News of Dutch team of CCCC SFT Joint Team
The submerged floating tunnel (SFT) project is a global collaborative research project commissioned by the Chinese engineering and construction company China Communications Construction Co., Ltd. (CCCC). The Dutch tunnel and hydraulic experts from TEC and TU Delft have been invited to join force with the Chinese to tackle this global technical challenge. The consortium consists of 7 parties. Besides TEC and TU Delft, 5 parties from China including TIWTE from Tianjing are involved as core partners.
In March and July 2018, two technical visits from China have taken place (see photo on the top). The project contract has been signed in July 2018 by all parties. At TU Delft, Master and Bachelor students have been performing experiments with possible prototypes in the Water Lab. Three PhD candidates will be hired for this project by the end of 2018, looking into the overall structure, hydrodynamic effects and risk assessment.
In September 2018, the Dutch delegation attended the SFT project meetings in Tianjing and Zhongshan, China, organised by TIWTE and CCCC. Besides TEC and TU Delft, experts from Marin Research Institute and Trelleborg were also invited to the meeting in Zhongshan for the knowledge exchange. During this visit, TEC and TU Delft visited the SFT 2D small-scale experiment and the large-scale wave and current flume test site in TIWTE, Tianjing. TEC, TU Delft and TIWTE compared each other’s small-scale physical model test results and discussed the medium and large-scale model test plan.
During the meeting week, interviews for the 2nd PhD candidate as well as visiting scholars for the SFT project took place. Mr. Wei Lin from HPDI and Mr. Pengxu Zou from FHDI will join our section as PhD candidates on the subjects of structure & design, and hydrodynamics, respectively. Furthermore, Lingfeng Liu from HPDI and JinZhao Li from TIWTE will be coming to the Netherlands as visiting scholars on the SFT project, working at TEC and TU Delft.
The idea of SFT is to place the tunnel underwater, deep enough to avoid water traffic and weather, but not that deep that high water pressure shall become an important issue. As a general rule of thumb, there is potential for floating tunnels instead of other fixed structures on the sea floor for water depths of 50 metres or more.
But this is just theory. Though many countries have shown interest, namely Norway with its very deep fjords, a submerged floating tunnel has never been built before.