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Posts Tagged "china"

APE 200-6 Drives Six Sheets at a Time for 32 Meter (104 ft) Cofferdams in Hong Kong

APE’s 200-6 successfully drove six piles at a time for the 32 meter diameter (104 ft) cofferdams that are being used to extend the Hong Kong airport runway.  Prior to the project start, the Chinese government design groups had a tough choice between using either 32m (104 ft) diameter super-large piles, similar to the 22m diameter (72 ft) piles driven for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao man-made island project, or instead to use sheet piles.  Since the project is next to the Hong Kong airport there are many safety regulations for construction ships in the area.  To drive 32m (104 ft) super-large diameter piles would require a 4,000 ton boat crane with mast that would exceed the 35m (114 ft) height restriction of the area.  The fear was that if the boat crane was too tall it would be a danger to the airplanes trying to land at the airport nearby.  Therefore, despite the success of the “APE Octakong Project” that drove 22m (72 ft) super-large diameter piles just 10 months ago, they decided to use sheet piles to create the 32m cofferdams instead.

Driving sheet piles for 32m (104 ft) diameter cofferdams on water is no easy task, but despite all of the challenges the main concern was construction speed.  To speed up the project the contractor wanted to drive six sheet piles at a time per hammer, something that again has never been done before on this scale.  APE provided four 200-6 hammers with six APE model 150 clamps attached to custom beam.  Each hammer has a special manifold that allows independent control of each clamp.  After the sheets are put in place the APE 200-6 hammer is placed on a row of six sheets to be driven, however when sheets are first placed in the cofferdam template they are not all sitting at the same height since some sink in the soil farther than others.  The contractor needed a way to grab onto several piles and vibrate down while some of the clamps are still open.

APE changed the design of the clamp slightly to withstand the forces of a vibratory hammer even while some the clamps are in the open position while others are in the closed.  This week the 200-6 was used for the first time with great success.  Currently there are now four working 200-6 hammers on the job site each driving six sheets at a time.  To increase the speed of the placing of the sheets the contractor also designed a special boat that could grab 49 sheets at a time and place them in the cofferdam template; effectively placing 25% of the sheets at once.  A special barge was created to pre-place sheet piles in a position that the special crane could grab. The project requires 147 cofferdams to be driven with 196 flat sheet piles per dam.  Each sheet is 30m long to be driven 20m deep.  One cofferdam can be fully driven to grade in 4-5 days, a speed unattainable without modified equipment and unique construction techniques used.

This project demonstrates the cooperation APE has had with the Chinese government to continue to supply pile driving equipment that meets their ever increasing construction speed requirements.  For more information on this project please contact our commercial lead Steve Gough (steveg@apevibro.com) who has worked closely with the project groups leaders, or our technical lead David White (davidw@apevibro.com).  Both Steve Gough and David White speak fluent mandarin Chinese and are well versed in pile driving lingo, feel free to contact them in either language.   For more pictures of this project please visit our website at www.apevibro.com. Go APE!

DFI 2012 Superpile: Large Diameter Pile Presentation

APE was given the opportunity to present at DFI’s 2012 Superpile on the benefits, challenges and complexities of driving large diameter piles. The presentation was given by David White, the Managing Director of APE China. Along with Steve Gough, the APE China team and APE Corporate team, we all made the foundation work of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge a reality. They worked tirelessly to design, negotiate and deliver the “OctaKong”, the largest Vibratory Driver Extractor to ever be seen on planet earth.

David White wrote an article back in December detailing the role that APE and our team played in constructing the foundation for the reclaimed islands of the bridge, this was after the final pile had been driven. During the process we have written several more articles with details on the construction of the bridge and APE’s continued involvement. We look forward to what future projects will bring with the benefits seen through the use of large diameter piles.

 

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Below are the links to all of the articles we have written over the past year on the OctaKong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge:

Customer in Haikou China Impressed with APE

The APE 200-6 was recently rented to an experienced customer in HaiKou to drive double “Z” shaped sheet piles for a new dock project. Convincing new customers in China that APE equipment is of the highest quality available is never easy. Many years of competition in the market selling fake products, low quality products, and terrible service has left most contractors extremely weary to trust anybody. Even as a Tall 2.1 meter tall white speaking foreigner in China, it is not enough to fully convince contractors that our product and service is far beyond anything they have experienced in the past. This particular customer has either purchased or rented at some point every single vibratory hammer in China available from electric to hydraulic and local to import. Due to the extreme success of the “Octa-Kong” project for the HongKong-Macao-Bridge project to drive 22m (72 feet) diameter piles he decided to give us a chance. He figured that if we can drive 22m (72 foot) diameter piles we should be able to drive sheet piles. 24 hours prior to us receiving a down payment for a few months rent he received all call from our competitor saying he was making a grave mistake to rent our hammer to him and APE hammers would absolutely not succeed in driving the sheet piles to grade.

Our customer called me on the phone and said he was extremely disturbed by the call. Dan Collins and John White has told APE CHINA several times to rent our hammer for free if we have to prove to the market that we have the best product. I told the customer we would return 100% of the money if our hammer didn’t drive the sheet piles. He was so moved by what I said he said he would send 100% of the money within 20 minutes, he did without any extra modification to the contract. After the hammer arrived on the job site our service man Mr. Liu discovered that all of our engine oil from our Cummins 700 HP engine was gone. We all remember quite clearly doing a full service check of the machine prior to shipment and were shocked to discover that all of the engine oil was mysteriously gone after the first night on the job site. Mr. Liu, being the excellent service man he his, checked all fluid levels prior to initial startup of the power unit of the drive pump lube oil level, hydraulic oil level, radiator fluid level, diesel fuel level, and thank goodness the engine oil level.

After a wasted half day of replacing the engine oil, which we paid for, the hammer finally had the chance to prove it could work. The hammer ended up doing extremely well on the site driving 15 to 20 piles per day easily. Our customer was so happy with our service he wrote a full-page hand written thank you letter to our service man Mr. Liu and to APE for the excellent service given on the job site and high performance of the hammer.  We are extremely happy to represent a product we all believe in, there’s nothing better than selling a product that you know is going to work. Go APE!

International Construction Magazine: New Direction for Chinese Construction

We recently received the 2012 January - February issue of International Construction Magazine, and we are more than pleased to see an article on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project where the APE OctaKong was driving the largest diameter piles every driven in history. For those of you unfamiliar with the project, here is a rundown on the scope of the project courtesy of Wikipedia:

“The in-construction Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is a series of bridges and tunnels that will connect Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities situated on the Pearl River Delta in southern China. The proposed 50 km (31 mi) link is expected to cost US$10.7 billion.[citation needed] With its length, it would become one of the landmarks within the area. The longest bridge section will be 22.8 km (14.2 mi) long and include three cable-stayed spans between 280 m (920 ft) and 460 m (1,510 ft).[1][2] Construction formally began on 15 December 2009.[3] The bridge is due for completion in 2016.”

David White, Director of Operations of the APE China Office and Manufacturing facility wrote an article back in December detailing the role that APE and our team played in constructing the foundation for the reclaimed islands of the bridge, this was after the final pile had been driven. During the process we have written several more articles with details on the construction of the bridge and APE’s continued involvement. We look forward to helping the Chinese build quality foundations for any of their coming construction projects. Below are the links to all of the articles we have written over the past year on the OctaKong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge:

Final 72′ Pile Driven to Grade, OctaKong Project Finished

On December 8th 2011, the APE “OctaKong” hammer drove it’s final pile to grade in front of a crowd of 200 people on the South China Sea.  Many Engineers, officials, contractors, and China T.V. Stations came to witness the final pile drive to grade.  In total, 120 piles were used to create the east and west man-made islands for the HongKong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project.  The largest pile was 72 feet in diameter, 180 feet high, and 660 US tons.  The entire project lasted just under 7 months, an incredibly fast time to make two full island foundations.  ZPMC, the Shanghai based company who fabricated the piles, could hardly keep up pile production with the driving speed of the project.  At the fastest point the OctaKong drove 6 piles in 3 days.  One of the biggest challenges of the East island was learning how to drive 72 foot diameter piles in complex soil conditions.  When driving large diameter piles the soil conditions on one side of the pile can be very different than on the other side of the pile.  At some points the right side of the pile was facing N47+ soil while the left side only saw only N15.  Soil layers are not flat, which is not usually not a problem when driving small diameter piles, but when faced with super large piles often times one full side of the pile will cut through a soil layer for 10 feet before the other side of the pile hits the same layer.  This creates a big challenge when trying to get the pile to go into the soil perfectly straight.  These new challenges forced us to learn a new pile driving method specific to large diameter piles.  No doubt a huge step for the pile driving industry for the future of even larger bridges, land reclamation, and wind power.

It was a surreal feeling to watch the last pile go into the ground after nearly 2 years of research and planning.   As the pile reached it’s final feet many surrounding boats launched fireworks and large cheering could be heard as soon as the machine was shut off.  It’s not very common in Chinese culture to see grown business men and engineers hugging and shouting, but as the OctaKong drove it’s last few feet I think it sent overwhelming joy throughout everybody who’s worked on the project, including myself.  The timeline for this project was so tight that tensions were high for the last 7 months.  I think everybody knew that if the OctaKong hammer broke for whatever reason the entire project had no chance to finish on time, and with no backup hammer, APE China felt the heat to make sure the project kept going smoothly.  I’m glad to report that the OctaKong hammer never had even one day of downtime, something our APE team should be very proud of.  The APE 200-6 tandem special is driving the final 37 foot shell-pile-walls over the next week and that project should conclude soon as well.  Thank you to everybody who worked so hard on this project!

We are working on a 30 minute documentary for this project with some pretty amazing video and pictures.  Please stay tuned for that to be released soon!

Should you have any specific questions about this project, I invite you to e-mail me or call at anytime.  Phone: 206-422-2475  E-mail: davidw@apevibro.com

 

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