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Trelleborg to provide sealing solutions to the world's largest optical telescope

(28 September 2020 - Trelleborg) Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation has been specified by contractor, Cimolai, to supply bespoke high-performance inflatable and compression seals to the largest optical / near-infrared telescope in the world.

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), located on top of Cerro Armazones, sits at an altitude of over 3,000 metres in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

Upon completion in 2025, the ELT, which is owned and will be operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), will gather 15 times more light than today’s largest optical telescopes. Boasting a 39-meter primary mirror, ESO’s ELT will also feature ground-breaking adaptive optics technology, that will help correct the distortions in the Earth’s atmosphere, making the images sharper than those taken from space.

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ELT (courtesy: ESO)

Showcasing the craftsmanship of its engineers, Trelleborg will manufacture and supply highly-durable, handmade inflatable and compression seals, that will keep the ELT’s classic dome-shaped enclosure pressurized, airtight from water, heat and dust, and ensure there is no UV exposure within the enclosure.

Andre de Graaf, Sales Director at Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation, commented: “The ELT is a revolutionary scientific project that will address many of the most pressing unsolved questions about our Universe. It will facilitate the advancement of astrophysical knowledge by enabling more detailed studies of planets around other stars, the first galaxies in the Universe, black holes, and the Universe's dark sector.

“For our solutions to be specified is a impressive feat - one that is testament to our ability to design, manufacture and test bespoke sealing solutions, that provide impenetrable protection for up to 25 years in even the harshest of environments.”

Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation

The marine and infrastructure operation of the Trelleborg Industrial Solutions business area, is a provider of engineered polymer solutions to the marine, infrastructure and renewable energy industries. It manufactures and installs bespoke fender systems, docking and mooring equipment, oil and gas transfer technology and vessel efficiency technology for marine environments all over the world. Its polymer engineering expertise also extends to its range of general marine products, including navigation aids and buoys. Performing in some of the harshest environments on earth, its principal infrastructure and energy offerings are sealing systems for tunnels, dredging hoses, water management solutions, building vibration isolation, and polymer seals for offshore applications.

Trelleborg Group

Trelleborg is a world leader in engineered polymer solutions that seal, damp and protect critical applications in demanding environments. Its innovative solutions accelerate performance for customers in a sustainable way. The Trelleborg Group has annual sales of about SEK 37 billion (EUR 3.46 billion, USD 3.87 billion) and operations in about 50 countries. The Group comprises three business areas: Trelleborg Industrial Solutions, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions and Trelleborg Wheel Systems, and a reporting segment, Businesses Under Development. The Trelleborg share has been listed on the Stock Exchange since 1964 and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, Large Cap.