Vulcan 140C Hammer: Specifications and Information

The 140C was a groundbreaker in many respects because of its place in Vulcan’s product line.

First, it was one of the first of Vulcan’s hammers to be larger than the Warrington-Vulcan hammers.  Second, it was the first with a “single-acting version,” in this case the 014.  In that respect it was a significant break from the Warrington-Vulcan construction, being much heavier.

The Vulcan 140C hammer, perhaps the earliest general arrangement.

The 140C was one of the first (if not the first) Vulcan hammer to be taken offshore.  McDermott purchased one (actually the “onshore” version, as shown above) in 1954, and several thereafter, the last one in 1956.  Vulcan developed a true offshore 140C, using the Super-Vulcan derived design that became standard with Vulcan’s offshore hammers.  The 140C was the smallest Vulcan offshore hammer which was really viable; a general arrangement is shown below.

The offshore 140C, with male jaws and outside cables.

The hammer sported the 54″ male jaws, which were standard on Vulcan offshore hammers, single-acting and differential-acting alike, for hammers up to the 530 and 535.

Specifications for onshore and offshore 140C alike are shown below.



A Vulcan 140C hammer installing sand drains.

Another application for the 140C was the sand drain hammer, shown at the left. Sand drains are not conventional driven piles but are used for accelerating consolidation drainage, as described here.  The cylinder head is different (to allow for a retractable hook to raise the hammer)  but otherwise the hammer is pretty much the same as a standard onshore 140C.



Raymond-Vulcan 80C Hammer: Specifications and Information

As was the case with its 65C, Raymond made multiple improvements to the Vulcan 80C hammer, but used a slightly different approach.

Probably because the patents on the Super-Vulcan hammers hadn’t run when Raymond saw the need to modify the Vulcan hammers, Raymond started by extensive modifications on the Vulcan 80C, which are similar to those they made later on the 65C.  The result is the hammer shown above.  There is no doubt that Raymond probably had as much money in the modifications–or more–than the original hammers, but as Charlie Guild observed to me, Raymond had “no idea” what their costs were.

That may not have been a problem.  For one thing, Raymond’s superintendents had a reputation of being hard on the equipment; it was cheaper, in their view, to damage the equipment rather than to stop the job.  Raymond’s equipment designers responded to this by making these hammers more rugged than the original Vulcan hammers, and that’s saying quite a bit.

Probably the modification that gave the best return on the investment was the conversion from column keys to cables, one that Vulcan eventually did on its hammers.  With the 80C, it was faced with the same problem as Vulcan: how to deal with the steam belt, which got in the way of running the cables straight out of the columns.  Vulcan’s solution is discussed here; Raymond opted to shift the cables slightly off column centre, using eccentric and concentric column sleeves.  The result, coupled with running the cables to the head, worked well, especially with the Raymond Step-Taper piles, which were probably the most grueling test of a pile hammer ever devised for onshore piles.

It’s noteworthy that Pile Hammer Equipment, in its approach, “dog-legs” the cables a bit as they go to the head while keeping them concentric with the column, thus avoiding the steam belt.

Raymond went on to develop a “true” Raymond 80C as it had done with the 65C, but at this point documentation lacks for this hammer.

Specifications for Raymond’s 80C and other air/steam differential hammers are below.


Pile Driving in Old Havana, Cuba

Without a doubt, one of the most interesting photos Vulcan had in its collection was this one, taken of a Vulcan #0 driving reinforced concrete sheet piles 500 mm x 600 mm x 21.9 m long (20″ x 24″ x 72′) for the New Harbor Wall in Havana, Cuba.  The piles are being driven off of the Cristóbal Colon floating derrick, owned and operated by the contractor, Arellano y Mendoza. The photo is dated 1927.

In addition to its historical value, Vulcan was so taken with this photo that it used a drawn rendering of the photo for the cover of its very first dedicated bulletin to advertise the Warrington-Vulcan Single-Acting hammers, Bulletin 68, shown below.

Cover for Bulletin 68, showing the Vulcan #0 being used in Havana, Cuba, by Arellano y Mendoza.


The Differential Acting Hammer Cycle, from a Raymond Point of View

Above is the differential acting hammer cycle, an explanation from the Raymond Superintendent’s Handbook, with some specifications.  The cycle is the same for both Raymond and Vulcan hammers.  The 65C specifications given above are for the Raymond 65C, not the Vulcan 65C.

Product Literature Cover for Soviet SP-88 Concrete Pile Cutter @sovietvisuals

An interesting example of late Soviet commercial art (no, that’s not an oxymoron) is this one, the cover to the literature for the SP-88 concrete pile cutter, from 1989.  The array of cubes on the cover represents square concrete piles; the one in the lower left hand corner has been cut.  An interesting graphic presentation.

More information on this machine:

Vulcan 85C and 100C Hammers: Specifications and Information

Vulcan’s success with the 80C lead its customers to ask the same question they asked about the 08: could a larger hammer be fit in the frame.  In the case of the 08, there was already the 0R and 010, and the 012, 508, 510 and 512 were to come.  As was the case with the 65C, Vulcan simply put a false head on the top to increase the weight needed to keep the hammer in place due to the increased pressure.  The result was the 85C and the 100C.  General arrangements are below.

Specifications are below.

Bulletin 70J Specifications

The one and only extant photo in Vulcan’s file of the 100C, in the Chattanooga facility. Note the elongated ram, which put the design ahead of the 010, which until the late 1970’s sported a short, steel ram. The 030 had already opted for this change and it would find its way to hammers such as the 306, 510, 512 and 5110.


Vulcan 80C Hammer: Specifications and Information

The Vulcan 80C was the Super-Vulcan counterpart to the Warrington-Vulcan 08, and was one of the more successful differential-acting hammer sizes Vulcan produced.

Specifications are below.

Some photos, job and shop, are shown below.

Some general arrangements, Chicago and Chattanooga, are shown below.

Raymond 65C Hammer: Specifications and Information

temp65cfIt’s evident that Vulcan had some difficulty in getting the right combination of economy, operating pressure and configuration with its 65C and 65CA hammers.  Did Raymond, which made many of its own designs of Vulcan style hammers, do any better?

Based on its experience with the Vulcan differential hammers, Raymond designed several differential-acting hammers, including its own 80C, the 150C, and this hammer.  A general frontal view is shown at the right; a photo of one in Vulcan’s yard is above.  Raymond made several interesting changes in the hammer design:

  • Different sheave had design.
  • Raymond configured the hammer for 120 psi operating pressure, which was one of Vulcan’s original proposals (the Raymond probably antedates the Vulcan 65C.)
  • Coil springs (later rubber springs) at the top for the hammer extension, or sled, which Raymond always used with its leaders.
  • Male jaws to mate the hammer with the extension (Vulcan later used male jaws for its offshore hammers.)
  • Cables from head to base.  Raymond used a tapered bottom fitting; machining the mating tapered holes in the base was tricky and expensive, as Vulcan found out the hard way when it machined a base for the single-acting Raymond 1-S.
  • Draw bar for the slide bar instead of the hammered keys.
  • Baffle in the cylinder for the exhaust; the ports for exhaust were probably higher than for any other Raymond or Vulcan hammer.
  • Steam chest bushing, which Vulcan adapted and improved upon as a removable liner.
  • Lighter, dished-out pistons for the piston rod.  (Why weight reduction was necessary for a striking part component isn’t quite clear…)

Vulcan acquired a great deal of Raymond engineering and inventory when Raymond finally fell apart in the early 1990’s, and was in the process of incorporating many of Raymond’s changes in its own product line when the company was merged in 1996.

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Another view of the Raymond 65C in Vulcan Foundation Equipment’s Yard.

Specifications for the Raymond 65C are shown below.

Specifications for Raymond Differential Hammers

Vulcan 65C and 65CA Hammers: Specifications and Information

The 65C is the counterpart to the Warrington-Vulcan 06 hammer.  Upsizing single-acting hammers is a fairly straightforward process as long as the frame is capable of withstanding the load.  Doing the same thing with differential-acting hammers such as the 50C is an entirely different matter, as the 65C shows.

Specifications are on the general arrangement above and are also shown below.

Bulletin 70J Specifications

65c general arrangement
An early concept of the 65C hammer. The idea here is that the large bore is increased in size, which would have kept the pressure at 120 psig. Vulcan opted to keep the cylinder the same as the 50C, which forced the operating pressure upwards to 150 psig. That in turn required adding a false head to compensate for the additional upward force on the frame. The false head made the 65C expensive to produce, and the high pressure put it out of reach for many air compressors.

Vulcan eventually addressed these issues with the 65CA; the ad for it from Onshore Tip 61 is shown below.

The ad for the Vulcan 65CA, on the back of Vulcan Tip 61, 1 November 1981. This hammer was an 80C with a light ram. The operating pressure was now at 95 psig, well within the reach of available air compressors. The main disadvantage of this is that it requires 26″ jaws; how much of a disadvantage that is depends upon the contractor.


Vulcan 50C Hammer: Specifications and Information

Like its Warrington-Vulcan counterpart, the #1, the 50C was a popular hammer and, along with the 80C, comprised a large block of Vulcan’s production of these hammers.  Specifications are below.

Some general arrangements are below.  Note that the hammer in the image above sports a bar-type head while these have a sheave-type head; this is explained here.

A special variant of the 50C (and other Super-Vulcan hammers) is the Sand Drain hammer; the concept behind this is explained here.

A special version of the 50C, the sand drain hammer.

Some photos are below.