Bulkheads and Large Isolation Barriers

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.  

Have Specific Requirements?

We specialize in custom solutions! Take a look at a few of our proven custom solutions or let us know your requirements. Our engineers and production staff are equipped to travel around the world at a moment’s notice to assist you with your needs!

Let's Talk!

Contact us today to discuss our rates or to book an appointment with one of our engineers. 

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

TYPES OF LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS, BULKHEADS, flood barriers, and containment structures

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.

Tunnel Bulkhead, Tunnel Barriers, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Plugs, SEALFAST® Products | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Restraint Screw In-Tunnel Isolation Barriers
CHANNEL BULKHEAD; CHANNEL BARRIERS; LARGE PIPE PLUGS; TUNNEL PLUGS; TUNNEL BULKHEAD; LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS AND BULKHEADS; SEALFAST® PRODUCTS, MECHANICAL RESEARCH & DESIGN, INC.
Anchor Channel Restraint - Open Channel and Tunnel Barriers
Channel Bulkhead, Channel Barriers, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Plugs, Tunnel Bulkhead, SEALFAST® Products | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Extended Anchor Channel Restraint - Open Channel and Tunnel Barriers
INTAKE BULKHEAD, STRONGBACK PLUG; STRONGBACK BULKHEAD; STRONGBACK BARRIER; INTAKE BARRIER; LARGE PIPE PLUGS; TUNNEL PLUGS; TUNNEL BULKHEAD; LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS AND BULKHEADS; SEALFAST® PRODUCTS, MECHANICAL RESEARCH & DESIGN, INC.
Strongback Restraint Tunnel and Pipe Inlet Barriers
Flange Plug, Intake Bulkhead, Strongback Plug, Strongback Bulkhead, Intake Barrier, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Plugs, Tunnel Bulkhead, SEALFAST® Products | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Flange Restraint Tunnel and Pipe Inlet Barriers
REMOTE INSTALLATION BULKHEAD; CHANNEL BULKHEAD; CHANNEL BARRIERS; ANCHOR RESTRAINT BULKHEAD; ANCHOR RESTRAINT BARRIER; LARGE PIPE PLUGS; TUNNEL PLUGS; TUNNEL BULKHEAD; LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS AND BULKHEADS; SEALFAST® PRODUCTS, MECHANICAL RESEARCH & DESIGN, INC.
Remote Anchor Restraint Channel Isolation Barriers
STOP LOG BULKHEAD, STOP LOG BARRIER; CHANNEL BULKHEAD; CHANNEL BARRIERS; LARGE PIPE PLUGS; TUNNEL PLUGS; TUNNEL BULKHEAD; LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS AND BULKHEADS; SEALFAST® PRODUCTS, MECHANICAL RESEARCH & DESIGN, INC.
Stop Log Channel Restraint Isolation Barriers
Remote Installation Bulkhead, Channel Bulkheads and Barriers, Anchor Restraint Bulkhead and Barrier, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Plugs and Bulkheads, SEALFAST® Products | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Bulkhead Remote Installation Frames
STOP LOG BULKHEAD, STOP LOG BARRIER; CHANNEL BULKHEAD; CHANNEL BARRIERS; LARGE PIPE PLUGS; TUNNEL PLUGS; TUNNEL BULKHEAD; LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS AND BULKHEADS; SEALFAST® PRODUCTS, MECHANICAL RESEARCH & DESIGN, INC.
Stop Log Gate Barriers
Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

SEALING CONFIGURATION OPTIONS OF BULKHEADS AND LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS

Our SEALFAST® Elastomers Inflatable and Mechanical Seals are our specialty. We have designed, shop- and field-tested our designs for decades, offering the most reliable and compatible elastomers on the market. SEALFAST® Bulkheads and Isolation Barriers utilize the advantages of Mechanical and Inflatable sealing systems, sometimes paired or in combination, to maximize safety, ease of installation, and minimize cost. SEALFAST® Mechanical Seals are typically used in safety critical applications, many times in higher pressure applications, and can offer cost savings in infrastructure design and fabrication. SEALFAST® Inflatable seals can also be paired for use in safety critical applications and are very adept at offering maximum sealability in irregularly shaped applications as well as remote installations. We can also offer engineered Mechanical and Inflatable Seals that can provide the best of both worlds for your applications. See the above document to learn more about how we select seals for our isolation barrier applications.
Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

DESIGN OPTIONS OF BULKHEADS AND LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS

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. 

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. | Innovation Redefined | Manitowoc Wi

WHERE ARE BULKHEADS AND LARGE ISOLATION BARRIERS USED?

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.

Intake Bulkhead, Flange Plug, Flange Bulkhead, Barrier, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Bulkhead and Plugs, SEALFAST® Products | MRD Underwater | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Reverse Pressure Diver-Install Intake Isolation Barrier
Intake Bulkhead, Strongback Plug, Strongback Bulkhead, Barrier, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Bulkhead and Plugs, SEALFAST® Products | MRD Underwater | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Reverse Pressure Strongback Diver-Install Penstock Isolation Bulkhead

WHY MECHANICAL RESEARCH & DESIGN, INC.?

Channel Bulkhead, Channel Barriers, Large Pipe Plugs, Tunnel Bulkhead and Plugs, SEALFAST® Products | Large Isolation Barriers and Bulkheads | Mechanical Research & Design, Inc., Manitowoc Wisconsin U.S.A.
Channel and Tunnel Isolation Bulkheads

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!

• For more information on our General and Custom Pipe Plugs, click here.

• View our Underwater Construction and ROV Tools here.

• View our General Isolation and Test Tools here.