The 5 Billion Pound Super Sewer

The BBC are airing a 3 part documentary this month, focusing on the Thames Tideway Project of which VIP are supplying gaskets for sections of the project including tunnels and shafts. 

Currently in production is the central section of the main sewer tunnel for which VIP have supplied their patented cast-in gasket which eliminates cracks and spalling to concrete segments caused by corner point loading.

Other parts of the project that VIP have contributed to are cast-in gaskets for a 800m siphon tunnel and glued in gaskets for a 30m deep shaft, both of which are located at the Beckton Treatment works. Both of these gaskets were manufactured from Nitrile rubber, able to withstand the mix of chemicals that are expected to be present.

The project itself is being undertaken as the Victorian network of sewers, which was originally designed for a population of 2 million, is at bursting point.

With the overflow of sewerage being fed into the river Thames, totalling 39 million tonnes every year, the project will ensure that all of the waste and rainwater that flows into the drainage system can be treated.

With a current population of 9 million and rising, the project will ensure that it can cope with the projected population of London.

The documentary follows the people involved in building one of the largest construction projects in the UK.

For full details of the program and information on future episodes, visit the BBC website.

What is a solid corner?

Solid corners in Cast-in gaskets, caused by traditional shot joining methods contribute to cracking and spalling of concrete segments. These can be difficult to detect at an early stage as they are often on the extrados of the ring and not seen but the result, often leaks, lead to costly repairs and delays.

During our recent visit to the World Tunnel Congress in Dubai, we exhibited our latest innovation in tunnel segment gaskets.

VIP introduced a major step forward in Cast-in gasket design. The patented* compliant compressible corner technology, which is already in use on a number of projects, delivers load performance along the entire perimeter of the gasket, greatly reducing the risk of segment cracking during installation.

In our video, filmed on location at WTC2018, Sales and Technical Director, Steve Casey explains what a solid corner looks like and how they can lead to segment cracking and spalling.
*(GB2541978 – International patent pending)


Visit VIP at Singapore International Water Week

Singapore International Water Week

It’s not long to go now until this year’s Singapore International Water Week where VIP will be sharing a stand with our partner Pan Asian Holdings Ltd.

The event, held between the 8th and 12th July at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre is a global platform aimed at sharing and co-creating innovative water solutions.

Business Development Director Paul Green will be on the stand to discuss VIP’s products, services and latest innovations including:

VIPseal® – Our range of flexible couplings and adaptors for low and non-pressure pipes of any material including VIPSealChem, the latest innovation in chemical couplings.

VIP-Weco – Our No-Dig permanent pipe repair seal, suitable for potable and waste water and able to withstand internal pressures of up to 20 bar and external up to 2 bar.

Tyton-SIT Viper – The next generation of self-restrained gaskets for ductile iron pipelines to Preferred Class in sizes DN80 – DN600

Manufacturing – With in-house design, testing facilities and laboratories, along with rubber compounding and moulding capabilities, VIP have everything needed to take a product from idea through to completed item, all under one roof.

VIP will be on booth B2J32 throughout the event and look forward to meeting you. If you would like to arrange a meeting in advance, you can email Paul.

VIP achieves ISO 14001 with ‘best in class’ management system

VIP-Polymers Ltd has obtained ISO 14001 environmental certification with what the assessor described as some of the best management control systems he had seen at any manufacturer.

The global specialist rubber seals and gaskets manufacturer, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, has achieved ISO 14001:2015, the latest version of the international standard.

The assessment was based on elements of a management system, first introduced in 2016, being developed in-house by Dan Rowe, VIP’s Senior Quality Engineer, and Neil Search, the company’s Quality and Systems Manager.

This system incorporates quality, health and safety – and now the environment – in an integrated approach so VIP’s processes support each other towards a mutual goal of continual improvement.

Dan Rowe said: “The ISO assessor from BSI was very complimentary about our management system, saying we were raising the bar, and that some of its elements were the best he had ever seen at any manufacturer in the UK.
“It was very pleasing to receive such positive feedback. Passing the audit at the first attempt was a great achievement, and reflects the hard work put in by everyone involved.”

ISO 14001:2015 sets the standard for environmental management systems, taking a risk-based approach to controlling the company’s impacts on the world around it.

VIP’s management system has introduced new tools and techniques that are tailored to align perfectly with the requirements of working practices at VIP and the ISO standard.

This has included the introduction of a new form of life-cycle assessment, known as a Chi-Bi diagram, and a revolutionary new method for assessing risks across all areas of the business.

Neil Search said: “We have developed a new approach to risk management, moving from a predictive model to one based on introducing specific control processes to manage risk.

“We have also looked at every stage of how all our seals and gaskets are designed, manufactured, and then used to maximise quality, cut waste and energy use, and reduce their impact on the environment.

“Thanks to this process, which has involved every team in our organisation, our customers can be sure we are continuously improving the sustainability, quality, and value of our products.”

VIP also holds ISO 9001:2015 and has begun working towards achieving the newly published ISO 45001:2018 standard for health and safety management systems.

The company manufactures pipe seals and gaskets, and tunnel segment gaskets to many national and international standards, for major infrastructure projects around the world.

VIP has end-to-end control of the R&D and manufacturing process by compounding and mixing its own rubber, product design and testing through to the final manufacture of the products.

Download our latest ISO 14001:2015 Certificate here.

VIP gets ready to showcase UK innovation at IFAT 2018

A pioneering flexible coupling that allows chemical resistant pipes to be joined more quickly, at reduced cost, and with minimised operational downtime is just one of the new products VIP-Polymers Ltd will be putting on show at IFAT in May.

The leading global rubber couplings and gasket manufacturer, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, will be among 78 UK exhibitors at the event, in Munich, Germany, from May 14-18, billed as the world’s leading fair for environmental technologies.

VIP’s new patent-pending VIPSealChem coupling, part of the VIPSeal® range of products, will be on prominent display at the event, which is expected to attract up to 140,000 visitors from more than 160 countries.

VIP Commercial Director Jon Crean said: “We’re expecting a good deal of interest in VIPSealChem. We believe it’s an industry game changer. For the first time a coupling with high resistance to chemicals and extreme temperatures can be fitted in the same way as a standard VIPSeal® coupling.

“We have just officially launched the product, and IFAT is an ideal opportunity to show it to international customers, and many potential new ones.”

VIPSealChem FKM flexible couplings are manufactured to meet the requirements of EN681-1 WB/WD and EN295-4. Sectors it is designed for include chemical and process industries, food and drink manufacture, fuel storage, and research laboratories.

A VIP team from the UK will join representatives from VIP-Polymers GmbH, VIP’s German VIPSeal® distributor, at IFAT, after a successful 2016 exhibition.

They will be showcasing the full range of VIP’s services. These include rubber compounding, product design and development, and coupling and gasket manufacturing techniques which include compression and injection moulding, extrusion, and rubber to metal bonding.

John Crean said: “One of VIP’s key strengths is our ability to control the product development and manufacturing process from end-to-end, from product concept, to rubber formulation, development, and production control. This allows us to control quality standards with precision, and drive innovation, which we will be talking about at IFAT.”

VIPSealChem couplings will be displayed alongside other key VIP products, including the full VIPSeal® range, tunnel segment gaskets, VIP-Weco no-dig pipe repair seals, and the new Tyton-SIT Viper self-restrained gasket.

VIP will be able to point to recent successes and important developments across the product range. For example, its cast-in tunnel segment gaskets have been used in Scottish Water’s Shieldhall wastewater tunnel project which completed its construction phase in December 2017.

The tunnel is the first in the UK to benefit from VIP’s new patented compliant compressible gasket corner technology, which reduces the risk of segment cracking.

Tyton-SIT VIPer, on show for the first time, is a next-generation self-restrained gasket for ductile iron pipes (EN545/EN598). It is potable water approved, 60-degree WRAS approved, and allows faster pipe installations with smaller excavations compared to non-restrained gaskets.

Jon Crean said: “We will also be using our attendance at IFAT to make some exciting announcements about developments of our VIPSeal® flexible coupling range. It’s going to be a busy event, and reflects our confidence in delivering innovative, high quality products for the global water management industry.”

Visit VIP-Polymers during IFAT at Stand 220 in Hall B3.


VIP ready to talk TSG innovation at the WTC

WTC Conference and Exhibition

VIP-Polymers Ltd is taking its latest innovation in tunnel segment gaskets – a major step forward in cast-in gasket design – to the ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress in Dubai.

The patented compliant compressible corner technology has already impressed clients on tunnelling projects. Now VIP will explain its benefits to delegates at the World Tunnel Congress (WTC), 21-26 April 2018.

VIP’s cast-in tunnel segment gasket (TSG), 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 innovative cast-in gasket represents a step change in performance in terms of reducing segment cracking caused by corner point loading, which is one of risks tunnellers are most keen to eliminate during the installation process.

“We are looking forward to showing visitors to our stand at WTC how the technology works, and the advantage it delivers in terms of greatly reducing the need for post-installation repairs and associated costs.”

The gasket, created with a unique joining process that maintains the TSG profile right to the corner edge, has most recently been used in the construction of Scottish Water’s Shieldhall Tunnel under Glasgow.

Sam Simons, Tunnel Lining Supply Manager for Shieldhall joint venture construction partner Costain, said: “VIP gaskets contributed to an exceptionally well-built tunnel, with no reported segment cracking arising from high corner contact pressure, or segment ram loading transfer, cracks or leakage, meeting the tunnel lining specification without compromise.”

VIP can also point to recent contract success with two major tunnelling projects. It will provide its cast-in TSG for the 12.7km Thames Tideway Central wastewater tunnel in London. VIP is also supplying glued-in tunnel segment gaskets for the Mumbai Metro Line 3 (Packages 5 and 6), a 4.5km twin tunnel.

VIP is driving the development of innovative tunnelling products that deliver greater customer value. The compressible corner cast-in TSG is an example of how, by combining its in-house expertise in compounding rubber, product development and testing, and using enhanced manufacturing processes, VIP is supporting Contractors and Clients to achieve defect free construction.

Matthew Levitt said: “These are exciting times for VIP. There are always new challenges ahead. We’re attending WTC to talk to representatives from tunnelling companies and organisations across the world, to see how we can help them build better tunnels.”

To see the latest innovation in cast-in tunnel segment gaskets, visit please VIP on stand 135 at WTC 2018.

VIP to showcase innovation and performance at NMBS

NMBS Trade Exhibition 2018

VIPSealChem, the new game-changing chemical resistant flexible pipe coupling, will be a star attraction on the VIP-Polymers Ltd stand at this year’s NMBS Exhibition.

VIP is looking forward to showcasing the innovative distinctively green coupling, along with a range of other products popular with builders, plumbing, and heating merchants across the UK.

The NMBS Exhibition, organised by the National Merchant Buying Society, takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on Wednesday 11th April 2018.

VIP is looking forward to welcoming visitors to its stand (number 253) where there will be a special product offer and a prize draw for exhibition visitors throughout the day.

VIP Commercial Director Jon Crean said: “This is a great opportunity to meet and talk with our many clients in the builders merchant sector. Also, to show them, and potentially new customers, what we have to offer.

“We will be displaying our range of VIPSeal® flexible couplings, which we added to in 2017 with the launch of the VIPSealChem coupling for use on pipe systems where a high degree of resistance to chemicals or extreme temperatures is needed.

“The patent-pending product dramatically simplifies the joining of pipes, speeding up installation, reducing costs, and minimising operational downtime, because it is just as easy to fit as all other VIPSeal® couplings.


VIPSealChem Standard CouplingVIPSealChem Adaptor Coupling

“VIPSealChem has been enthusiastically welcomed by builders, plumbing, and heating merchants already, so we’re excited by this opportunity to present it at such a popular trade event as the NMBS Exhibition.”

VIPSeal® is a versatile range of rubber couplings and adaptors for joining and repairing low pressure and non-pressured pipes of any material and size combination.

Products are designed, developed, tested, and manufactured all under one roof at VIP’s HQ and manufacturing centre in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Jon Crean said: “Builders merchants benefit from VIP being in control of the entire development and production process, ensuring our products set the highest performance and quality standards.

“Our ability to develop VIPSealChem is an example of the added value we deliver. It also means we can also turn around off-shelf and bespoke products in a matter of hours, not days, helping merchants deliver the best service to their customers.”

You can find more information on VIPSeal® flexible couplings and tickets to the exhibition can be booked via the NMBS website.

VIP wins contract double for major tunnelling projects

VIP has won contracts to provide tunnel segment gaskets for two major tunnelling projects in the United Kingdom and India.

VIP has also won a contract to supply its latest cast-in gasket for the 12.7km Thames Tideway Central wastewater tunnel in London and has also won a contract to supply tunnel segment gaskets for a project to extend the Mumbai Metro.

Matthew Levitt, VIP Technical Business Development Manager, said: “Our success with both projects demonstrates our ability to deliver a wide range of innovative products and technologies for supporting major water and transport infrastructure projects anywhere in the world.

“These are exciting tunnelling projects that are vital to the sustainable development and growth of two great cities, and we’re delighted to be involved with them.”

Caption: Complete Thames Tideway Project Map

Thames Tideway Central is the longest of three sections of a 25km tunnel, due for completion in 2024, designed to prevent the discharge of untreated storm water and sewerage from 34 combined sewer overflows into the tidal River Thames.

VIP is supplying its cast-in gasket referenced VIP028CI with patented corners to tunnel segment pre-caster Pacadar for the section, which will be 12.7km long, with an inner diameter of 7.8m. Supply commenced in December 2017.

Cast-in gaskets

A consortium made up of Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke (FLO JV) is the main contractor for the central section, which runs from Fulham to Blackfriars and will have 6,100 tunnel segment ring sets.

Caption: Finished segments utilising VIP's Cast-in gaskets

VIP’s compliant compressible corner technology for cast-in gaskets delivers consistent load performance along the entire perimeter of the gasket. This eliminates the risk of high loads at one or more of the gasket’s corners during installation, which could contribute to segment cracking.

The technology has already been proven on other tunnelling projects, including the 5km Shieldhall wastewater tunnel in Glasgow, commissioned by Scottish Water.

Mumbai route map

Caption: Mumbai Metro Route Map (Line 5 - pink, Line 6 - Brown)

VIP has been commissioned by J Kumar Infraprojects to supply tunnel segment gaskets for the Mumbai Metro Line 3 (Packages 5 and 6) tunnel, which is being built for the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, a joint venture between the Indian Government and the Government of Maharashtra.

glued-in gasket

The project involves the construction of a 4.5km twin tunnel, with an outside diameter of 6.6m, requiring a total of 17,800 tunnel segment ring sets.

Production of the glued-in gaskets selected for the tunnel has already begun at VIP’s factory in Huntingdon.

Caption: Finished segments utilising VIP's Cast-in gaskets

This latest contract continues VIP’s long standing position as a major supplier of TSGs in India having previously supplied four phases of the Delhi Metro project and the Ghatkopar High Level Tunnel in Mumbai.

Matthew Levitt said: “The gasket has been specifically developed as a modification of our VIP024 gasket to provide additional sealing assurance sought by project engineers as the tunnel passes under the Mithi River.

VIP says “oui” to online marketing for VIPSeal®

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

Development of the bespoke website reflects the growing demand for VIPSeal® products in France and other French-speaking territories on the Continent.

VIP Commercial Director Jon Crean said: “The launch of our new French VIPSeal® website reflects our confidence in promoting our innovative and industry-leading products in new international markets.

“In particular, it reflects the growing number of customers our VIPSeal® range is attracting in France, mainly through the builders’ merchants.

“As in the UK, French builders’ merchants 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 French language website to be a valuable marketing resource for our growing network of builders’ merchants in France and other French-speaking areas, such as Belgium and Switzerland.

“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 French-language website showcases all couplings available in the VIPSeal® range – including the latest product, a chemical resistant coupling called VIPSealChem.

The distinctive green VIPSealChem flexible couplings are manufactured to BS EN 295, and can be fitted in precisely the same way as standard VIPSeal® couplings, overcoming installation significant limitations found with other chemical resistant seals currently on the market.

To view the new French language VIPSeal® website go to:

VIP Introduces Major Innovation in Chemical Resistant Flexible Couplings

VIP-Polymers Ltd has launched a new chemical resistant flexible coupling under its VIPSeal® brand that dramatically simplifies the joining of pipes, speeding up installation and reducing costs.

The new Patent Pending VIPSealChem coupling is for use on pipe systems where a high resistance to chemicals or extreme temperatures is required – yet it is just as easy to fit as all other VIPSeal® products.

VIPSealChem Standard Coupling

Sectors VIPSealChem has been designed for include the chemical and process industries, pharmaceutical, medical and research laboratories, hospitals, food and drink manufacture, and fuel storage.

VIPSealChem FKM flexible couplings are manufactured to meet the demanding requirements of EN681-1 WB/WD and EN295-4. FKM rubber is resistant to a broader chemical range and has a higher temperature resistance than EPDM rubber which is traditionally used for pipe seals.

The couplings are manufactured in a green colour to clearly distinguish from the standard EPDM and NBR (Nitrile) couplings. This, along with the VIPSealChem branding and labelling will help merchants and installers to identify that they have a higher chemical and temperature resistance.

Because this resistance lies within the rubber sleeve itself, VIPSealChem couplings can be fitted without having to incorporate additional materials required by other products on the market.

VIP Commercial Director Jon Crean said: “We have developed VIPSealChem couplings to overcome installation limitations contractors have been facing with chemical resistant seals previously available.

“As such, we believe VIPSealChem represents a major step forward in the performance of chemical resistant flexible couplings, and a significant innovation in this product category.”

Other chemical resistant couplings require the installer to stick expanded PTFE seals around each pipe before fitting the coupling, then heat-shrink an FEP liner around the pipe.

VIPSealChem does away with these processes, which are time-consuming and can be difficult to carry out within worksites that often have limited space and are generally a dirty environment.

VIPSealChem Installation

Jon Crean said: “Our in-house laboratory, testing and rubber compounding teams have formulated our own variant of the FKM rubber compound that gives VIPSealChem its chemical resistant properties.

“It means VIPSealChem looks like a VIPSeal® coupling and can be fitted just as quickly and easily as a VIPSeal® coupling. The only outward difference is that it’s green.

“The absence of extra components and steps in the installation process gives installers dramatic time and cost savings. It allows construction and repair projects to be completed more quickly, reducing operational downtime.

“Also, because of its unique simplicity, the VIPSealChem range includes adaptor couplings, allowing chemical resistant pipes of significantly different diameters to be connected to each other for the first time.”

VIPSealChem Adaptor Coupling

VIPSealChem provides a flexible, watertight connection on above and below ground, low and non-pressurised drainage systems.

It has excellent resistance to chemicals, including automotive and aircraft fuels and oils, hydrocarbon solvent, hydraulic fluids, and certain chlorinated solvents.

VIPSealChem can also withstand exposure to long term service in temperatures of -15° to 200° and for reduced periods of time, temperatures of -30° to 300°.

Jon Crean said: “VIPSealChem builds on the recognised strengths of our VIPSeal® flexible couplings range and could only be achieved with the in-house knowledge and expertise VIP-Polymers possess. It provides an unrivalled, cost-effective solution for contractors who install and repair pipes in aggressive chemical applications.”

VIPSealChem is now available through merchants and specialist distributors. For more information about the product visit the VIPSeal® website contact us on 0800 334 5547 or email