as the slurry could be re-used on site, there was again a significant reduction in transportation and therefore a reduction in the carbon footprint and the cost of the project. It also meant of course that the project didn’t involve getting mud on the local roads, inconveniencing the local population.

It’s not just a case of ‘any pump will do’, the DOP really does add value to a TenCate Geotube® project,

says Edwin.

Damen Dop pump side view


Israel – speed of process

There’s another recent example – a project in Israel. Here, the Damen pump increased the speed of the filling process. Instead of taking between 8 and 12 hours to fill a system, with the DOP it took just 4 to 5 hours. The client was very happy.

By appointment to the King

At the end of the eighteenth century, between Marke Noetsele and Hellendoorn in the same eastern area of the Netherlands, English machine trader Thomas Ainsworth built a model weaving mill and warehouses for the Dutch Trading Co. This passed, in 1851, into the ownership of Godfried and Hein Salomonson. The Salomonsons turned it into the first mechanically driven cotton mill in the Netherlands, an entrepreneurial feat that prompted King Willem III of the Netherlands to award it the right to bear the Royal Coat of Arms and to use the name Royal Weaving Mills (KSW). In the following century, KSW and TenCate came together in the in the first merger following the Second World War in the Netherlands.

As the textile industry underwent transformation in the 1960s and 1970s, the company made a timely switch to new technologies, materials and applications. Thus, able to enter new markets, TenCate became an international, industrial company in technical textiles. Today, TenCate is a multinational company, combining textile and chemical technologies for the development of functional materials, modules and systems for the protection of people and their living and working environments.

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