Outrigger pads for tough conditions

By Maria Hadlow04 February 2010

Soft soil tests for Composite Advantage's FiberRigg outrigger pads.

Soft soil tests for Composite Advantage's FiberRigg outrigger pads.

US company Composite Advantage LLC has developed FiberRigg, a fiberglass composite crane outrigger pad for use in extreme conditions. Tests carried out at the NCC (National Composite Center) showed that FiberRigg performed well in challenging conditions.

Scott Reeve, President of Composite Advantage said, "Although the ideal case for crane outrigger pads is to sit on a hard, compacted surface, work site soils vary greatly and it is equally important to have pads that can perform in soft soil without excessive deflection."

Tests carried out at NCC simulated setting a crane (or access platform) on soft soil and over an open hole. The soft soil test used a 250 by 250 mm (10 by 10 in) pad on foam to simulate soil with a low psi foundation. The pad continued to spread the load evenly, when the load reached 20454 kg (45000 lb) and began to push the pad through the foam, FiberRigg maintained the stability of the load footprint.

The test evaluating FiberRigg's performance over an open hole handled a load weight up to 27272 kg (60000 lb) with deflection of less than 50mm (2 in). "Although this is a condition that should never be allowed to occur at the job site," Mr Reeve said, "FiberRigg demonstrated very low deflection under conditions where there was no support under the pad. The test verified there was no failure of the pad."

When FiberRigg is loaded on a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt, the pad will not crush or compress under loads up to 227272 kg (500000 lb). Continuous glass fibers provide strength and stiffness and its polymer makeup resists chemicals and water degradation. FiberRigg is light for easy transportation and handling and has a non-slip wear surface; it is also available in bio-resins such as corn and soy. FiberRigg is offered in standard sizes and can be easily tailored to sizes specified by the customer.

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