Sikatack Panel Keeps Module Delivery On Track At £900m Manchester Metrolink Extension

Sikatack Panel Keeps Module Delivery On Track At £900m Manchester Metrolink Extension

As part of the £900 million expansion of Manchester Metrolink, modular traction substations are being located at the side of the extended tram way to provide the traction power system. Appointed to install brick-effect cladding to blend the modules seamlessly into the urban landscape, cladding contractor A Fuller & Sons Ltd, trading as ContainerClad, needed a non-penetrative, secret fixing system to avoid piercing the fabric of the Modules, as any fluctuations in temperature and humidity may damage the units’ delicate contents. ContainerClad therefore designed a unique fixing system using SikaTack Panel Adhesive from global building products manufacturer, Sika, which ticked all the boxes.

Delivered by M-Pact Thales consortium –Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales – the Metrolink Phase 3 expansion scheme is set to increase the network’s ridership from 55,000 to 90,000 per day. As part of the improved railway infrastructure and to accommodate these additional passengers, a series of steel modules is being supplied by Bradgate Containers, with Ultra Electronics PMES completing the specification, fit-out and installation of traction substation equipment within the modules.

Plans for siting the modules in urban areas included the provision of the brick effect cladding to meet environmental and aesthetic requirements.

With the electronic equipment sensitive to temperature and atmospheric changes and required to be kept at a constant temperature, a prerequisite was that the steel modules must not be pierced – ruling out traditional mechanical cladding fixing. To overcome these restraints and meet the project’s demands, a brick cladding panel system was chosen and ContainerClad specified SikaTack Panel Adhesive as a way of fixing the cladding without affecting the integrity of the containers.

Due to sensitivity of the project, ContainerClad requested a comprehensive adhesion test from Sika, to identify if the solution would be appropriate. The test produced outstanding results and proved that the system would not only provide extreme resistance to environmental impact, but also meet the highest standards of performance and aesthetics.

SikaTack Panel Adhesive requires no screws, bolts, clips or brackets, instead relying on the exceptional adhesive power of its bonding agent. Suitable for use on a wide range of cladding materials, including ceramics, composites, high pressure laminates and cement based panels, the system can also work on many metal and powder coated substrates to offer an unrivalled adhesive solution.

Fully tested and accredited by the British Board of Agrément and DiBT, SikaTack Panel Adhesive minimises cold bridging and reduces the stress placed on the railsand cladding panels by allowing them to move in line with steel frame buildings.

After cleaning all the surfaces of the containers and aluminium rails
ContainerClad operatives applied a Sika panel primer to contact points on the container and aluminium support system. Then Sika Fixing Tape was applied to ensure the aluminium rail stayed in place whilst the SikaTack Panel Adhesive cured. The following day after application of the adhesive, the cladding panels were installed to provide long lasting and seamless results.

With several of the steel modules complete, the Metrolink Phase 3 expansion is well on track. As a crucial element in the project, ContainerClad’s application of the SikaTack Panel Adhesive secret fixing system has ensured the modular traction substations will protect their vital contents, maintain a stylish aesthetic, and help to provide a network fit for the 21st Century.

Now with the Registered Contractor Scheme, Sika can ensure every application of SikaTack Panel Adhesive is completed to the highest standard. Created to minimise risk for specifiers, main contractors and clients, it enables projects to benefit from the proven performance of SikaTack Panel Adhesive, matched with exceptional technical service from Sika and first class installation from one of the company’s approved Registered Contractors.

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