WIT Press

UK Port Mitre Gates – Time For Modernisation


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WIT Press


M Cullen


UK port mitre gates - time for modernisation M Cullen Glasgow Caledonian University, UK Abstract Mitre gates remain an important element of ports throughout the world and will remain so for the foreseeable future. For ports around the coast of the United Kingdom the design and details use for replacement mitre gates have changed little in the 43 years since the publication of Cornick's Dock and Harbour Engineering, Volume I The Design of Dock Gates. Indeed, many port engineers still regard this as the manual with which all mitre gates should comply. These views are not shared in other countries that depend on maritime transport and continue to use mitre gates, such as the United States of America. However, not all mitre gates in UK ports have stuck to the established details for the three key areas of watertight seals, heel, mitre and sill, and yet these developments are generally unpublished. As a result of the lack of communication, combined with the relatively low frequency for replacement, engineers who are about to engage on a replacement gate project tend to stick to the "tried and test" principles of Comick's book. Although the established details are not incorrect they are often based on inaccurate design assumptions. The objective of this paper is to draw the attentionlof port engineers, principally in the UK, to the developments in mitre gate details that have taken place, not only in other countries but also in UK ports where innovations been introduced. In addition, a more appropriate design methodology will be presented to improve effective water retention for mitre gates. 1. What is Cornick's book? Since the publication of Comick's[l] book in 1958 there have been significant changes in the maritime transport industry of the UK. The use of small vessels for commercial transportation of goods around the coast has been increasingly replaced by of road transport. In addition, although seaborne transport to the UK