Reinstatement of 5000m² of brick tunnel lining on Brunel’s rail tunnel.
Designed by Marc Brunel (father of the much celebrated Isambard Kingdom Brunel who nearly lost his life in the construction) and opened for use in 1843, the 365 metre long rail tunnel under the River Thames was the first of its kind.
It is now a Grade II listed structure. As part of a £23m, 50 week refurbishment project to strengthen the tunnel, TFL sought to replace the brick lining whilst retaining its original style. They needed a finish with sufficient adhesion to withstand the suction of trains constantly rushing by.
Following trials of other products, Monolite was chosen because it had a pull-off resistance well in excess of the minimum required. It was applied using moulds, creating 400mm x 25mm thick decorative panels extending from one side of the tunnel over the arched ceiling to the opposite side. Advantages of Monolite over alternative products included its low density and its plastic consistency which made it easily workable into a mould. In addition, its lightweight and rapid drying properties allowed work to progress much more quickly than if a traditional heavier weight alternative had been used.
London Underground Ltd. (TFL)