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DILLIMAX for XXXL lifting equipment

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Oilfield Technology,

Dillinger has expanded its format range for plates of unparalleled thicknesses and quality. Thermo-mechanically rolled plates in DI-MC branded grades S355 and S460 are now also available in thicknesses of up to 150 mm.

With effect immediately, the DILLIMAX 965 strength level, for example, can be ordered in the form of 120 mm thick plate. In the case of DILLIMAX 690 T, the producer guarantees Charpy V-notch toughness significantly higher than those specified in the EN 10025, Part 6 and ASTM A514 standards. Starting immediately, Dillinger is also making an important commitment in its quality standards for the entire DILLIMAX product family, by guaranteeing excellent internal cleanness on the basis of in-works ultrasonic inspection (UT). In the case of extremely thick plates, this extra safety can additionally be assured by means of optional agreement of stringent ultrasonic-inspection requirements and guaranteeing of properties in the plate-thickness direction (Z grade in accordance with EN 10164). All DILLIMAX steels possess CEV/CET carbon equivalents significantly below the levels specified in the standard, and therefore permit the use of welding processes which can be reliably calculated on the basis of widely applied standards, such as EN 1011. These low CEV/CET values also reduce preheat temperatures and thus again boost cost-efficiency. ALE, an internationally leading specialist in the transportation and lifting of heavy loads, uses these Dillinger grades in the grand style. DILLIMAX makes critical contributions to feasibility and safety both in the AL.SK350, the world's largest capacity land-based heavylift crane, and in the Mega Jack modular jacking system.

The enhanced performance spectrum of DILLIMAX steels opens up new potentials in thick, heavily stressed designs, for which maximum mechanical strength, extreme toughness and reliable welding are of elementary importance for safety. The manufacturers of heavy-lift cranes and other lifting equipment with extreme loading and safety requirements, inter alia, also therefore put their trust in these grades. Showpiece examples of this are the lifting systems operated by super-heavy-load and crane firm ALE. This company is one of the world's largest heavy transportation and lifting service providers, and also develops and builds gigantic land-based heavy-lift cranes and a jacking system that can lift complete oil rigs to heights of up to 50 m. No other heavy-lift system anywhere in the world possesses lifting capacities even approaching those of the AL.SK190 and AL.SK350, or of the Mega Jack. ALE puts its faith in high-performance steels from Dillinger for all models of these XXXL lifters.

World's largest land-based crane

ALE was founded in Stafford, UK, in 1983, now has more than thirty base depots, and has evolved into a leading global player in the lifting, transportation and installation of heavy, non-divisible loads. These gigantic cranes and jacking systems are tailor-designed for customers' projects that are as spectacular as they are exacting. The company regularly sets new records with the load-bearing performance of its heavy-lift machines. These colossi are used wherever extreme loads need to be lifted for the construction of industrial plants, oil and gas production facilities, and infrastructural projects. The tasks involved extend to offshore rigs, port infrastructure projects, the mining, chemicals and energy industry, and even architecture. In 2008, ALE set its first world record, using the AL.SK190: this machine, with its 141.3 metres main boom, maximum load of 4300 t and a load moment of 196.000 tonne-metres, became the world's heaviest-lift land-based crane. The crane's ballast radius of 32.1 m makes it possible to perform all lifts from a single position, eliminating cost-intensive dismantling and repositioning. The AL.SK cranes lift up to 4000 t with winches. For loads up to 600 tonnes an additional quick winch system is installed and for loads above 4000 t a strand jack system is used. This crane's big brother, the AL.SK350, followed in 2011, and has since then held the world size record for land-based cranes. The AL.SK350, with its 141.2 metres main boom can handle a maximum carry load of 5000 t. The crane has a reach of twelve metres at maximum load, giving it a load moment of 354 000 tm. Its ballast radius of more than 49.2 m also makes it unique in the world up to now. This crane is also equipped not only with its strand jacking system, but also with a high-speed rope winch which, on the AL.SK350, can tackle lifts of up to 4000 t. The AL.SK350, weighing in at 3000 t, is itself a real heavyweight. Both heavy-lift cranes can be modularly be expanded with a fixed jib to extend the boom. With a maximum length of 100 m, the jib can lift loads up to 3400 t. Fabricated from ultra-high-strength steel, it is enabling this colossus to lift even heavier loads to even greater heights within a further expanded radius. As Ronald Hoefmans, Technical Director at the heavy-load specialists, notes, the length of the individual parts is an additional challenge in the design and construction of such cranes. They must not be longer than 12 m, to permit containerised transportation. The designs must also permit quick and easy setting-up. This is why, in Hoefmans view, ultra-high-strength DILLIMAX steel is indispensable in bearing the forces generated by the cranes' dimensions. The plate-length and plate-thickness formats available only from Dillinger also give him decisive design and cost-efficiency benefits during fabrication, however. One example of this is provided by the AL.SK350's tie rods, which were fabricated from 10 metres long plates consisting of ultra-high-strength DILLIMAX 1100. ALE uses 11.4 metres long DILLIMAX 690 and DILLIMAX 890 elements for the main boom and the backmast. Ronald Hoefmans also trusts in the DILLIMAX 690 and DILLIMAX 890 grades of steel for the topping system and crossbeam structures. DILLIMAX 690 components of 5,7 m are used for the baseframe. The necessary durability of these giant cranes during deployments at Arctic temperatures of -40°C is assured by the specified high toughness of the DILLIMAX grades used.

Jacking system for mega loads

ALE developed the Mega Jack as a special system for the installation or repositioning of offshore rigs with weights up to 60 000 t on 12 towers. Such rigs stand 25 m above the water, in order that even high waves cannot reach them. "Clients prefer to build rigs in one piece on ground level and at a later stage the Mega Jack system jacks it up to the required height. After jacking a loadout frame is being positioned under the rig and is being loaded out onto a barge by an ALE skidding system. After load out the rig goes offshore and by float over operation the topside will be installed on top of the jacket", Ronald Hoefmans explains. For example, a Mega Jack lifted the Malikai rig located 100 km off the coast of Malaysia 40 m high and transported it 90 m horizontally. It's a modular system with 5200 t jacking capacity per tower. When installing more towers loads up to 100 000 t or more are achievable. This system's gigantic lifting capacity gives the oil industry the otherwise impossible capability of constructing modules of this magnitude and moving them in a single day without the use of other tackle. Since 2014, ALE has possessed a medium size jacking system, in the form of the Mega Jack 800. Dillinger ultra-high-strength DILLIMAX steels are also used in many of the components of this colossal jacking system: the necessary strength and stability of the jacking beams is assured, for example, by plates consisting of the DILLIMAX 690 grades in thicknesses of up to 240 mm.

Concentrated lifting power

Whether for big cranes or for gigantic jacking systems: Ronald Hoefmans knew he could rely on Dillinger capabilities and quality for all three of these colossi. The extreme plate formats and out-of-the-ordinary properties of DILLIMAX steels all argue in favour of their use for these lifting systems, which leave every other machine of their type standing. The unparalleled size of the plates used permitted cost-efficient dimensions for production, for example. For Ronald Hoefmans, "These steel's extremely high mechanical strength and Charpy V-notch toughness are absolutely essential for our designs". In addition, their excellent working and welding properties contribute decisively in achieving cost-saving fabrication and use of these huge machines, because they mean lower labour and welding costs, shorter installation times and reduced transportation needs. "Dillinger gives us the safety we need, with tried and proven grades and quality", Ronald Hoefmans affirms, adding "Another important factor is that we have a highly capable and acclaimed partner for supply and fabrication, in the form of AncoferWaldram Steelplates, a Dutch subsidiary of Dillinger. They supply us with finished flame-cut parts and complete modules which integrate perfectly into our fabrication processes". Ultra-clean steel, cast at Dillinger into the world's thickest slabs and ingots, form the basis for DILLIMAX-brand high-strength fine-grained structural steels. Subsequent rolling under a rolling force of 11 000 t homogenises the plates down into their centres. Their exceptional mechanical strength is the result of water-quenching, followed by tempering. This gives the DILLIMAX grades, including those used for ALE's plates, the necessary property profile for designs that could not be implemented without plates of these thicknesses and featuring these properties.

Even thicker TM plates arrive

Dillinger can now boast a further addition to its thickness range in high and higher-strength grades: DI-MC-brand thermo-mechanically rolled (TM) plates are now available in even greater thicknesses in Grades S355 and S460. Thicknesses of 150 mm are now suppliable in these steels, thus anticipating the planned inclusion of these thicknesses in the upcoming new edition of the EN 10025, Part 4, standard. TM plates are notable for their exceptionally cost-efficient working and welding properties, the result of their significantly lower CET/CEV carbon equivalents compared to normalised steels of the same strength class. Despite their thickness, they are significantly easier to weld, and preheating can be omitted if the appropriate parameters are selected. Constant yield strengths of 355 MPa in the 150 mm thickness range, and 460 MPa at a thickness of 120 mm, make an important additional contribution to the cost-effectiveness and safety of demanding steel structures. The cost-efficiency of their use is underlined, in particular, by the availability of item weights of up to 32.5 t and widths of well over 4000 mm, which permit optimum plate sizes ideally tailored to each specific project.

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