Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 38

Each job has its
own challenges,
unique features
and different
conditions on-site.
TIMOTHY MCTIGUE
PORTADAM INC.,

there are two problems. The first one is
holding back the water, but the second
one is actually more insidious-being able
to withstand floating debris in the water.
Ours are far superior to rigid barriers when
it comes to being able to withstand those
impact loads, on top of hydrostatic loads."
Typically, when a rigid barrier takes
an impact load, it will bend and kink, and
the gaskets will pull away from whatever
they are sealed against, explains Klopp.
"Then it starts leaking really badly," he
says. "With a soft structure, the fabric gives
and spreads out the impact over a few more
milliseconds, thereby decreasing the point
load and also not pulling gaskets away."
ILC Dover's systems are typically made
in two layers, according to Klopp. The
water retention layer is a simple PVCcoated polyester fabric that is completely
independent of the second layer, which
is Kevlar webbing, and is only loosely
attached to keep it from sliding around.
"The water retention layer is not under
tension. All the load is taken through the
Kevlar webbing, which is on the dry side

ILC Dover, based in Frederica, Del., is widely known for producing spacesuits for NASA
but also specializes in flood protection products, including those that protect subways
against flooding. Photo: ILC Dover.

of the system," says Klopp. "If there is
floating debris, maybe with a really sharp
edge, any puncture that may happen
doesn't propagate because the fabric's
not under tension. If the water retention
layer was stretched really tight, a small
tear could propagate and result in a large
rip. In our system, there will be only
small leakage at most."

PORTABLE WATER CONTROL
"All we do is control water," says
Timothy McTigue of Portadam Inc., the
Williamstown, N.J., company where he
serves as director of business development.
Portadam offers water storage systems,
cofferdams and a variety of flood control
products. But when it comes to flood
control, says McTigue, it's not the
products themselves that Portadam uses to
differentiate itself from the competition-
it's the company's emphasis on custom
solutions for each client. "We look at each
job as a one-off," he explains. "Each job
has its own challenges, unique features
and different conditions on-site."
McTigue says customers work with
Portadam to design a system based on their
needs, with flood barriers ranging from 16
inches to 12 feet high. The system-faster
and easier to install than sandbags and
other labor-intensive products-is built and
then stored near where it would be needed
in an emergency. A typical customer?
"A large power utility on the East Coast
purchased several separate systems
to protect power substations that had
experienced flooding in the past," he says.
"Usually the reason that power goes out in
a flood is that the substation got flooded-
they needed protection to keep the power
on in the community."
The systems are generally made with
reinforced PVC, says McTigue. A system
composed of 164 linear feet of 40-inch
height protection can be stored in a single
4-by-5-by-4-foot portable, stackable crate
and deployed in less than 30 minutes.

38 REVIEW JUNE 2020

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5/14/20 10:17 PM



Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover1
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - 1
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2020 - Cover3
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