Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. is a leading designer and fabricator of Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers for the construction, underwater construction, nuclear, and environmental services industries. We specialize in both standard and engineered-to-order (temporary and permanent) pressure barriers, specialty gates, and valves. Our vast working experience in custom sealing and restraint systems allows us to provide countless solutions, helping our customers have peace of mind when worker’s lives are on the line. Our products can be found as safety barriers protecting construction sites, in tunnels, drifts, open channels, near water intakes, as nuclear containment structures for fuel storage or reactor maintenance, and deep underwater in some of the most sophisticated diver and ROV installations on record.
We design our SEALFAST® Bulkheads and Isolation Barriers in configurations for low, medium, and high pressures, to optimize for weight and cost. Our SEALFAST® Inflatable and Mechanical Elastomers can seal in most new and aged existing infrastructure, as some of our greatest success stories come from installations involving cracked or spalling concrete. Our products are perfect for steel lined, cast iron, concrete, brick and mortar, and even rough cut stone surfaces — we have seen it all. We design for the real world of uneven, non-parallel walls and irregularly shaped tunnels.
Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. supplies several types of pressure barrier sealing systems, the most popular being Mechanical Seals, Inflatable Seals, and Combination Mechanical + Inflatable Sealing Systems. The tools can be manufactured from nearly any material imaginable for temporary or long term installations, in standard test configuration use or corrosive, temperature extreme environments. Our Isolation Barriers, Flood Barriers, and Containment Barriers are designed to last and are rugged enough to be used again and again in remote location field services, construction sites, subsea, or in the factory.
SEALFAST® Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers set themselves apart from the competition as they implement both integral, tested restraint systems, holding the tool in place reliably against back pressures and the tools also utilize our own in-house designed and fabricated SEALFAST® Elastomers. At Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. we vulcanize our own SEALFAST® Mechanical and Inflatable Seals in-house which allows us to offer short lead times and flexible design options, sizes, and profiles.
Contact us today to discuss our rates or to book an appointment with one of our engineers.
Below you will find a basic visual inventory of many of the SEALFAST® Bulkhead and Large Isolation Barrier designs for many standard applications. From open channel to enclosed tunnel, water intake structures to bifurcations, stop log replacement gates to remote installation barriers for high flow installations, as well as underwater diver and ROV installation options, Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. has a field-proven design to meet your needs. See our turnkey bulkhead sealing and restraint systems including in-tunnel integral locking dog restraints, to novel PE-reviewed anchor restraint systems, reverse pressure systems such as strongback restraints to flange restraints, to remote installation frames and control systems, and many more proprietary systems not shown here. We have come to specialize in the complicated and uncommon applications, often those requiring underwater construction in very remote locations.
As with most of our other products, Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. offers both standard and highly customized, engineered solutions. We excel in the design, fabrication, and functional testing of products to meet your specific applications needs. From dry construction site to underwater installations, we can design for a multitude of different materials, sizes, and configurations to offer you the best tool for your needs.
• Bulkheads and Isolation Barriers can be made to nearly any size and shape required. Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. has fabricated bulkheads from inches in size to over 20 feet in diameter, in shapes ranging from round, rectangular, and irregular. If you can measure it, pattern it, or scan the installation region, we can machine and vulcanize products to match your needs exactly. If you can’t measure or survey it, we can work with you to design the most flexible and adaptable tool to cover the widest range of uncertainty.
• We design bulkheads to self-restrain in a wide variety of tunnels, channels, intake structures, pipelines, and flow-ways. Our SEALFAST® Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers can be designed to seal and restrain in concrete, rough cut stone, steel-lined, cast iron, brick and mortar, as well as many other unconventional flow-way surfaces in new and aged infrastructure.
• Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. designs and fabricates Isolation Barriers for vacuum pressures through several thousand PSI differential pressure. We commonly seal against most fluids, including air, nitrogen, helium, potable water, wastewater, corrosive acids and bases, hydraulic fluids, and radioactive liquids and gases, to name a few.
• We have fabricated bulkheads from many common and non-traditional materials, including carbon steel, epoxy coated steels, marine aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, polymer PVC, composites, concrete, and even wood on occasion.
• Mechanical Research & Design, Inc’s SEALFAST® Elastomers crafts, vulcanizes, and molds our own SEALFAST® Inflatable and Mechanical Seals right in our fabrication facility. Nearly any size, length, and material is available in-stock and ready for fabrication pending the tool environmental and functional requirements. We stock most materials for our elastomers, including EPDM, Buna-N, Natural Rubber, Silicone, Neoprene, SBR, Urethanes, and Viton®.
• Bulkheads can come with corrosion protection or lubricity coatings as needed including: epoxy coating systems, flame spray coatings, nickel or chrome plating, PTFE coatings, plus other anodic protection.
• Many of our bulkheads and isolation barriers can be adapted for weight control, particularly underwater, including design for neutral buoyancy. We use a variety of different methods for underwater applications including extreme depth, buoyancy orientation or disposition control, facilitating the handling of our tools through narrow or tight spaces with limited lifting access.
• Pending installation challenges, weight management, or geometric restrictions, we can often split isolation barrier products into many pieces, while maintaining leak free pressure barriers during re-assembly at the installation site.
SEALFAST® Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers can be found in nearly every industry, including: general construction, municipal wastewater, nuclear power process water and fuel storage, nuclear waste containment, flood barriers, underwater construction, hydroelectric dams, Environmental Containment and Spill Controls, and virtually any application that requires the isolation and maintenance of fluids. Other common applications include the repair of gates, valves, pipelines, channels, thrust blocks, and waterways. Bulkheads are most often installed by construction workers, divers, or industry-trained technicians, and, on occasion, robotically, as in the case of ROVs. Below are some of the specific practical uses for Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers:
• Wastewater Treatment Plant Influent and Effluent Channel Isolation and Repair
• Open Flow Water Transport Channel Temporary and Long Term Gating
• Stop Log Gate Repairs
• Isolation of Waterways, Retention Ponds, Reservoirs, Tunnels, Drifts, etc. to Allow Safe Construction and Rehabilitation
• Underwater Construction Isolation and Repairs
• Drift Tunnel repair, Isolation, and Abandonment
• Flood Barriers
• Hydroelectric Dam Tailpipe, Intake, and Penstock Isolation, Repair, and Testing
• Nuclear Fuel Storage Pool and Channel Containment
• Power Piping Isolation and Repair
• Turbine Isolation
• Nuclear Reactor Isolation and Repair
• Power Plant Intake Valve Isolation and Repair
Many of the Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers that Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. provides are for underwater service, including Underwater Construction Tools and ROV Tools. See our complete line of Underwater Isolation and Test Tools, Connectors, and more on our MRD Underwater page.
Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. designs and fabricates innovative solutions for isolation and testing infrastructure, tunnels, channels, and pipelines. We have the experience and the facility to pressure test and functionally validate all of our products on demand, including robotic, diver, and ROV-installed products. Put our wealth of experience in similar isolation applications to the test today, and give us a call!