RSS tests lifting beams at Crossrail

21 February 2018

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Rope and Sling Specialists (RSS) has completed proof tests on three runway beams at the Durward Street shaft site of Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure scheme.

The work was to test newly installed temporary beams at two locations—Levels 1 and 3—that will be used to lower parts for escalator installations.

At Level 3, RSS performed a 4t proof load test on a 3.2t working load limit (WLL) beam. The assignment at Level 1 involved a gantry system of two beams that provide a total lifting capacity of 8t. Each beam had a proof load of 5t applied for the tests, which were covered by the UK’s Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and will be subject to six-monthly inspections for the duration of the project. The gantry system at Level 1 is used at an incline for moving escalators into place.

Graham Dawson, RSS depot manager, explained that the beams were all the same depth and width but of different lengths. The beam on Level 3 was 5.25m x 457mm x 152mm; at Level 1, the first beam was 13m long and the second was 10.85m. To conduct the tests, the Level 3 beam was bolted to a concrete floor.  Brackets and strong backs were used at the other location.

He added: “We were onsite over a three-week period to conduct six-monthly LOLER tests on the project’s lifting gear. We were asked to complete the work at Level 3 first, as the pulling plate had been installed onto the floor in advance. The plate was used on three beams; we took measurements of the beam for the deflection readings, and checked the fixings to make sure they were correctly installed.”

Once an exclusion zone was in place the RSS team installed a trolley, 5t chain block, 5.3t collar chain, and load cell via shackles to complete the test. The Straightpoint 10t capacity wired load cell was used with a Handheld plus reader, while a Leica laser-measuring device read beam deflections. The first deflection reading was taken from the floor to the beam, before various loads were put on the beam and subsequent readings recorded.

The process was repeated at Level 1. Upon completion of the tests four electric chain hoists and trolleys were attached to the beam for lowering of the escalators.

Connecting the City, Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport to commuter areas east and west of London, Crossrail is a major new rail link project designed to provide a world-class, affordable railway with high frequency, convenient and accessible services across the capital.