On-site troubleshooting - clamps for fastening steel cables
On the first terminals built outside Russia, we faced the problem of different technical standards. A vivid example of that was crude oil terminal in Galati, Romania. The project consisted of simultaneous installation of three tanks of 10,000m3 each. All recalculations were done accordingly. Drawings, marks & other required supplementary documentation were translated, sometimes in order to find the right values, meanings and choose the optimal decisions consequent translations into few languages were rendered.
Anyhow, the documents were all right. As it usually happens, an unexpected trouble arose, which could force delay of construction works. After erection of the central support of the tank, it was the time to replace steel cables used for lifting the central support with tie-down heavy duty steel cables, but found out that although the suppliers did their best to find the best replacement for Russian ones, the Russian made clamps wouldn't be fit for use with these cables; the cranes already were holding the central support, and it would be impossible to postpone the works without lagging behind the schedule. We had to find an immediate solution with what was available at hand.
This is the solution we came up with: two rectangular steel plates 120õ150mm; on both plates, made four (4) holes of d=18mm on four corners at a distance of approximately 20mm from the edge of the plate, the quickest way under circumstances was the welding machine:
On the first plate, welded ONE convex seam of not less than 5mm wide THROUGH THE CENTER of the plate with cathodes.
On the second plane, at a distance of 30mm from the center TWO convex seams similar to one on the first plate should be done, and - surprise! Clamps are ready. Put a steel cable of ANY SECTION in any order, clamp four Ì16 size bolts with nuts. To ensure its reliability and fit, prior to use, you could run test the fit of clamps with some test load.
A higher rigidity and better fit could be achieved by cathode-welding of other two convex seams on the edges of the first plate, parallel to the one in the center, and that would assure you that even if the steel cables tear down, the clamp joint wouldn't move an inch. But we are confident a single seam on first plate is enough, which allows us to use the clamp as a protective mechanism - the cable works longer.
We liked the structure and still enjoy its benefits for more almost a decade. At times we find new applications of the structure, for example if a metal lug/loop is welded to plates, it makes preliminary fastening of tie-down cables very easy.
Give it a try and you will really like it too. If you find new applications, we would be more than glad to learn from your experience.
As a result of hands-on experiments and our research, we prefer installation and erection of vertical tanks, whose parts are either preliminary gathered on the surface at the site or welded together and rolled right at the plant. Installation of tanks is conducted quickly. For instance, a 3000m3 capacity vertical tank that we installed in our last project was started from the scratch and completed within 9 days.
Well done one would say; but wait, there is a contradiction that is noteworthy related to the case of simultaneous installation of several tanks - the works could be significantly delayed when a single tank is being installed and there is no other works to engage others with; the reason is simple, when a tank is erected, the two ends of the rolled vertical tank should be welded "head-on-head", but only two persons can work simultaneously to weld the ends of one tank. Besides, it would take longer than seven (7) days!
With that said, we mean simultaneously installing a few tanks and installing a single tank require same period of time. Other team members get really bored if there is no work to be done, especially taken into account the fact that our projects, due to their specific nature, are usually away from cities.
The question is how to engage other members of the team? We have tried standard approaches, continuously thriving to to speed up the works and reduce the completion time and as a result price of these works. The current approach, naturally, seems to be the best, because it is the last decision we have in hand. Nevertheless, we will continue working towards improvement of processes in order to find innovative ways of reducing time and costs of installation of vertical steel tanks (rolled prior to installation).
If anyone finds our skills useful - we are ready to cooperation and sharing the experience. At the same time, we don't exclude probability that there are many other alternative interesting decisions, and we welcome new ideas and are ready to elaborate on them with the authors. You can find our contact information under Contacts section. We would be more than glad to respond to your questions and elaborate on issues that you might find useful.