How fischer installed the world’s longest sea crossing23. September 2019
35 kilometres above water, 6.7 kilometres in a tunnel underwater and 13.3 kilometres over artificial islands and mainland: The new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge is an engineering masterpiece. The world’s longest sea crossing caused a sensation in China and across the globe, which fills Yafeng Zhang with pride for having been involved in this mega project. He is a Field Technician for fischer in China and developed fixing solutions for the spectacular sea crossing in the Pearl River Delta. “I will remember this project forever”, Zhang says enthusiastically.
Greater Bay Area: A new global innovation centre
Zhang lives with his family in Guangzhou, a metropolis with over ten million inhabitants. The city belongs to the even larger metropolitan area of Shenzhen-Guangzhou-Hong Kong. The Chinese government wants to deepen links in the Pearl River Delta between the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau as well as nine other cities to develop the enormous Greater Bay Area while creating an innovative hub similar to Silicon Valley. The plan involves ambitious infrastructure projects such as the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, which was opened in October 2018 and reduces the travelling time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from around four hours to approximately 30 minutes.
Overcoming engineering challenges
The international fixings specialist fischer has been involved in important Chinese projects for many years. These projects include the government building in the new Beijing sub-centre as well as the construction of the world’s largest airport for civilian use, the Beijing Daxing International Airport, which was completed in July 2019. “fischer was invited to participate in the project selection for the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge in mid-2016”, Zhang says. The project involved heavy-duty fixings for administrative buildings and garages on Zhuhai Port island, one of four artificial islands. “We were on a tight schedule and there were major technical challenges”. The Pearl River Delta, which the 55-kilometre bridge was to be built on, has a subtropical climate with an air humidity of up to 90 per cent as well as regular earthquakes and typhoons. At times a sea mist containing salt rises over the bay during the hours of the morning and evening, increasing the risk of corrosion.
fischer’s products demonstrate their abilities on site
“We recommended our particularly powerful injection mortar FIS EM Plus 390 S for the rebar connections of the building structure for a garage on Zhuhai Port”, Zhang reports. He demonstrated the product’s notable durability through humidity, temperature, ageing and long-term stress tests as well as corrosion tests. “We also carried out tests on site in order to demonstrate the strength of the FIS EM Plus 390 S under the extreme conditions of the Pearl River Delta”. The tests ultimately convinced the customer. The ease of using the injection mortar, which barely require any tools, was also an important factor. “This was a definite advantage in light of the challenging location of the construction site in the middle of the river delta”, Yafeng Zhang says.
The ZYKON undercut anchor FZA also managed to convince the customer during on-site tests. It was used in order to attach the substructure of the rear-ventilated facade of a border control building. The resin capsule RSB was used for the interior and exterior walls of several buildings to install heavy steel constructions in concrete. “The injection mortars, undercut anchors and resin capsules were imported from Germany”, Zhang explains, “and the stainless steel screws were manufactured directly in China”.
Comprehensive technical support and training
“We worked in close cooperation with our customers”, Field Technician Zhang reports: “I not only helped determine the right anchoring solutions, we also carried out numerous tests on the construction site and were available as a point of contact at all times”. The professional support included on-site training: “We don’t just distribute technical documents, we also go over them with the construction crew point by point. Our engineers explain the installation and answer any questions”, Zhang says. The workers are then able to immediately commence with the installation. “This is the only way to guarantee the correct use of the products and their technical safety”, Zhang explains. “All companies and contractors involved in the construction of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge are among the best in their industry”, Zhang is pleased to say. “I am certain that this will result in additional projects”. When he drives across the spectacular sea crossing for the first time he will do so with a sense of pride at having contributed to this project of the century along with fischer.