Case Study: Special Formwork

Special Formwork, a UK based company specialising in the design and manufacture of steel formwork for the casting of concrete, have partnered with Vickers Oils for their latest innovation in sea-wall construction.

The revolutionary ‘Hydraulic Travelling Sea Wall Formwork’ has been developed over the past three years for KierBAM as a dramatically faster and safer solution to building concrete walling quickly between tides.

The travelling formwork system, which is propelled using hydraulic motors and mounted on railway track, virtually eliminated the need for cranes and meant that the formwork could be safely adjusted using hydraulics via a remote control. Concrete is poured into the formwork, which then remains in place for three days, meaning the traveler is immersed by six high tides, which created an environmental concern.

In such instances, high-performance, environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) are of primary importance to minimize environmental impact. Any product leakage into the sea could damage the local eco-system and so Special Formwork naturally turned to Vickers Oils who are the pioneers in biodegradable marine lubricants.

The system has been supplied with Vickers ECOSURE EAF 32, an environmentally acceptable hydraulic fluid delivering superior fluid life and oxidation resistance which performs in extreme conditions.  BIOGEAR XP 150 was selected for the hydraulic motors due to its superior anti-wear, EP and oxidisation protection under severe conditions, an important property due to high load and critical duty.

Final factory testing was carried out July 2018 without any issues and the unit has now been shipped to site. Construction of the sea wall is due to take nine to twelve months.

Alan Williams, Director at Special Formwork commented “this has been a complex and exciting challenge for Special Formwork. The use of environmentally acceptable lubricants is a first for us and I am glad I chose to approach Vickers Oils to assist. The team at Vickers Oils have been helpful and easy to work with and their specialist knowledge in EAL’s is second to none. We have every confidence that the high-quality products chosen will out-perform our expectations and requirements and I look forward to working with Vickers Oils again in future projects”.

Having first began product development for EALs in 1993, Vickers Oils were way ahead of the curve with regard to environmental awareness and corporate responsibility.  Vickers Oils launched the world’s first biodegradable sterntube oil, HYDROX BIO, in 2002 and have since developed an award-winning range ofEALs which are used in over seven thousand vessels and sold out of over 30 ports world-wide.

To find out more about Vickers Oils please visit us at SMM 2018, stand B1.OG.300, or visit www.vickers-oil.comor follow us at