Vulcan’s “Last Hammers”

As we noted elsewhere, Vulcan was an innovator from the beginning of the air/steam line in the 1880’s until the end of the Illinois corporation and beyond. Unfortunately, from the mid-1990’s on, Vulcan was unable to take its ideas and put them into reality. An example of this is the Sea Water Hammer. But there were other projects in the works; below are just a few of them.

Vulcan 6250

After the 5150’s were produced in the late 1970’s, Vulcan did not produce a new offshore hammer larger than 500 ft-kips for more than fifteen years. This was for a number of reasons that we discuss elsewhere. One opportunity to break that dry spell at the high end came with the Jamuna River Bridge project in Bangladesh. The winning contractor was Hyundai, a long-time customer of Vulcan. Vulcan made a number of submissions to Hyundai for this, but the most innovative was the 6250. This 1500 ft-kip hammer (shown above, all dimensions in millimetres) incorporated a number of departures from Vulcan’s normal offshore design, some of which were from the experience with the 5150 and 6300 but others which came from its acquisition of the Raymond technology. The latter included the straight capblock shield with mandatory micarta and aluminium, slide bar guide block and cables through the column to the head (onshore hammers had this, but not offshore ones.) Unfortunately, Hyundai opted for a hydraulic impact hammer and the 6250 never saw production.

Click here for more information on the 6250.

Vulcan 513/515/517/525 Hammer Series

d35373Offshore wasn’t the only place where Vulcan was applying Raymond technology. When faced with hammers with ram weights larger than 10 kips, Raymond opted to use the #0 frame for hammers such as the 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 and 8/0, all with 3.25′ strokes and 12.5, 15, 17.5 and 25 kip rams respectively. This resulted in a lighter hammer than, say, the Vulcan 014, 016 or 020 hammers.

Vulcan had plans to directly incorporate cable versions of all of these hammers, but ultimately developed 5′ stroke versions of them, incorporating Raymond features both from existing Raymond hammers and from those which they were unable to bring to reality. The “flagship” of this line was the 525, featured at the right. It was a 5′ stroke version of the 8/0, albeit with a single piece ram. It would have incorporated a 125 ft-kip hammer into a 37 kip machine.

Below are links to the general assemblies and specifications of this series of hammers:

Interestingly enough, Vulcan’s last new production hammer model was the 5110, which “did a Raymond” by putting a 110 kip ram into a 560 frame. This hammer was delivered to Global in 1996 and has been successfully used offshore.

3DEXCITRVulcan 488 Vibratory Hammer

In 1994 Vulcan put together a design for a successor for the 4600 hammer. It was intended to compete in the larger vibratory market, especially for the driving and extraction of casings for drilled shafts. It was also suitable for driving larger sheet piling projects as well. The result of that effort was the 488 hammer; a view of the exciter is shown at the left. It included many of the features of the Foster vibratory hammers that Vulcan was producing at the time.

Vulcan 1400A Vibratory Hammer

The 400 and 1400 vibratory hammers, the first high frequency vibrators produced in North America, were introduced in 1987 and 1988, respectively, and both were successful models. Both, however, had their limitations. Both were long hammers, and although they could get into tight places, low centre-of-gravity vibros are easier to handle. Moreover neither hammer was really suited for excavator mounting and downcrowding.

The 400A addressed these concerns and became a successful hammer. In 1997 a preliminary design was drawn up for the 1400A, shown below. Unfortunately Vulcan abruptly discontinued all work on vibratory hammers after this. Click here for more information on this hammer. The design has since been completed by Pile Hammer Equipment for its excavator mast.



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