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.

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Ordering Leaders from Vulcan

Above is an order form Vulcan included in its Bulletin 40 on leaders.  Below is an explanation of that form.

Bulletin 40 Page 2

It’s still a pretty handy guide when you’re thinking about purchasing or renting pile hammer leaders.

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.

2872
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.

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

100c-cta-
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.

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.

65ca-ad-for-tip-61
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.

D10781
A special version of the 50C, the sand drain hammer.

Some photos are below.