VIP bring innovation to the USA

VIP-Polymers Ltd is bringing innovation to the upcoming RETC2019 exhibition which runs 16th-19th June with their patented Cast-in tunnel segment gaskets.

The compliant compressible corner technology has been used on a number of tunnelling projects since its launch in 2016, the most recent being the Thames Tideway wastewater tunnel in London, UK and has recently achieved nuclear compliance for the intake and outfall tunnels on the Hinckley Point C nuclear power station, also located in the UK.

The innovative design delivers consistent load performance along the entire perimeter of the gasket, greatly reducing risk of segment cracking during installation.

Matthew Levitt, VIP Technical Business Development Manager, said: “Our decision to enter the tunnelling market was driven by the desire to improve on common gasket manufacturing processes that created solid gasket corners which lead to corner point loading, often the cause of cracked and damaged segments.

“RETC2019 is the first time VIP have exhibited in the USA since WTC2016 prior to its launch and is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate to tunnelling professionals in the USA how the technology works and the benefits it can bring in terms of reducing the need for post installation repairs and the associated costs and delays they can bring.”

Along with their Cast-in gaskets, VIP will also exhibit their Glued-in and Hydrophilic profiles as well as a bespoke design service that they are able to offer clients.

Commenting on the service, Matthew Levitt explains: “VIP recognise that every tunnelling project is different and has its own unique sealing requirements.

For our most recent bespoke design, on the Mumbai Metro tunnel, we created a Glued-in profile which could maintain the working pressures at extended gasket offsets as the tunnel passed under a river while utilising the existing 24mm segment groove which used one of our standard Glued-in profiles for the remainder of the tunnel.”

VIP’s services don’t just stop at gasket manufacture and supply, which is one of the things they are keen to talk about with visitors during the exhibition.

Luke Nethercot, VIP Business Manager – Tunnels & Rail said: “We believe that VIP are more than just a gasket manufacturer and see ourselves as a sealing partner in tunnelling.”

“Our service and products are providing more than sealing solutions for tunnels. We pride ourselves on providing expert advice every step of the project from gasket design, to product training and installation.”

You can visit VIP on stand 937.

VIP to exhibit at the No-Dig Roadshow

VIP will be exhibiting at 2 events on the 2019 No-Dig Roadshow. The events, aimed at those involved or interested in trenchless technology comprise of technical seminars with a program full of presentations on the latest techniques along with case study papers, compiled by the UKSTT.

It’s also a great opportunity for those involved in the trenchless industry to network with suppliers and peers alike.The first stop on the tour is at Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin on March the 14th with the second venue in Glasgow on June 6th (venue TBC).

VIP will be showcasing the VIP-Weco no-dig repair seal at both events. VIP’s manned entry mechanical repair seal has been used worldwide for the trenchless rehabilitation of pipes and sewers for industrial water, drinking water, waste water and fuel and gas.

Manufactured from EPDM or Nitrile rubber, VIP-Weco is available in a number of configurations which allows it to withstand internal pressures up to 20 bar and external up to 2 bar.

With installation times under an hour per seal, VIP-Weco is available in sizes up to DN3500 and is suitable for all pipe materials, making it the ultimate trenchless repair seal.

Attending the exhibition will be Paul Green and Jim Shaw, Business Development Director and Manager respectively for VIP.

Speaking of the upcoming events, Jim Shaw said, “the VIP-Weco is the perfect repair seal in instances where there is localised damage or where ground movement has caused pipe joints to separate.

The versatility of the seal means it can be used for a wide range of applications and its ease of use makes it the perfect choice for installation in manned entry situations and also as a liner end seal.

Attending the roadshows allows those involved in the industry to get a close-up look at the product and find out how it can be used for any upcoming projects they may have.”

You can visit VIP on stand 41. For more information or to book your ticket, visit the No-Dig Live website.

VIP launch German VIPSeal® website

VIP Polymers Ltd has launched a dedicated German language website to promote its VIPSeal® range of flexible pipe couplings.

The bespoke website was developed to support the VIPSeal® distribution centre based in Germany and reflects the growing demand for VIPSeal® products in Germany and other German-speaking territories on the Continent.

VIP Commercial Director Jon Crean said: “The launch of our new German VIPSeal® website reflects our plans and supports our German distribution centre.

In particular, it reflects the growing number of customers our VIPSeal® range is attracting in Germany.

As in the UK, German stockists value the opportunity to promote the high quality of VIPSeal® couplings, backed by the assurance that comes from the product being designed, tested, and manufactured to global standards by a single supplier.

We have designed our German language website to be a valuable marketing resource for our growing network of stockists in Germany and other German-speaking areas.

It will also allow us to promote the benefits of VIPSeal® pipe couplings directly to end-use customers, and help us put them in touch with local agents who can supply them quickly and efficiently with our products.”

VIPSeal® flexible couplings are designed for joining and repairing low-pressure and non-pressured pipes of any material and size combination.

VIP has end-to-end control of VIPSeal® product design and manufacture, a process that drives high levels of innovation, and underpins its adherence to exacting industry standards.

All VIPSeal® couplings are designed and manufactured by VIP in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK, using high quality rubber formulated and compounded on the same site.

The new German-language website showcases all couplings available in the VIPSeal® range including VIPSealChem.

The distinctive green VIPSealChem flexible couplings are manufactured to and designed to the requirements of both EN681-1 & EN682 and tested to EN295-4, and can be fitted in precisely the same way as standard VIPSeal® couplings, overcoming significant installation limitations found with other chemical resistant seals currently on the market.

To view the new German language VIPSeal® website go to

VIP continues support for Dreamdrops

In lieu of sending out Christmas cards to customers and suppliers this Christmas, VIP made a donation to the local children’s charity Dreamdrops, who fundraise for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s Holly Ward and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Hinchingbrooke Hospital as well as supporting the Trust’s community children’s services in and around the Huntingdon area.

Dreamdrops was set up with the aim of raising money to buy all those little, and large, extras that are not covered by NHS public funds but which make a hospital stay more comfortable, or less stressful, for children and their families.

Dreamdrops are currently fundraising to provide a ‘Calm Room’ in the Children’s Outpatients Reception, a portable 3D Pain Distraction Unit for children admitted to A&E as well as other items including toys and books to be used within the wards and for nursing in the community.

VIP is committed to supporting and developing the local community and Dreamdrops is a local charity that makes a real difference to children’s lives at a time when they need it most.

Dreamdrops Chairman, Anne-Marie Hamilton said “It really is so kind of everyone at VIP-Polymers to think of us again, this year. Thank you all very much. Being supported in this way by a local company means a great deal to us.”

To find out more about the charity or to make a donation, visit their site

VIP Christmas Shutdown

VIP Polymers will be closed over the Christmas period.

We close on Friday 21st December at 4.30pm and we re-open on Wednesday 2nd January at 8.00am.

We would like to thank everyone for their custom and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Does Size Matter?

Jon Crean, Commercial Director at VIP-Polymers Ltd, manufacturers of VIPSeal® flexible couplings and adaptors, discusses the applications for flexible couplings and the questions merchants should be asking customers in the September 2018 issue of Builders Merchant News Magazine.


On first impressions, flexible couplings are relatively standard products for a standard application. Designed to join pipes of differing sizes and materials for low and non-pressurised drainage applications, the most likely question on merchants minds will be to ask the customer ‘what size pipes are you joining?’

Specifying the correct coupling is a relatively straight forward process and while size does matter with regards to selecting the correct size coupling, it is one of a number of questions merchants should be asking their customers.


Understanding the application of where it will be used is the most important piece of information when selecting the correct coupling for the customer’s needs.

The location of the pipe joint will determine which product category the coupling is selected from.

Regulations vary depending on whether the work takes place inside or outside of the building curtilage or is in a non-adopted drainage scheme. Work which takes place outside of the building curtilage and is located within an adopted area, i.e pipe system will be adopted by a Water Company requires the use of products certified to WIS 4-41-01.

This dictates that a standard coupling must be used as they have a shear band, which can withstand higher pressures, protect against shear loads / deflection and is also suitable for shear and deflection situations under a negative pressure or vacuum. E.g pumped system.

VIPSeal® Standard Coupling

As couplings with shear bands are required for adoptable schemes, a bush is required alongside a standard coupling when joining pipes with a large difference in diameter.

For applications within the building curtilage that do not require resistance against shear loads, drain couplings and adaptor couplings provide a more cost effective solution.

The medium that will be transported through the pipe and the operating temperatures are important questions as they determine which material should be selected for the coupling in order to maximise the life of the connection.

Different rubber materials have different levels of resistance to chemicals and temperatures. It is important to ask the constant working temperature (CWT) as while most rubbers have stated working temperature ranges, the upper and lower limits usually refer to intermittent exposure. Long exposure to these temperatures can severely reduce the service life of the seal.

Sealing Force Retention

A fundamental property of a gasket is what is at risk when the correct material isn’t selected for the correct application. For any seal to work it must be energised (in the case of VIPSeal®, tension bands are tightened). The industry standard BS EN681-1 stipulates the compression set and stress relaxation of a seal. VIP was the first in the industry to obtain this in 1987 and have decade’s worth of data to support the effectiveness of our materials to retain their sealing force over-time.

A seal with good compression set will recover to almost its original shape when the load is removed. When under load, the seal must retain the energy that is built up within it. Seals with good stress relaxation will retain this energy.

Material Selection

In the majority of drainage applications, foul water and sewerage will commonly travel through a drainage pipe and extreme temperatures will not be experienced.

VIPSeal® flexible couplings are manufactured from high grade, sulphur cured EPDM rubber as standard. Sulphur cured EPDM has a resistance to a relatively high range of chemicals (typically found in drainage systems) and has a service range at constant temperatures between -10°C and 60°C.

However in industrial applications where aggressive chemicals or extreme temperatures will be experienced, the correct material needs to be selected. VIPSeal’s latest addition VIPSealChem is manufactured from FKM rubber which is resistant to a wide range of chemicals and extreme temperatures (-15°C to 200°C).


VIPSealChem Flexible Couplings

For applications exposed to mineral oils, fats and greases, Nitrile rubber (NBR) becomes the preferred choice. Where temperatures rise above 60°C but the application does not require the chemical resistance of FKM, a peroxide curing stage can be applied to EPDM (CWT to 125°C) and Nitrile (CWT to 100°C) couplings, providing a more cost effective solution.

It’s not only the rubber sleeve that can be made from different materials to suite different applications. Tension and shear bands are manufactured from 1.4301 (304) grade stainless steel which provides optimum resistance in most soil conditions. For higher corrosion, contaminated ground areas, or marine environments, grade 1.4401 (316) stainless steel should be specified.

Some flexible couplings are available in flexible PVC for plumbing applications. While they can provide a low cost solution, they do not have the same compressions set and stress relaxation properties or temperature resistance (max 38°C CWT) as rubber. Therefore they should only be used for internal, above ground applications where there is access to tighten the tension bands periodically over time.

The Right Tool for the Job

The standard VIPSeal® range will be suitable for most residential drainage applications, however if merchants are aware of the factors that affect material selection, they will be better placed to advise customers on the products that are most suitable for the application, ensuring a leak free joint that will exceed the service life of the pipe.

The team at VIP are always on hand to provide advice on the best material for the application and can also provide training either at their Huntingdon HQ or in branch with merchants, giving them the confidence to deal with any drainage enquiry. So while size is important when selecting the correct flexible coupling, it’s what you’re doing with it that matters.

Discover how VIP’s patented Cast-in gasket will benefit your project at BTS 2018

VIP are looking forward to exhibiting at this year’s BTS 2018 conference and Exhibition. The biannual event is held at the Queen Elizabeth Centre, Westminster, London for two days on the 9th and 10th October.

The event which is hosted by the British Tunnelling Society combines a two day conference with the UK’s largest tunnelling and underground space exhibition. VIP will be showcasing our full range of tunnel segment gasket profiles including glued-in, hydrophilic and our patented cast-in gasket which is designed to eliminate corner point loading, often the cause of cracking and spalling of concrete segments.

The gasket has been used successfully in the Glasgow Shieldhall waste water tunnel and is being used extensively throughout the Thames Tideway project and you can learn of the benefits that it can bring your project first hand by speaking with Sales Director, Steve Casey, and Business Development Manager, Matthew Levitt who will be present throughout the event.

You can visit us on stand B22. For more information and to book your ticket, visit the BTS Conference 2018 website.

VIPSeal® Increase Overseas Potential with new Accreditation

VIP-Polymers Ltd have recently obtained two accreditations for their VIPSeal® range of flexible couplings for the Australian and New Zealand Market – AS/NZS 4327:1995 CMARK (cert no. 3018) and WaterMark (cert no. 23304).

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), which covers metal banded flexible couplings and bushes for low pressure applications that utilise bands manufactured from 1.4401 (316) stainless steel, specifically for the infrastructure applications within the water utilities for Australasia.

Commenting on the new development, VIP Commercial Director Jon Crean said “we are delighted that VIPSeal® products now carry the full approval of two accreditations which will support our strategy and distributors within the Australasian market.”

Use of VIP’s Patented Tunnel Segment Gasket Increases on the Thames Tideway Project

VIP-Polymers Ltd have increased their involvement in the Thames Tideway project by winning 3 more contracts to supply their patented Cast-in gasket. These projects are in addition to the central section of the Main Wastewater Tunnel and Beckton shaft and Syphon tunnel projects VIP had already secured.

The latest contracts include the supply of Cast-in gaskets for the East section of the Main tunnel, the Greenwich Connection Tunnel and the Frogmore Connection Tunnel.

Thames Tideway Route Map

The Thames Tideway Project is required to upgrade the outdated combined sewer system that was built in the 1860’s. Originally designed for a population of 2 million, it now lacks the capacity to serve a population nearing 9 million, which continues to grow.

VIP’s patented Cast-in gasket is designed to eliminate cracking and spalling of concrete segments caused by solid corners. Solid corners result from the traditional ‘shot joining’ manufacturing process to join lengths of extruded gasket profile together to form the trapezoid gasket that encompasses the concrete segment.

As the gasket is unable to compress at the corners, higher loads are experienced which can lead to cracks and spalling. As VIP’s innovative gasket allows compression performance that is virtually uniform around the entire gasket, ensuring that loads experienced when the segments are closed together do not exceed the specification of the design.

Solid Corner GasketVIP's patented cast-in gasket corner

Caption: Cross section of a solid corner vs. VIP’s Patented gasket corner

At 8.5m in diameter (outer), the East section of the main tunnel will connect to the central section at Chambers Wharf and travel 5.5km East, terminating at Abbey Mills Pumping Station. Gaskets are being supplied to a Max Bogl / Tarmac joint venture, who will cast the gaskets directly into the segments which eliminates the need to glue them in at a later stage.

At depths between 45 and 65m, this is the deepest section of the tunnel where the ground is predominantly chalk. Due to these conditions, a 35mm profile is being used to cope with the higher water pressure at the deepest point of the tunnel.

Tideway Tunnel Depth

28mm Cast-in profile will be the gasket used by the same pre-caster for the 4.6km Greenwich Connection Tunnel. This 6.1m diameter (outer) tunnel connects to the main tunnel at the join between the Central and East section and connects to the Greenwich Pumping Station.

Commenting on the projects, Business Development Manager Matthew Levitt said, “It’s great to be involved with all sections of the project from West through Central and in to East. Collaborating with several different stakeholders from the design teams through to the contractors and precasters involved. VIP’s Cast-in system offers greater assurance to the longevity of the structure and reduction in unplanned expenditure on a project”

The final contract is the Frogmore connection Tunnel, connecting the West section of the main tunnel to the existing combined sewer overflow, Frogmore Storm Relief-Buckhold Road.

VIP’s 28mm Cast-in profile will be the gasket used in 1.1km of 3.2m diameter (outside) tunnel. VIP will be supplying gaskets to segment pre-casters FP McCann with whom they have had previous success on projects including the Glasgow Shieldhall waste water tunnel.

Continuing the working relationship with VIP for the Thames Tideway East and Greenwich tunnels is the Costain, Vinci Construction Grands Projets joint venture (CVB) who were also the contractor for the successful Glasgow Shieldhall project.

Commenting on the working relationship with VIP, Tony Parsons, Director of Engineering (Tunnelling) at Costain said “CVB selected VIP Cast-In Gaskets for waterproofing the Shieldhall Tunnel lining as they offered the best option for moderate corner compression loads and consequent avoidance of segment damage arising from ‘hard corner’ overload.

The gaskets performed extremely well in service with no related segment damage and excellent groundwater exclusion.

On the basis of their performance at Shieldhall, CVB specified VIP gaskets for the tunnels at Tideway East, and Costain specified VIP for the Tideway Overflow Tunnel at Beckton”.

Casting for the projects will begin in August.

VIP Showcase trenchless technology at No-Dig 2018

VIP will be exhibiting at No-Dig Live 2018, the go to event for anyone involved in the trenchless industry.

Held at the East of England Area and Events Centre in Peterborough, the 3 day event runs from the 18th to the 20th September and includes the UKSTT gala dinner and awards ceremony on the evening of the 19th where VIP representatives will also be present.

Throughout the event, VIP will be showcasing our VIP-Weco no-dig repair seal. Manufactured from EPDM or Nitrile rubber, VIP-Weco is available in a number of configurations which allows it to withstand internal pressures up to 20 bar and external up to 2 bar.

VIP-WECO Configuration 1

With installation times under an hour per seal, VIP-Weco is available in sizes up to DN3500 and is suitable for all pipe materials and sizes, making it the ultimate trenchless repair seal.

Alongside VIP-Weco, VIP will also be showcasing VIPSeal®, our range of flexible couplings for low and non-pressure applications including the latest addition to the range VIPSealChem for applications where extreme temperatures and high chemical resistance is required.

Visit VIP on stand 93. For more information or to book your ticket, visit the No-Dig Live website.