quantity of mud which accumulated in the Tilbury Dock basin, which has an area of about 17 acres, with a depth of 26 ft. at low-water spring tides. In the first instance chain harrows merely were used, but the addition of the water jets added materially to the success of the operation. The system accomplished in six tides more than was done in twelve tides without the water jets which worked at about 80 lb pressure per sq. in. at the bottom of the dock.
Ive’s excavator consists of a long weighted spear, with a sort of spade at the end of it. The spade is hinged at the top, and is capable of being turned at right angles to the spear by a chain attached to the end of the spear. The spade is driven into the ground, and after releasing the catch which holds it in position during its descent, it is drawn up at right angles to the spear by the chain, carrying the material with it. Milroy’s excavator is similar, but instead of having only one spade it generally has eight, united to the periphery of an octagonal iron frame fixed to a central vertical rod. When these eight spades are drawn up by means of chains, they form one flat table or tray at right angles to the central rod. In operation the spades hang vertically, and are dropped into the material to be excavated; the chains are then drawn up, and the table thus formed holds the material on the top, which is lifted and discharged by releasing the spade. This apparatus has been extensively used both in Great Britain and in India for excavating in bridge cylinders.
The clam shell dredger consists of two hinged buckets, which when closed form one semi-cylindrical bucket. The buckets are held open by chains attached to the top of a cross-head, and the machine is dropped on to the top of the material to be dredged. The chains holding the bucket open are then released, while the spears are held firmly in position, the buckets being closed by another chain. Bull’s dredger, Gatmell’s excavator, and Fouracre’s dredger are modifications with improvements of the clam shell dredger, and have all been used successfully upon various works.
Bruce & Batho’s dredger, when closed, is of hemispherical form, the bucket being composed of three or four blades. It can be worked by either a single chain or by means of a spear, the latter being generally used for stiff material. The advantage of this form of dredger bucket is that the steel points of the blades are well adapted for penetrating hard material. Messrs Bruce & Batho also designed a dredger consisting of one of these buckets, but worked entirely by hydraulic power. This was made for working on the Tyne. The excavator or dredger is fixed to the end of a beam which is actuated by two hydraulic cylinders, one being used for raising the bucket and the other for lowering it; the hydraulic power is supplied by the pumps in the engine-room. The novelty in the design is the ingenious way in which the lever in ascending draws the shoot under the bucket to receive its contents, and draws away again as the bucket descends. The hydraulic cylinder at the end of the beam is carried on gimbals to allow for irregularities on the surface being dredged. The hydraulic pressure is 700 ℔ per sq. in., and the pumps are used in connexion with a steam accumulator.
An unloading apparatus was designed by Mr A. Manning for the East & West India Dock Co. for unloading the dredged materials out of barges and delivering it on the marsh at the back of the bank of the river Thames at Crossness, Kent. A stage constructed of wooden piles commanded a series of barge beds, and the unloading dredger running from end to end of the stage, lifted and delivered the materials on the marsh behind the river wall at the cost of 1 d. per cub. yd.
Dredging on the River Scheldt below Antwerp.—This dredging took place at Krankeloon and the Belgian Sluis under the direction of L. Van Gansberghe. At Melsele there is a pronounced bend in the river, causing a bar at the Pass of Port Philip, and just below the pass of Lillo there is a cross-over in the current, making a neutral point and forming a shoal. After dredging to 8 metres (26.24 ft.) below low tide, in clay containing stone and ferruginous matter, a sandstone formation was encountered, which was very compact and difficult to raise. A suction dredger being unsuited to the work, a bucket-ladder dredger was employed. The dredging was commenced at Krankeloon in September 1894 and continued to the end of 1897. A depth of 6 metres (19.68 ft.) was excavated at first, but was afterwards increased to 8 metres (26.24 ft.). The place of deposit was at first on lands acquired by the State, 2.17 m. above Krankeloon, and placed at the disposal of the contractor. The dredgings excavated by the bucket-ladder dredger were deposited in scows, which were towed to the front of the deposit ground and discharged by a suction pump fixed in a special boat, moored close to the bank of the river. The material brought by the suction dredger in its own hull was discharged by a plant fixed upon the dredger itself. In both instances the material was deposited at a distance of 1640 ft. from the river, the spoil bank varying in depth from 2 to 7 metres. The water thrown out behind the dyke with the excavated material returned to the river, after settlement, by a special discharge lock built under the dyke. After 1896 the material was delivered into an abandoned pass by means of barges with bottom hopper doors or by the suction dredger. One suction dredger and three bucket-ladder dredgers were employed upon the work, and a vessel called “Scheldt I.” used for discharging the material from the scows. Four tugboats and twenty scows were also employed.
The largest dredger, “Scheldt III.,” was 147.63 ft. long by 22.96 ft. wide by 10.98 ft. deep, and had buckets of 21.18 cub. ft. capacity. The output per hour was 10,594 cub. ft. This dredger had also a complete installation as a suction dredger, the suction pipe being 2 ft. diameter. The fan of the centrifugal pump was 5.25 ft. diameter, and was driven by the motor of the bucket ladder. The three bucket dredgers worked with head to the ebb tide. They could also work with head to the flood tide, but it took so long a time to turn them about that it was impracticable. The work was for from 13 to 14 hours a day on the ebb tide. The effective daily excavation averaged 4839 cub. yds. Each dredger was fitted with six anchors. The excavated cut was 164 ft. wide by 6.56 ft. deep. “Scheldt III.” was capable of lifting a mass 9.84 ft. thick. The suction dredger “Scheldt II.” was of the multiple type, and is stated to be unique in construction. It can discharge material from a scow alongside, fill its own hopper with excavations, discharge its own load upon the bank or into a scow by different pipes provided for the purpose, and discharge its own load through hopper doors. The machinery is driven by a triple expansion engine of 300 i.h.p. working the propeller by a clutch. Owing to the rise and fall in the tide of 23 ft. the suction pipe is fitted with spherical joints and a telescopic arrangement. The vessel is 157.5 ft. by 28.2 ft. by 12.8 ft. The diameter of the pump is 5.25 ft. The wings of the pump are curved, the surface being in the form of a cylinder parallel to the axis of rotation, the directrix of which is an arc of a circle of 2.62 ft. radius with the straight part beyond. The suction and discharge pipes are 2 ft. diameter. A centrifugal pump is provided for throwing water into the scows to liquefy the material during discharge. The dredger, which is fitted with electric lights for work at night, is held by two anchors, to prevent lurching backwards and forwards; it can work on the flood as well as on the ebb tide, and can excavate to a depth of 42.65 ft., the output depending upon the nature of the material. With good material it can fill its tanks in thirty minutes. To empty the tanks by suction and discharge upon the bank over the dyke takes about fifty minutes, depending upon the height and distance to which the material requires to be delivered. The daily work has averaged eighteen hours, ten trips being made when the distance from the dredging ground to the point of delivery is about 1 m. When the dredged material is discharged into the Scheldt, a quantity of 5886 cub. yds. has been raised and deposited in a day, the mean quantity being 4700 cub. yds. When the distance of transportation is increased to 2½ m., six voyages were made in a day, and the day’s work amounted to 3530 cub. yds.
|Fig. 2.—Diagram showing Action of Lobnitz Gold Dredger.|
Gold Dredgers.—Dredgers for excavating from river beds soil containing gold are generally fitted with a screen and elevator. They have been extensively designed and built by Messrs Lobnitz & Co. (fig. 2) and also by Messrs Hunter & English.
2. Marine Biology
The naturalist’s dredge is an instrument consisting essentially of a net or bag attached to a framework of iron which forms the mouth of the net. When in use as the apparatus is drawn over the sea-bottom mouth forwards, some part of the framework passes beneath objects which it meets and so causes them to