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Locking pins assessment at River Idle sluice gates


Eadon Consulting recently completed a comprehensive assessment of the locking pins and gate support structure at the River Idle sluice gates in response to Environment Agency concerns about their strength. 

The gates, situated in West Stockwith, Nottinghamshire, are responsible for regulating the water flow of the River Trent and its tributary. 

The deteriorating gate lifting ropes need to be replaced. To do this, the gates will need to be raised, and locking pins are required to secure them while new ropes are fitted. The assessment conducted by Eadon aimed to substantiate the locking pins and gate support structure, ensuring their suitability and safety for the task. 

The lack of information about the existing pins’ material composition posed a challenge. There are very few historical drawings of these parts, which made it difficult to determine their exact specifications. We therefore performed calculations accounting for factors such as bending strength, torsional buckling, and the unknown material properties of the pins. The Environment Agency standard of LIT 13223 was used as a reference in which it states that a minimum safety factor of 2 be used when considering mechanical components loaded to their maximum design load.

As our findings indicated the pins were at risk of failure we recommended their replacement. We provided the drawings and calculations for a new pin design which offers improved strength and a larger section modulus, providing improved reliability and ensuring the safety of the gate operation.

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