For the last of the “Pile Buck Ads,” a photo of the Vulcan 530 hammer is featured in offshore stub-type leaders. The 530, introduced in 1978 for driving pipe piles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, was and is used in a wide variety of pile driving projects. In this case it’s shown to be driving concrete cylinder piles, which have become common on larger bridge projects in the last quarter century.
The fourth in our series on the ads which Pile Buck allowed vulcanhammer.net to run was this shot of a Link Belt 520 driving shell piles using the Vulcan Expanding Mandrel. The mandrel’s history and shell piles in general are discussed here.
The Link Belt 520 is an interesting story in itself. The diesel hammer was first developed in Germany by Delmag. After World War II, the technology was seized as Alien Property and licensed to the Syntron concern. They made two key changes to the diesel hammers. The first was to use a true atomizing injection of the fuel (as opposed to the splash system common to most diesel hammers then and now) like a conventional diesel engine. The second was to put a “bounce” chamber on top, basically a compressed air chamber to store energy on the upstroke, which was then put back into the ram during the downstroke. This increased the blow rate and shortened the stroke.
The benefits of atomized injection were and are not clear; in some cases the Link Belt hammers were found to stop the ram before it struck the anvil, thus the hammer never impacted! The bounce chamber mystified many engineers and inspectors in the day, but the concept was adopted by IHC for their hydraulic hammers in the 1980’s.
The Syntron hammer was sold to the crane manufacturer Link Belt, who in turn sold it to International Construction Equipment in the late 1970’s. They still manufacture diesel hammers but they have changed the concept of the hammer somewhat since then.
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 its way to American sheet piling sites, mostly due to the Delmag hammer and its progeny.
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 is a “child” of this effort.
We thank you for your support over the years and keep coming back.
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 first 3100 hammer as a backdrop.