What's New In Plant & Equipment
Leading The Way In Concrete Strength Testing
A ground-breaking new way to test the strength of sprayed concrete has been successfully tested at the London Bond Street Station underground upgrade project.
The project, a joint venture between Costain and Laing O’Rourke on behalf of London Underground Ltd, is the first in the world to test the new technique in a production environment.
The technique under test is Strength Monitoring using Thermal Imaging (SMUTI), a patent-protected invention created by Dr Benoit Jones from Cambridge University.
It uses a thermal imaging camera to track the temperature of concrete as it is sprayed to form the tunnel lining. Knowing this temperature history enables the engineers to calculate the amount of hydration that has taken place in the concrete, and hence its strength.
It is a significant step forward for health and safety, said Aled Davies, Costain Senior Tunnel Engineer who has worked closely with Dr Jones on the trials.
SMUTI allows us to directly monitor the compressive strength development of sprayed concrete whilst remaining at a safe distance. This is a substantial improvement over the current method, which relies upon a small test panel being representative of the entire sprayed concrete advance to prevent personnel being at risk from sprayed concrete lining falls.
In March, following extensive laboratory testing, production trials began on-site. First, the concrete in twelve sprayed concrete panels was tested simultaneously using the established in-situ tests and SMUTI.
This provided sufficient data to carry out trials in an actual production environment and in March, the project implemented the SMUTI system alongside existing test methods for the first time.
City Compliance Vehicles Pass Test
In controlling traffic movement and the quality of the air, local authorities are setting ever stricter limits on what is admissible in highway trucks.
One company, the UK based Premier Carriers, invested in what is believed to be the first flat-bed Mercedes-Benz Econic, designed to go above and beyond current safety regulations.
Originally configured as a waste handling vehicle, the 26 t truck was supplied and specially adapted in just eight weeks by S&B Commercials at Welham Green.
The truck underwent work to reinforce the load-bed to create the flat-bed body. The dealership then made changes to the original specifications and mapping of the vehicle, including re-configuring both gearbox and air suspension as well as undertaking a full inspection of the electronics within the chassis.
After a complete repainting and updating of the cab, the final act was the fitting and connection of the external safety cameras. Within days of delivery, the Econic started work delivering blockwork for use in the construction of two new Ticket Halls at Crossrail’s Farringdon Station.
The entire Premier Carriers fleet and driver team is now fully compliant with all the requirements of major construction sites across the capital. The rear-steer gives a tight turning circle for making deliveries in restricted operational environments.
The need for such a vehicle was made clear when the company was unable to make a one-off delivery to a Crossrail site in central London using existing trucks