The Great Belt Bridge, Denmark
Preventative maintenance against bridge corrosion
The Great Belt Bridge is the largest suspension bridge in Europe and third largest worldwide. The bridge was opened in 1998 and became one of two bridges connecting mainline Europe with Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia by road. It meant the journey, originally made by ferry taking an hour could now be crossed in ten minutes. The Great Belt Bridge is one of the largest construction projects in Danish history.
A recent inspection of the bridge cables found them to be free of rust, however high levels of corrosion were found on older suspension bridges elsewhere in the world and a plan needed to be put in place to ensure the Great Belt Bridge did not become exposed to the same problem.
To prevent this problem occurring in the future, work was commissioned to dehumidify the cables. This is done by applying a plastic wrap to the cable and then melting it to make an airtight seal around the cable. Dry air is then pumped through the strands of the cable to remove moisture which is a key contributor to corrosion.
To carry out the installation, Spencer Group bought a PowerSeat from Harken Industrial which will be used to mount the air pipes to a number of the vertical stays that run between the cable and the road. Firstly, the PowerSeat is used as a man riding ascent device to enable the operators to install brackets to the stays to support the air pipe. The PowerSeat will then be switched to winching mode to pull the air pipe vertically up the stay, to connect it to the main cable.
The biggest advantage of using the PowerSeat in this application is that it speeds up the process of installing the brackets, allowing work to be maximised during some relatively short weather windows. Operators must make regular climbs and descents to transport brackets from the road level up to the install point. The PowerSeat therefor eliminates the need for slow and tiring climbs, increasing the efficiency of the installation process. Ultimately this saves money and reduces the risk of operator fatigue whilst working at height.
The secondary advantage is that the PowerSeat can be quickly converted for use as a portable winch for lifting. The efficient battery allows the PowerSeat to be rigged in the optimum position without the need for an external power supply. The battery life is such that a full day’s operation can be performed on a single charge.
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Image Copyright: Harken Industrial
Author: Harken Industrial
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