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Innovating on and offshore


on and offshore

Astech® Aluminium Helidecks

our story

The Aluminium Offshore story began ­ like all good stories ­ with an idea. The idea was to use aluminium instead of steel in the construction of offshore marine structures. Back in 1987 such an idea was unconventional to say the least, but two decades and a lot of hard work later, it has proved to be visionary. So, why aluminium? At the most basic level aluminium has a unique combination of characteristics; structurally robust while at the same time lightweight and low maintenance. These qualities have become increasingly important in recent years as the demands of both offshore and onshore construction have evolved. Offshore, as remaining oil reserves are discovered at ever greater depths, the benefit of lightweight structures and reduced maintenance costs is being felt more than ever. Onshore, the dramatic growth in helidecks has created new demands on flexibility and aesthetic integrity ­ demands which aluminium can deliver better than any other material. Of course it takes more than just a great idea to create a world-leading company and the team at Aluminium Offshore continues to work as hard as ever to ensure complete satisfaction for clients worldwide. At the heart of our philosophy is a deep commitment to integrity and innovation. We have never just built structures. We innovate, research, refine, test and then do it all over again, delivering cutting edge solutions and a constant cycle of improvement. We never copy designs or ideas from anyone else. Our location in Singapore makes logistical sense and allows us to export not only our products but our innovation and know-how around the globe. We thrive on challenge. First it was the challenge of bringing aluminium to a steel-locked industry. Since then it has seen us consistently redraw the boundaries of what can be achieved using aluminium; from building Asia's first aluminum helideck in 1988, to successfully installing the world's largest helipad in Hong Kong in 2009. Our story is based upon taking an innovative idea and, through application and dedication, bringing it into reality. This has set the tone for our business for 23 years. It is why we have never lost a customer or missed a project deadline and why our competitors admire and respect us. From that first idea Aluminium Offshore has grown to become probably the largest helideck builder in the world and with nearly 300 helidecks installed worldwide by the same ownership and management team. We like to see it as a vindication of our beliefs and a reflection of our continued hard work. Neelesh Uppal Managing Director, Aluminium Offshore

" Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower"

Steve Jobs

why aluminium

From the harshest offshore environments to the most complex onshore projects, aluminium is proving itself to be the most flexible, efficient and safe choice for helideck construction. Here are four of the main reasons why:


An aluminium structure will weigh between 40-50% of an equivalent steel design. In today's offshore operations, where oil is drilled from increasingly deep waters, a 1 ton saving in the topsides weight delivers a multiple factor saving in the structure that supports that weight, which translates into significant savings in material and assembly costs. The weight savings also make aluminium structures easier to handle, fabricate, lift and install. The same benefits are also seen in the construction of onshore elevated helipads, creating enhanced flexibility in design and build.

Low maintenance

Properly designed marine alloy structures are virtually maintenance-free. The key to this is the non-corrosive characteristics of aluminium, which means that in most cases the aluminium helipad itself will comfortably outlast the platform or structure on which it is placed. The result is drastically reduced maintenance costs, particularly for offshore and elevated structures where maintenance can be an extremely costly and, at times, dangerous business.

Cost effective

An aluminium alloy structure is highly cost effective compared to an equivalent steel construction and in some cases an aluminium structure can also deliver lower initial purchase costs. Once maintenance, inspection and other ancillary savings are also factored in, the overall life cycle cost of using aluminium is significantly lower than any other available material.


The use of aluminium alloy structures enables the simple incorporation of unique, low cost and innovate safety features such as builtin passive fire suppression systems which eliminate fires automatically. Our Astech® Enhanced Safety helideck utilizes the superfast thermal dissipation ability of aluminium alloy to channel heat away from hot spots, something unique to aluminium helidecks.



enhanced safety helideck

drainage system ensures that liquids are channeled, sub-surface, from heli-decking to drain. Burning fuel is starved of oxygen and rapid heat dissipation occurs in the mesh. The fire is retarded immediately. Spilt fuel is quickly and safely drained away unburned and any remaining vapour burn-off can be extinguished in seconds with minimal water spray. Up to 97% of spilt fuel is recovered unburned. This model of helideck does not need foam or other extinguishing agents to deal with a fire on its surface and only water is used to extinguish the residual fire vapour burn after the bulk of the fuel has been drained off. UKCAA CAP437 6th edition, 2008, Ch5 allows installations with an Astech® Enhanced Safety helideck to use seawater instead of foam for the foam monitor or DIFFS systems. This means a huge reduction in cost, complexity, testing, maintenance and renewals.

1 Perimeter gutter 2 Girder beam 3 Fire screen to dissipate heat and kill fire 4 Decking to form landing surface

The most critical moments of helicopter operation are during landing and takeoff. An accident at either of these stages can result in hundreds of gallons of jet-fuel spilling from ruptured fuel tanks in the belly of the aircraft. Such a scenario is a frightening possibility: the intense, fuel-based fire will quickly spread on a flat helideck, making passenger rescue extremely hazardous. Vital time is lost in combating the fire on the helideck when all attention should be concentrated on the helicopter and on getting crew and passengers to safety. On unmanned platforms this problem is even more acute, as fire-fighting facilities are limited to start with and outside assistance may simply not be available. The Astech® Enhanced Safety helideck was developed to reduce these risks and make passenger safety a top priority. This deck incorporates a patented, passive fireretarding system which works by allowing burning fuel to pass through a special fire screen which is installed inside the punched heli-decking landing surface. A full-perimeter





Astech® DIFFS Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System

We have developed and successfully tested a unique fire fighting system integrated into the helideck. This unit has been approved by various authortities including UKCAA and all major classification bodies. The use of this system allows a fire to be extinguished in under 15 seconds for a foam unit and under 4 seconds for a water based system. Water based systems are only permitted on Astech® Enhanced Safety helidecks (UKCAA CAP437 6th ed). DIFFS units can be used in lieu of fixed foam monitor systems. DIFFS offers substantial advantages over traditional foam monitors: · Safer: frees up rescue and fire fighting crew to help with helicopter evacuation · Automatic: less chance of human error in traumatic situations · Nozzles spray uniformly: fire out in less than 15 seconds · Fire fighting platforms can be eliminated or reduced · More efficient fire suppression and not affected by wind · Multiple nozzles less affected by blockage caused by debris

design & features

We recognize that helideck innovation is not the preserve of marine offshore exploration. In recent years the industry has seen dramatic growth in commissions for onshore helidecks and we are happy to say that our innovator's zeal and the innate benefits of aluminium alloy structures are just as pertinent to onshore clients. While the fundamental benefits of aluminium ­ lightweight, cost effective, low maintenance and safety ­ are just as true onshore, we also make every effort to ensure our products deliver on every level across every project. Our aluminium alloy designs lend themselves perfectly to the more unique and stringent demands of private, government and corporate clients. Flexibility in design, size and colour and ease of installation mean that our helidecks can integrate seamlessly with the structural and design integrity of any building. Extrusion technology allows the structure to be designed as a modular, linked structure that is easy to assemble, disassemble or modify without welding or hot work; an invaluable asset when installing in difficult locations. Aluminium has a high residual value and is genuinely and economically recyclable, with recycling of aluminium requiring only 5% of its formation energy. These features make aluminium the ideal material for construction onshore as well as off and have allowed us to carry our record of innovation and industry "firsts" successfully into the onshore category.

success stories

Brisbane Hospital

The old practice of landing helicopters in adjacent fields and car parks and then ferrying EMS passengers to the hospitals is slowly giving way to the much more efficient and modern system of landing directly on the hospital roof. EMS cases can then be easily transported directly to emergency facilities in the hospitals. Mater Hospital is equipped with a 27.5m x 24.5m Astech® Enhanced Safety helipad and designed to land both Bell 412EPs and BA 109 tiltrotor helicopters. The helipad is fitted with a state of the art, water spray DIFFS fire fighting unit, which is automatically triggered by UV/IR sensors. It has the latest helideck xenon floodlights and LED perimeter lights for complete safety. The helipad rests on a modular, all-aluminium support structure, minimizing roof loadings and allowing landing loads to be taken directly by building columns. This helipad was viewed as such a success that Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane has also opted for the same configuration where we have also completed a similar helipad.


We have built more than 50 helidecks for Shell, worldwide. This particular project is special as it utilized an all-aluminum support truss to support the safety helideck pancake. A 22.2m diameter helideck, supported by a 6m high, 15m cantilevered aluminium support frame designed and built for the unmanned drilling platform MMDP1. The entire helideck structure is designed to be skidded back on rails to allow jackups to drill through the conductor locations. The support frame was custom designed to address the following tasks: a. Allow structural members to clear equipment on deck below b. Become a standard support frame design which can be used on all similarly configured platforms. The total weight of the helideck and support frame is under 50MT and replaces a 145MT steel design. Designed for Sikorsky S-92 operations and completed in June 2008.

Hong Kong Heliport

At the Hong Kong Heliport, a dual helicopter (AB139) helipad is in operation. We designed a dual helipad structure complete with an all aluminium support frame. The area under the heliport is usually populated with shoppers and office goers and so it was essential to have a lightweight structure with additional safety measures to protect against potential fuel spills on the helipad. The Astech® Enhanced Safety helideck was chosen and approved by the Hong Kong authorities as providing an acceptable level of safety in this regard. The old helipad was scrapped and replaced with two, state of the art, safety helipads suitable for up to AW139 helicopters. Constructed whilst still in operation, each measure 34m square and are linked by two 46m aluminium heli-link bridges. The heliport was completed in 2009 and is currently in partial operation. Once in full service, the heliport will see a landing or takeoff every 15 minutes. This is the biggest known aluminium helipad in the world.


This 27.2m helideck was designed and built for the ultra-deepwater drillship `Deepwater Pacific' at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. Suitable for operating a Boeing Chinook helicopter which weighs 22MT. Vessel Class ABS and Civil Aviation design specifications were UKCAA CAP437. The vessel will commence service with the Reliance Industries Group of India.

We provide a fully integrated turnkey service that includes all elements in providing a fully operational aluminium helideck. This includes the design and provision of support structure, lighting and fire fighting systems, safety and rescue equipment and all other equipment required by international standards.


on and offshore

· Astech® Enhanced Safety Helidecks · Astech® DIFFS

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