Approximately 9000 rings of concrete are required to build the tunnels for the Forrestfield-Airport Link. A local warehouse has been transformed into a pre-cast facility to allow the rings to be made locally.
The past five months have been spent preparing the warehouse for production, including the establishment of a batching plant for the onsite manufacture of concrete. The facility is expected to begin full production from June this year.
The pre-cast segments are constructed using steel moulds, specifically designed to meet the specifications of this project. A carousel system is used to move the moulds through various workstations.
After demoulding, cleaning, reinforcement installation and concreting, the moulds are conveyed into a heated tunnel for accelerated curing. They are then painted, stored and later transported to the Forrestfield dive structure, along Dundas Road. A purpose-built multi service vehicle (MSV) is used to transport the segments to the tunnel boring machines.
Testing the concrete
As part of preparations for the manufacture of the pre-cast segments, the concrete undergoes a series of tests to ensure it meets the required standards for strength and durability. Fire testing is also undertaken. Earlier this year, fire testing on the concrete for this project was completed in Victoria, Australia and Germany.