Flexifloat Locking System
Flexifloat sectional barges are connected by a high-strength locking system.
The lock mechanism is simple, quick and positive. It is completely integral to modules and attachments and has no separate pins, bolts, or other loose parts which may be lost or damaged. It is designed for on-deck assembly using ordinary hand tools. The design and manufacture of the locking system is so precise that, once engaged, there is no discernible play between connected modules.
Flexifloat's locking system has the highest load capacity of any commercial modular pontoon system available. Connector parts are precision-cast from durable, high-strength, low-alloy steel having a yield strength exceeding 60 ksi. The locks are capable of transmitting very large tensile, compressive and shear loads across the interface, providing a rigid connection between modules.
Modules are connected by opposing "male" and "female" locks. Each lock has an upper and lower connection point located at deck and bottom level. Male and female locks are built into opposite sides and ends of the modules at precise intervals and are connected to each other by internal trusses which are designed to develop the full capacity of the locks. The locking system is completely self-contained. There are no separate pins, bolts or other loose parts. Lock engagement is accomplished by a vertically-sliding locking bar which is retained within the structure of the female lock. All other components of the locking system are fixed and rigidly built into the modules.
A crew of three, working from the deck and using only a sledgehammer, pry bar and rope can assemble a large platform in only a few hours. Female locking bars are first raised with the pry bar. Adjacent modules are then pulled into alignment with ropes until opposing male and female locks are mated and the upper and lower faces are in near contact. The locking bar is then driven down with the sledgehammer. A wedging action by the locking bar pulls the modules into final position and engages the upper and lower male locks simultaneously.