Welcome to vulcanhammer.info, the site about Vulcan Iron Works, which manufactured the durable air/steam line of pile driving equipment for more than a century. Many of its products are still in service today, providing reliable performance all over the world. There’s a lot here, use the search box below if you’re having trouble finding something. Also look at the end of an article, there are helpful links to more information with every post.
The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade, and which handle Singapore‘s harbours and shipping. It is ranked as the top maritime capital of the world, since 2015. Currently the world’s second-busiest port in terms of total shipping tonnage, it also trans-ships a fifth of the world’s shipping containers, half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil, and […]
Singapore and its environs was an important place for Vulcan, because it was the gateway–and frequently the repair place, as you can see on the right–for many of the Vulcan hammers that operated in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia, with its large regions of relatively shallow water, was fertile ground for Vulcan hammers. Many of Vulcan’s customers–including McDermott, Jardine and Brunei Shell–used its equipment extensively in this region.
The newest update for the STADYN research project is available: Download Application of the STADYN Program to Analyze Piles Driven Into Sand The abstract is as follows: Abstract: The STADYN program was developed for the analysis of driven piles both during installation and in axial loading. Up until now the test cases used were in […]
The third in our series of vulcanhammer.net ads for Pile Buck include this one, showing a Nilens diesel hammer driving sheet piling using a “spud” or “rail” type leader in the back. Nilens was one of Vulcan’s more interesting adventures in pile driving equipment. The method used is a typically European practice that has found […]
From the first time it produced drawings (the oldest on this site goes back to the 1870’s) until the late 1950’s, Vulcan produced all of its drawings using pen and ink, as described below (although I’ll bet that many weren’t drawn using the Rapidograph type pen shown below!) Many of these were drawn on linen. Above is an example of one, the general arrangement for the Vulcan 18C, from 1939. There are many more examples of these on the site.
This post is something of a departure, in that it features the pencil sketch art of my great uncle, William H. Warrington (right, from his carte de visite.) But first some background is in order.
William H. Warrington was born 17 September 1846, grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He became the manager of the Vulcan Iron Works, the family business. Although he was very prosperous in business, he had an artistic side to him, and here we’ll present some of his pencil sketches. As is frequently the case in my family, I don’t have much “backstory” narrative for these, but what I do know I will share.
As best I can tell, most of these date from the 1860’s, when he was in his late teens. Some have an English or Scottish settings, and this may be from travels in the British Isles. His father Henry was an immigrant from Manchester, England, and his mother Isabella McArthur Warrington came from Scotland. Both made return trips to their native land; Henry in fact did not become a U.S. citizen until 1870, almost thirty years after he first came to the U.S.
On this, the twenty-second anniversary of the beginning of this site, we present another of the ads which Pile Buck allowed us to run in their books. It shows the Vulcan #1 hammer on the South Side of Chicago. It also features the URL of the vulcanhammer.info site, which is dedicated to Vulcan hammers and […]
This site has never had an “advertising budget” but in the last decade the publisher Pile Buck gave it the opportunity to advertise itself in its books Sheet Pile Design by Pile Buck and Pile Driving by Pile Buck. There were five in the series, and this is the first, using the assembly of the […]
One of the concepts students in geotechnical engineering courses seem to have the most trouble with is estimating stresses in concrete piles during pick-up and setting them in place to drive. The basic problem is that it’s sometimes hard to get our heads around the analytical simplification of the actual situation. Let’s start by looking at the operation itself. These first photos come from a job in Delaware in 1998, using a Vulcan 530 to drive cylinder piles.
Depending upon the configuration of the pile, it’s also possible to have two- and three-point pickup, as we can see from these photos, taken at the construction of a terminal in Portsmouth, VA, in 2005-6. The contractor is Weeks Marine, the same contractor that got Sully’s plane out of the Hudson after his famous “landing” in the river.
So how to we solve problems like this? Basically we assume that the pile is a horizontal beam, simply supported at the pickup points (or in the case of one-point pickup, at the pickup point and at the furthest end from the pick-up point) with the weight of the pile as the only load. One thing that can be done is to raise the distributed load of the weight by a factor for inertial effects during handling. An example of this is a 60′ long 12″ square concrete pile with a 50% increase for inertial effects with single point pick-up. We used the CFRAME program from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to analyse the beam, although most any beam software (or in some cases tables or hand calculation) can be used for this computation.
In this case we are displaying the output of CFRAME which shows each section of the beam/pile (i.e., one one side of the pick-up point and the other.)
According to the Prestressed Concrete Institute’s Recommended Practice for Design, Manufacture and Installation of Prestressed Concrete Piling (1993), the maximum permissible stress (tension) for transient loads such as handling loads is as follows
(US Units, psi for both variables)
For SI units, this works out to
(SI Units, MPa for both variables)
Some specifications allow the prestress of the pile to be added to , with the same units as the other variables. Obviously with precast concrete piles (rare in the US but used elsewhere) the prestress does not apply.
Other piles sizes and lengths can be computed using the methods described above.
Above is a valve gear diagram for the Vulcan 014 and 016 hammers. It shows the workings of the valve, its positioning during operation and other details. Although Vulcan made improvements after this drawing (valve liners and Vari-Cycle, for example) it shows the basics of the valve which has done well in Vulcan hammers for more than a century.
Above is a Vulcan diagram of the sheave and cylinder head assembly for Vulcan #2, #1 and #0 series hammers, which include the 06, 505, 506, 0R, 08, 010, 012, 508, 510 and 512 hammers. It includes the factory intended wire rope sizes for these hammers. Some additional notes are as follows:
Sheave and sheave head assembly safety is VERY IMPORTANT; see Vulcan Tip #65 for more details.