Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. is proud to specialize in bulkhead solutions for use in various industries and applications. Long-term or temporary isolation structures used in pipeline, tunnel, channel, or pipe-fitting applications, bulkheads ensure optimal safety and protection during construction, repair, and rehabilitation projects.

Bulkheads ensure the seal-off of water from work zones in order to provide safe working environments. Closure systems, such as bulkhead gates, can dewater structures and regulate the rate of water flow in spillways. A stop-log system is used to close passages when the opening is less than 20 feet long. In these systems, individual components, or “logs,” are stacked atop one another until the gate bay has been closed off.

Another popular system is the segmental bulkhead, which allows for horizontal or vertical buoyancy thanks to its light, individual sections. A penstock, meanwhile, is a sluice or gate that regulates the flow of water and delivers it to waste management facilities or power plants.

Typical Bulkhead Applications


Hydroelectric dam tunnel / tailpipe


Water treatment maintenance


Underwater outfall / inlet


Water aqueducts


Open channel flow storage


Nuclear applications

bulkheadsBulkheads are primarily used to integrate sealing systems by directly stopping the flow of water. Bulkhead barriers can also act as restraining systems to hold a structure in place against the force of water. They are often used on new construction sites or for existing infrastructure repair and standard maintenance.

Common applications include the repair of existing gates, valves, pipelines, channels, and thrust blocks. Bulkheads are most often installed by construction workers, underwater diver construction workers, and even ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles).

Bulkheads Installations in Municipal Construction Projects

Municipal projects that have utilized bulkheads from Mechcanical Research & Design inlude:

  • Wastewater treatment influent and effluent channel repairs
  • Open-channel isolation, making use of open channel gates
  • Isolation of waterways to allow construction work to commence
  • Channel and pipeline pressure testing
  • Underwater construction isolation and repairs
  • Drift tunnel repair, isolation, and abandonment, making use of tunnel abandonment plugs

Bulkhead Installations in Hydroelectric Dams

Our bulkheads are also used in hydroelectric dams for penstock valve replacement and repair, as well as in conventional power plants and nuclear power plants for:

  • Intake and outlet valve and pipeline isolation and repair
  • Process piping isolation and repair
  • Turbine isolation
  • Spray pond isolation
  • Reactor isolation and repair

Bulkhead Solutions From Mechanical Research & Design

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. offers a variety of bulkhead products to meet specific application needs. Our bulkheads are typically made of lightweight, high-strength 6061-T6 aluminum, and can be constructed in nearly any shape, with a size range between 2 and 30 feet.

Have Specific Requirements?

We specialize in custom solutions! Take a look a few of our proven custom solutions or let us know your requirements. Our engineers and production staff are equipped to travel around the world at a moment’s notice to assist you with your needs!

Let's Talk!

Contact us today to discuss our rates or to book an appointment with one of our engineers.

610 Series
Inflatable Bulkhead

Our 610 Series Inflatable Bulkheads feature a super-durable Sealfast® seal design and are built for quick, leak-tight sealing applications. These bulkheads are often used to reduce the number of required parts by eliminating the need for a bracing bar and fasteners.

620 Series
Mechanical Seal Bulkhead

Our 620 Series Mechanical Seal Bulkheads can be more reliable than their inflatable counterparts as they can never lose air pressure. Our mechanical bulkheads can come with their own integral restraint systems or can easily be adapted to existing rails, stop log channels, or even anchored into existing walls.

630 Series
Combination Mechanical / Inflatable Seal Bulkhead

The 630 Series gives you the best of both worlds: the safety and reliability of a mechanical seal as well as the efficiency of an inflatable seal.

Learn More

Mechanical Research & Design, Inc. is well-versed in all types of bulkhead installation projects, and we can handle a wide range of service needs. Our products are top-of-the-line in the market, and we take great pride in our commitment to our clients. In addition to bulkheads, we provide pipe plugs and sealing solutions, pipe joint testers, lifting equipment, offshore tools, and much more.

Our isolation equipment and components are used in a wide range of applications, such as penstock gates, sluice gates, isolation barrier gates, tunnel rehabilitation barriers, drop log gates, open channel barriers, and temporary gates. We also supply solutions for wastewater treatment gates and wastewater treatment barriers.

Whether you require penstock repair plugs, bypass/flow diversion plugs, or tunnel plugs, we have a solution to meet your exact needs. For more information on our selection of bulkhead plugs and equipment, or to request a quote from one of our knowledgeable team members, reach out today.


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