Archive for the ‘Cintec’ Category

George Osborne, Chancellor

George Osborne, Chancellor

In yesterday’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne stated that he would introduce a new tax allowance to encourage investment in shale gas that halves tax rates on early profits!

Such encouragement is to be welcomed everywhere, especially here in Wales. Our dependence on fossil fuels, coal in particular, is still of great concern as our supplies reduce and we are actually importing coal from other countries, whereas 100 years ago we were exporting high-grade Welsh coal around the world. We have below our beautiful landscape enough reserves of gas to satisfy our nations needs for many decades.

There are many opposed to this form of gas extraction which does involve drilling and causing possible water contamination as chemicals are used during the fracking process. However, in the UK there are very stringent requirements and safeguards to ensure that the gas is extracted safely and with minimum disturbance to the environment.

Indeed one of our clients, Cintec International has developed a range of products to mitigate many of the concerns faced. From strengthening of bridges with access to drilling sites, to water tight lagoons to carry the vast quantities of water needed during the fracking process , to actually producing a water-tight fabric sock to go around the drill holes. Cintec are already in discussion with exploration companies in the UK and Canada who are very interested in Cintec’s solutions.

With a tightening of regulations and safety of paramount importance, open, honest discussion with all parties concerned can surely only result in fracking taken very seriously as an answer to Wales’s energy needs in the future. Let’s embrace the opportunity and not kick it into touch through ignorance and vested interest.

Yes it’s only Monday but today we have discovered two great pieces of coverage for some of our biggest clients which we couldn’t wait to share with you:

1. Cintec International in Highways Magazine (October 2011):


2. Tillery Valley in FMX Magazine (15th September 2011)


Click here to view article.


Watch this space for more great media coverage from Petersens PR.



Available at:


A south Wales engineering company is using 21st Century technology, including air bags, to help preserve one of Egypt’s

Giant inflatable air bags are being used to make the 4,700 year old pyramid safe

most imposing landmarks, dating back to 2,700 BC.

The Pyramid of Djoser is Egypt’s oldest step-built pyramid. But it was at risk of collapse after an earthquake in 1992.

Newport specialist engineers Cintec, who have previously provided solutions to structural problems at landmarks such as the White House and Windsor Castle, were set the task of helping it last another 4,700 years.

The team has now completed phase one of the work at the site at Saqqara, south west of Cairo.

It involved using pressurised air-filled bags, in order to hold up the roof of the 60m high pyramid, while more permanent repairs are carried out.

However managing director of Cintec, Peter James, says this is just the first step in a project which has been complicated by the recent political upheaval in Egypt

Peter James, Cintec Engineering

We were all packed and ready to begin work in January, just when the Egyptian government began to fall,” said Mr James.

“We’ve had to sit on our hands for another four months before getting the go-ahead; all the while hearing stories of looting, and worrying about how much additional damage was going to be caused.”

“Fortunately, even though most of our computers and equipment were stolen, the pyramid itself wasn’t touched; which is just as well considering how unstable it was when we got in there.”

Mr James, who started his career as a buildings inspector for Cardiff Council, said, even with the amount of preparation they’d done, they still weren’t prepared for quite how badly damaged the supporting ceiling of the burial chamber really was.

“The earthquake had essentially shifted everything sideways, and an 8m section, in the shape of an inverted cup, had dropped out.”

“Until we got the scaffolding in place, we had no idea what was holding up the remaining 60m of stone.

“It was a lethal and massive game of Ker-Plunk; trying to hold everything up, without dislodging anything further.”

Inside the Step Pyramid

The air bag technology Cintec employed, was originally created by Mr James to aid in the safer disposal of IEDs in Afghanistan.

It works on the principal of surrounding an explosive with a bag, strong enough to withstand an explosion or collapse, but with such precise control over the pressure, that it only just kisses the surface of an object, without adding even greater forces to unstable materials.

However in the case of the Pyramid of Djoser, Mr James was forced to adapt his technology; substituting a water filling for compressed air.

“We’d originally planned to use our Water Wall system, but as soon as we got a good look at the chamber, it was clear that inflating the bags with water wasn’t going to work.”

Location map

The pyramid is at Saqqara, south of Cairo

The rocks in the ceiling were too jagged, and posed an unacceptable risk of deluging the 4,500-year old pyramid, which has been bone-dry since it was built.

“But also we hadn’t realised that there were secret tunnels running under the chamber’s floor, so I didn’t think it would be able to take the weight of water-filled supports.”

Knitted together

“So we used the delays to stress-test our system with a compressed air filling. We needed them to withstand 12 Kilonewtons per square inch, but they actually did better than we could possibly imagine, comfortably supporting 28!”

The step pyramid was built above the tomb of pharaoh Djoser, a warrior who reigned in the Old Kingdom in the third dynasty for 19 years. Mummified remains were excavated in the 1930s.

Eleven air pillars now hold up the pyramid’s roof, with another six, flatter, bespoke columns currently being manufactured to support the lower corners of the burial chamber.

Once stable, Mr James and his team will perform a permanent repair, threading the latest in thermo-dynamic steel rods diagonally through the steps of the pyramid, in such a way that the six levels will be knitted together without being visible.

The steel, which Cintec have previously used to improve the bomb-resistance of major landmark buildings around the world, is designed to expand and contract with the pyramid, under the extreme temperatures of the desert.

Their final task will be to reclaim as many of the fallen original rocks as possible, and re-point them with authentic 2,700 BC mortar.

“The really tricky parts are the visible bits of the pyramid.”

“Underneath the surface we’re able to use 21st Century technology to make it as strong as we know how to, but on the outside it needs to be 100% authentic.”

“That’s involved finding the strongest blend, by testing hundreds of combinations of mortar, all entirely made from components which would have been available to the ancient Egyptians.”

This article has been taken directly from BBC Wales News: 

For Further information on Cintec please contact Rob Petersen on or 02920549597





Aftermath of Italian Earthquake 2009

Cintec International has been appointed as the only British company to actively participate in the three-year collaborative European NIKER research project. The aim of the project is to protect the artistic value of cultural heritage sites from earthquake induced damage through the use of ‘stitching’ , the industry’s term for the reinforcement of structures.

Earthquakes can cause dramatic and devastating effects to both people and structures, not only in the Southern Hemisphere as the recent Christchurch, New Zealand disaster has proved but also in Europe.  The 2009 earthquake in Abruzzo, Italy is a prime example of how earthquake damage, whether involving casualties or cultural losses, is high in European historic centres.

With a budget of approximately 3.5million Euros, co-funded with 2.7million Euros by the European Commission, the NIKER project, which stands for “New Integrated Knowledge-Based Approaches to the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Eathquake-Induced Risk”, proposes to tackle the problem by developing new high-performance elements and by complementing and enhancing traditional materials with industrial processes. The process relies on both experimental and computational tools, databases and the know-how of partners involved in the project. Validation will be performed under specific, real life conditions.

As a structural engineering company with headquarters in Newport, South Wales, Cintec commercialises patented anchoring and reinforcement systems across the globe. The company has maintained structures including, Windsor Castle, the European Parliament Buildings in Athens, the pyramid of Djoser in Egypt and has recently won a three-year contract to strengthen the façade of the Confederation Building which overlooks St.John’s, in Newfoundland, Canada and in 2002 Cintec was awarded the Queen’s Award for strengthening masonry arched structures.  

With the support of the University of Bath, Cintec’s objective as part of the NIKER project will be to develop a new type of anchor in which a dissipative device and a sensoring system will be imbedded to create new improved systems for connections with early warning techniques that signal an earthquake.  Such anchors will allow a controlled and repairable movement of walls within the structure enabling it to resist seismic forces. The completion of the project will result in a set of guidelines for end-users, giving instructions on new integrated materials, technologies and tools for systematic improvement of seismic behaviour of cultural heritage assets. Sara Paganoni, a PhD research student in seismic engineering from Bath University, has been assigned to the programme by the NIKER project and works with Cintec in a research capacity helping to develop the new anchoring system.

Peter James, Managing Director of Cintec says:

‘We are extremely pleased to have been chosen to take part in the NIKER scheme. Much of our own work involves maintaining and protecting key historical and cultural sites and thus we are extremely pleased to be able to further develop our advanced anchoring systems in order to mitigate the often devastating effects of earthquakes. We look forward to working with Bath University and many other European organisations on this new and exciting project.’


For further information, please contact:

Rob Petersen: Managing Director, Petersens:

029 20549597

Notes to editors:

About Cintec

Cintec International is a globally recognized leader in engineering research and development. Merging creative thinking with solid engineering principles, Cintec International has solved thousands of client problems all over the world. For further information:

Cintec Anchoring System

The Cintec anchoring system offers a remarkably versatile, proven approach to internally strengthen masonry buildings and structures.

The system works by pre-drilling an oversized hole in the structure and inserting an anchor body surrounded by a fabric sock. A cementitious grout is injected through the middle of the anchor under low pressure. It passes through a series of grout flood holes into the fabric sock, inflating the entire assembly like a balloon. For further information:

Niker Project

The project tackles the problem of earthquake-impact on Cultural Heritage (CH) assets starting from basic consideration that efficient protection, with substantial guarantee of compatibility and low-intrusiveness, can only be achieved on the basis of the ‘minimum intervention’ approach. This requires that the potentials of existing materials and components are as much as possible exploited in terms of strength and energy dissipation, and that candidate interventions are validated and optimized under specific, real life conditions. For further information:


The Engineer, 24th March 2011 :

Past Horizons, 8th March 2011:

South Wales Argus, 15th March 2011: