It’s interesting how many impact pile hammers are designed to “look like a Vulcan.” Obviously there are those like Conmaco and Raymond that were “offshoots” of the successful Warrington-Vulcan and Super-Vulcan hammers. All of these hammers are or were air-steam operated hammers. Others have used the ram/column arrangement to develop hydraulic impact hammers, with varying degrees of success.
But what about diesel hammers? Is it possible to develop a diesel hammer that has a ram/column arrangement? Vulcan tried this with the IC-65, without success. However, in the early years of diesel hammer development Delmag did just that with what are called “rod-type” diesel hammers, as opposed to the familiar “tubular-type” hammers.
An example of such a hammer from the Soviet Union is the S-330, shown above. It sported a two column arrangement; the ram basically dropped into the combustion chamber, which protruded from the base. At that point the explosion took place and the cycle was repeated.
From a combustion standpoint, the advantage of this is a more thorough blowdown of the exhaust gases after combustion. With any column-based design, however, the challenge is keeping the alignment of the ram with column wear, which is inevitable with this construction. With the Vulcan hammers this is not so critical, but with a diesel and other hammers this can be a more serious problem.
The S-330 had a 2500 kg ram and a 3000 kg-m rated striking energy, or a stroke of about 1.2 m, which is considerably shorter than its tubular counterparts. This made for a heavier hammer with a higher blow rate, one place where it is very much like its Vulcan counterparts.
Below you can download the “certificate” (a combination of sales and field service literature) for the S-330. It is in Russian, English and French, and all three sections are preserved.
Delmag went on to develop its successful (and widely copied) series of tubular diesel hammers, relegating the rod type to very small hammers. Everyone else pretty much followed their lead, including the Soviets, Nilens and Vulcan. But the rod-type diesel hammer is a good example of the simple fact that, while it’s tempting to make a hammer that “looks like a Vulcan” it’s easier said than done.