Customer Requirements

Tufcot were contacted by a customer in the Netherlands involved in the refit of tidal dock gates.

Typically, these are large units that, once installed, require a lengthy service life but many still use old technology.

So to look for an improvement to the previous material, the customer enquired about Tufcot’s composite marine materials. Specifically, Tufcot® T100 Marine due to its mechanical stability, minimum swell and tolerance to seawater and low temperature.

The bearings required for this application are heel bearings. They are a half shell-type bearing that sit along the back edge of the gate and run against the coin mounted in the dock wall.

As there is no external support, they have no option for interference fitting and require mechanical fixing.

Tufcot’s Solution

Tidal dock gates spend the majority of their service life fully submerged but can have long spells where upper areas are open to the elements.

This total submergence and complete drying, alongside the exposure to seawater and marine vegetation, means operation in a harsh environment with severe extremes.

For many cases (as in this one), the previous material had been wood. The repeated saturation and drying cycles, alongside the marine environment, meant excessive wear and decreased effectiveness in operation resulting in cracking and decay.

Using our Tufcot® T100 Marine grade would ensure a lengthy service life and a material which is not adversely affected by these extremes. It would also perform equally well in dry conditions due to the self lubricating nature of the material. This ensures a smoother action when the gate is cycled and provides a maintenance-free solution.

Tufcot’s state-of-the-art machining capabilities and large capacity for 4 axis milling meant we were able to offer a highly cost-effective solution. It also meant that the parts were machined, split and drilled in one complete operation.


Tufcot were able to deliver over sixty large diameter bearing shells, (600mm in diameter), in a very short space of time to suit the customers’ requirements.

In doing so, we have provided the customer with an easy-fit, maintenance-free, long-life solution that should far outlast the previous material and outperform the previous solution.

If you have any questions or would like to know if Tufcot can assist you with upcoming projects, contact our experienced team on:

  • Phone: +44 (0)114 244 2363
  • Email: