Investigate, Design, Manage Approach to Correct Gantry Crane Wheel Bearing Failures
Brindley has been called upon to investigate several gantry cranes in Delayed Coking Units at industrial facilities across the United States. A common problem is premature wheel bearing failure caused by improperly designed or maintained rail systems and the structures that support them. This leads to rails that are too ﬂexible, causing the cranes to deﬂect excessively and wear the bearings. Reliable operation of Coker gantry cranes is critical to the operation of these high-value units.
BE the Solution
Special investigation techniques were used to determine the depth of coking oil ingress into the concrete, which is critical for scope determination, detailing, and construction execution. Bearing plate design with proper grout selection and installation details to avoid cracking and heaving ensure that the high point loads under the rails can be accommodated while resisting coke ﬁne ingress and acid attack to ensure a long service life. Rail hold down supports need to be designed to accommodate the thermal loads, point loads, and horizontal loads imposed by the crane yet need to work with the bearing plate and grout design to ensure reliability. Specialized thermite welding of the rails is needed due to the materials of construction and to improve crane operations.
Delayed Coking Units operate in very harsh environments involving high heat, cyclical loading, abrasive and corrosive materials, and restrictive maintenance windows due to operational safety concerns, causing maintenance activities to take place primarily during unit outages. We often discover original designs and standard maintenance procedures that do not adequately address the difﬁcult environment the unit is subjected too. Common problems include not accounting for the high point loads from the crane, improper rail attachment and support detailing, and poorly selected materials that cannot resist the loads and unique operational environment. Material selection and detailing become even more critical in order to achieve a reliable repair that can be conducted without impact to the overall turnaround window.
BE the Result
Our focus on infrastructure evaluation and rehabilitation, together with our unique expertise in constructability techniques, material selection, engineered lift planning, and turnaround project execution resulted in a reliable product for the Owner, completed within a demanding time-frame.