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Mon December 09 2019

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Glasgow tunnel to trial ‘icephobic’ coating

14 Aug Scotland TranServ is to test a new ‘icephobic’ coating with the aim of stopping icicles forming in Glasgow’s M8 Charing Cross tunnel.

Emergency road closures were needed to clear the icicles during the winter of 2017/18 and particularly during the presence of the ‘Beast from the East’.

“The extreme temperatures of recent winters led to a number of issues with icicles forming on the underside of the Charing Cross tunnel,” said Brian Coyle, Scotland TranServ’s assistant network bridges engineer. “On several occasions, it was necessary for our operations team to close the motorway in order to clear the forming ice from the roof and protect the health and safety of drivers.”

Brian Laurie, Scotland TranServ’s network bridges manager added: “Following extensive investigations, we’ve identified an icephobic coating to protect the tunnel from icicle formation. This innovative coating helps to repel ice or more accurately prevent ice formation. The technology is already being used to prevent ice build-up on aircraft and wind turbines. We will need to monitor the performance of this coating over a number of winters in order to identify its success, potentially extending its use at other locations.”

In order to install the new coating, it will be necessary to implement a series of overnight closures of the M8 at Charing Cross. The works will take approximately three weeks, with access maintained for emergency service vehicles throughout.

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