Scour is a well-known problem around any offshore structure in flowing water and represents a considerable challenge for offshore engineers because it has the potential to compromise stability and cause fatigue to marine structures. With the rapid growth of offshore renewables, scour has taken on a renewed significance. A number of different solutions to scour have been used within the offshore industry, however each have experienced limitations in their effectiveness.
SPSL has developed an innovative anti-scour system in the form of a mattress constructed from recycled tyres, termed the Scour Prevention Mat (SPM). The SPM is proven to be an effective solution to the problems of scour occurring around monopile foundations and subsea cabling. Once installed, the SPM fills with seabed material, be it sand, mud or gravel, stabilising the seabed and preventing further scouring of the covered area.
The solution uses a matrix of recycled car tyres joined together and laid onto the seabed. In effect they are a completely inert protective skin over the sea bed, and completely eliminate scour. The SPM takes advantage of the fact that the density of the tyres and that of the surrounding seabed is very similar. Not being significantly lighter, they don’t float away, and not being heavier, they don’t sink, move or create secondary scour, which are common problems with rock armouring.
Whilst technologically simple and cost effective, it is protected by a range of patents internationally. Because of the simplicity of the system, the SPM can be made to different sizes and shapes, can be used to protect a range of structures, is easy to install, and if necessary, remove.