DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FRONT PAGE -

One of Aus­tralia’s ma­jor pro­duc­ers of low- main­te­nance ranges of slip joints and bear­ings for com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial and in­fra­struc­ture plant and struc­tures is cus­tomengi­neer­ing in­di­vid­ual types to meet unique chal­lenges aris­ing on par­tic­u­lar projects.

Her­cules En­gi­neer­ing pro­duces some of the Asia- Pa­cific’s widest ranges of slip joints and bear­ings that com­bine low-fric­tion ther­mo­plas­tics with durable metal fac­ings as a cost- ef­fi­cient al­ter­na­tive to more costly pro­tec­tion against ex­pan­sion, con­trac­tion and chang­ing load­ings.

But as in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial en­gi­neers, ar­chi­tects and build­ing spec­i­fiers come to ap­pre­ci­ate the Her­cules’ so­lu­tions’ ad­van­tages for widely en­coun­tered ap­pli­ca­tions, they are also ask­ing for so­lu­tions to par­tic­u­lar prob­lems of in­di­vid­ual sites, says David Booty, Man­ager, Her­cules En­gi­neer­ing (a divi­sion of Cut To Size Plas­tics).

A re­cent ex­am­ple in­volved a carpark ap­pli­ca­tion where the use of stan­dard Her­cu­pad bear­ings could be squashed or pinched on one side to the point where the load would not be evenly dis­trib­uted and any stan­dard bear­ing could be crushed, re­sult­ing in struc­tural dam­age.

Booty said usu­ally struc­tural en­gi­neers and de­tail­ers are well aware of such sit­u­a­tions. They de­sign such crit­i­cal con­nec­tion points in a way that the top and bot­tom sur­faces are as close as pos­si­ble to be par­al­lel to one an­other in places where they meet. But dur­ing the ac­tual con­struc­tion process some­times last- minute changes may of­ten take place and in gen­eral it is very dif­fi­cult to align ev­ery struc­tural com­po­nent per­fectly as per the draw­ings/de­sign.*

“So that’s where cus­tom- en­gi­neer­ing of bear­ings can as­sist spec­i­fiers in gain­ing the built- in ad­van­tages of prod­ucts such as the Her­cu­lon ranges of joints and bear­ings to pro­vide cost- ef­fi­cient pro­tec­tion against move­ment cre­ated by changes in cli­mate, ther­mal move­ment, shrink­age and – in­creas­ing fre­quently these days – chang­ing uses of plant and build­ings by fa­cil­i­ties and op­er­a­tions man­agers in com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial and re­sources uses.”

Com­pared with more so­phis­ti­cated and ex­pen­sive heavy al­ter­na­tives – such as pot bear­ings and roller bear­ings – Her­cules HLD bear­ings, for ex­am­ple, of­fer ben­e­fits such as lower ini­tial cost, eas­ier in­stal­la­tion and no main­te­nance for pe­ri­ods of 30 years or more, states Booty.

Stock bear­ings from the Her­cules’ ranges can of­ten pro­vide an off-the- shelf so­lu­tion, us­ing Her­cu­lon Type D Bear­ings (HLD/SG, HLD/FF & HLD/FX), which the com­pany says are widely proven on ap­pli­ca­tions through­out Aus­trala­sia, South- East Asia and Africa.

Al­ter­na­tively, cus­tom-fab­ri­cated bear­ings can be for­mu­lated in part­ner­ship with Her­cules clients, which in­clude own­ers and op­er­a­tors of some of the world’s land­mark build­ings and ma­jor com­mer­cial and re­sources plants.

With more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in Aus­trala­sia and Asia – and al­liances with some of the world’s ma­jor en­gi­neer­ing plas­tic pro­duc­ers in­clud­ing Licharz, Gehr and Beck-We­faPress – Cut-To Size and Her­cules En­gi­neer­ing can cus­tom-for­mu­late and cus­tom-fab­ri­cate ac­cord­ing to in­di­vid­ual project needs. This ser­vice has been em­ployed on ma­jor road­ing and min­ing plants in re­cent times, as well as re­fur­bish­ment of com­mer­cial in­fra­struc­ture such as heav­ily loaded multi- storey carparks and ma­jor pro­cess­ing plants.

Within in­dus­trial struc­tures, changes in load can be in­duced by the op­er­a­tion of heavy plant in­clud­ing con­vey­ors, mo­tors, tur­bines and retic­u­la­tion sys­tems found through­out min­ing, en­ergy, oil and gas, food and bev­er­age, pri­mary pro­cess­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing, wa­ter and waste wa­ter util­ity and wider in­dus­trial uses. *Stan­dard Her­cules bear­ing pads are in­tended to com­pen­sate for some small an­gu­lar dif­fer­ences (ro­ta­tions) and ac­com­mo­date some ex­tra ro­ta­tions (up to 0.02 ra­di­ans = 1.1 de­grees in to­tal) in the event of an earth­quake, for ex­am­ple, or sim­ply while the build­ing i s set­ting. But when the ini­tial con­tact an­gle ( in this case 2.86 de­grees) con­sumes more that the bear­ing pad can han­dle by de­sign (1.1 de­grees), that’s when en­gi­neers need ei­ther to use the cus­tom- de­signed com­pen­sator plate or to make ap­pro­pri­ate ad­just­ments to the steel struc­tures to make them par­al­lel to one an­other where they meet. Of­ten, it’s cheaper to use com­pen­sator plates, but some­times it’s near im­pos­si­ble to change the struc­ture be­cause of con­fined spa­ces and other prac­ti­cal rea­sons.

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