An Overview of Driving Accessories

The photo above shows an overview of driving accessories for Vulcan onshore hammers from the 1970’s, from Vulcan Bulletin 68M.  These apply both to the Warrington-Vulcan single-acting hammers and the Super-Vulcan differential-acting hammers.

More information on driving accessories can be found here:

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Vulcan 030 Hammer: Specifications and Information

The Vulcan 030 was an extension of the 020 with a longer, heavier ram.  It was first designed and built in an onshore version with the same 37″ jaws as the 020.  A general arrangement is below.

The onshore 030 found itself on many interesting projects, such as the replacement of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge between St. Petersburg and Bradenton, FL, after it was hit by a ship and fell into Tampa Bay.

Like the 020, the 030 went offshore, too.  The first offshore 030 was built for H.B. Fowler in 1965; a general arrangement is shown below.

D10156-54M
The original offshore Vulcan 030, built for H.B. Fowler in 1965 and J.H. Pomeroy in 1967.  Note the column keys that hold the hammer together; they were replaced by cables, as keys were hard to maintain in the punishing offshore environment.

Equipped with cables and (after the first three) a 22″ ram point (the first three had a 21″ one,) the offshore 030 was used by contractors such as Northwestern, Dragados and Fluor.

Specifications for the offshore 030 are below.

DWPB1961
Vulcan Drawing DWPB-1961 (Offshore Hammer Specifications)

Photos of the hammer are below.

In its later specification sheets Vulcan listed a Vulcan 330 hammer, but it is essentially the same as the 030, and was not built.

Specifications-Bulletin-68T
Specifications, Vulcan Bulletin 68T, 1991

Vulcan 020 Hammer: Specifications and Information

The 020 hammer, derived from the 200C hammer, is an important part of Vulcan’s product line.  A big hammer when it was introduced, it was key in making Vulcan a serious participant in the offshore hammer market, and also with larger onshore and marine projects as well.  It was also the progenitor for hammers such as the 520, 030, 530 and 535.

General arrangements are below.  The 020 was originally developed as an onshore hammer (the photo at the top of the page shows one in on the job) with 37″ jaws.  If the hammer had a significant weakness, it was that: the jaws were too small to accommodate more than 30″ concrete pile or 36″ steel pipe pile.

The offshore hammer sported 54″ male jaws and could drive up to 48″ steel pipe pile.

The first offshore 020 was made for Ingram Contractors in 1965.  Many offshore contractors purchased and used the hammers, including McDermott, DeLong, Teledyne Movable Offshore, Fluor and ETPM, along with onshore contractors such as T.L. James, Boh Brothers, Contratistas Costaneros and J.H. Pomeroy.

And the specifications:

Like the 014 and 016, the 020 wandered between the raised and lowered steam chest design, and also whether the hammer had a steam belt or not.  Steam belts allowed the air or steam to pass from one side of the hammer to another.  For onshore hammers, this allowed the steam chest to be run on the inside of the leaders.  Offshore hammers traditionally ran their steam chest in front (outside) of the leaders, which means that they dispensed with the steam belt.

Also, like the 200C, the 020 had two different sizes of ram points for onshore and offshore hammers, although with two different sizes of cushion pots.

If you have one of these hammers and want to order parts or rehabilitate the hammer, get the serial number and make sure which configuration you’re ordering for.

Vulcan 014 and 016 Hammers: Specifications and Information

The 014 and 016 hammers were the first single-acting hammers Vulcan produced based on the Super-Vulcan design.  The main difference between the two was the ram weight, as can be seen below.

These hammers are without the Vari-Cycle feature; the drawing at the very top shows the Vari-Cycle added.

Specifications for the onshore hammers (which sported 32″ female jaws) are below.

The 016 was the basis of the Conmaco 160, which Vulcan first produced for Conmaco before they “struck out on their own.”

Vulcan also produced these hammers in an offshore configuration with 54″ male jaws, as shown below.  The first of these was for Ingram Contractors (that’s right, the subsidiary of the book distribution company, they got into the platform installation business) in 1968.  T.L. James and McDermott also purchased these hammers.

Specifications for the offshore hammers are below.

DWPB1961
Vulcan Drawing DWPB-1961 (Offshore Hammer Specifications)

One major difference between the offshore and onshore models is the raised vs. lowered steam chest.  The onshore model cylinder design was modelled after the Super-Vulcan hammers, which required a steam chest raised above the bottom of the cylinder.  For the offshore hammers this was dispensed with and the steam chest design was more like the Warrington-Vulcan hammers, low on the cylinder.  The main benefits were a shorter slide bar and less chance for core burn-in in the air/steam passages.

The heavier build of these hammers (as opposed to the earlier single-acting hammers) was more beneficial offshore than onshore.  The frame is more durable (although it’s hard to argue with a configuration that lasts 120 years!) but this added to the weight.

D77V1010
Vulcan toyed with the idea of a 5′ stroke version of the 014 and 016 hammers; this is the 016 version, or the 516. Vulcan never built this and towards the end gravitated towards a 5′ stroke version of the larger Raymond “0” series hammers, which were closer to the original Warrington-Vulcan concept and lighter.

The weight of the 014 and 016 may have put them at something of a disadvantage, but they have given good service in the sixty-years they’ve been out, as can be seen in this video (courtesy of Pile Hammer Equipment.)

Vulcan 400C and 600C Hammers: Specifications and Information

The Vulcan 400C and 600C were the company’s “final frontier” on the Super-Vulcan hammers.  It invested a considerable amount of resources in the engineering of these products, both offshore and (in the case of the 400C) onshore.

Promotion wasn’t lacking in the specifications either, as can be seen below.

Yet the fact remains that neither of these hammers was ever built.  Why was this so?

For the onshore hammer, demand for hammers this large onshore only came on Vulcan’s “radar screen” in the mid- and late 1960’s, and by that time the offshore market was dominating Vulcan’s activity.  There was also the persistent “blow rate” controversy.

For offshore, on paper a differential acting hammer made perfect sense.  Hourly barge rates were (and are) high; the more rapidly the work got done, the better.  This probably inspired McDermott to purchase the several 140C hammers that it did.  And the length of the piles was the last nail in the coffin for pile driving formulae; the wave equation and pile driving analysers were taking over.  The energy into the pile could be monitored, as noted in Pile Installation by Pile Driving.

However, there were other issues.  In some cases the pile rebound timed itself to return with the next blow, resulting in the “dancing on the pile” issue Vulcan ran into sometimes with the smaller Super-Vulcan hammers.  Beyond that, the air or steam consumption of these hammers was considerable.  The 600C, for example, used the same boiler size as the 560 with 40% less striking energy.  To penetrate a hard layer, the additional energy was worth more than the higher blow rate.  That could have been compensated for by designing a Super-Vulcan hammer with a 5′ equivalent stroke, but Vulcan never tried to present this to its customers.

It’s yet another “what-if” situation that Vulcan faced in its long history.

Vulcan 200C Hammer: Specifications and Information

The 200C was another important hammer in the Vulcan line, being the “basis” for the single-acting 020, 030, 520, 530 and 535 hammers.  The 200C was also important because, like the 140C, it was made in both onshore and offshore configurations.  Some general arrangements of both are shown below.

 

One important note for the 200C and its single-acting counterparts is that the onshore and offshore hammers, in addition to different jaws, have different sizes ram points and driving accessories.  The difference is explained here.

Specifications for each (on different spec tables) are shown below.

 

 

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.

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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.

D10155-54A
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.

 

 

140C-Sand-Drain-Closeup
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.

 

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.

bulletin-68-cover
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.