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Testing Evaluates Stresses on Shipping Dock

A worldwide supplier of choice for utility customers provides fuel, services, technology, plant design , and equipment for the commercial nuclear electric power industry. One of the clients’ projects include transporting reactor vessels and steam generator components, which arrive at Port of Charleston, S.C., offloading and moving them from the dock and onto rail car trucks to head for a power plant. They needed to ensure that transporting these heavy-weight components from the ship to the rail did not put excessive strains on the dock or, more specifically, the cradle sitting on top of the dock. To achieve that, load monitoring and strain gage testing were required.

Basic Facts
Client: Worldwide supplier of choice for utility customers
Project Location: Charleston, South Carolina, USA
The challenge:Performing strain gage testing and load monitoring on the structure where direct measurement was not desirable to achieve accurate results.
Main service:Calibrated strain gauge measurements.
Benefits:Assurance that the dynamic plus static loads did not exceed the designated thresholds for the generator, cradle and dock, thereby ensuring that the loading procedure does not put undue stresses on the dock and structures involved.

Solution and Results

TÜV Rheinland Industrial Services has had a long-standing relationship with this worldwide supplier, and when the test experts received the request, they brought on board their colleagues from TÜV Rheinland Mobility. Mobility uses strain gage testing extensively in the rail industry to evaluate the magnitude and frequency of stresses on rail vehicles. TÜV Rheinland has been performing strain gage testing since 1987 across all industries: from rail tracks and vehicles to bridges and buildings.

At the dock, TÜV Rheinland engineers placed custom designed pre-calibrated gages at certain points of the cradle and measured the static and dynamic loads while a loading procedure took place to ensure safety and integrity of the cradle and the dock. The experts encountered a few challenges onsite: Because they could not put strain gages on the cradle directly so that not to affect its surface, they designed collars outfitted with the pre-calibrated strain gauges that were positioned between long bolts and the dock cradle and measured the forces indirectly.

Site-specific challenges often require a test engineer to think outside the box: from and adequately address the clients’ request. Powering the equipment when there are no power outlets nearby to understanding how to compensate for thermal stresses if a structure itself deforms during testing. This is where many years of performing tests - L0 on a variety of structures paid off: The TÜV Rheinland team could account for the test conditions at the dock without impacting the accuracy of measurements.

About TÜV Rheinland

Founded 140 years ago, TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent inspection services, ensuring quality and safety for people, the environment, and technology in nearly all aspects of life.

We inspect technical equipment, products and services, oversee projects and help to shape processes for companies around the world. Since 2006 we have been a member of the United Nations Global Compact to promote sustainability and combat corruption.

We have been involved in the field of nuclear engineering - L0 since the beginning of the civilian use of nuclear power. We support atomic licensing and regulatory authorities, operators of nuclear plants, companies that build and install nuclear plants and equipment, and component manufacturers and service providers for the nuclear engineering market.

We offer you a comprehensive range of services, including quality management, process safety, radiation protection and condition monitoring of existing plants. We also offer you over 20 years of experience and knowledge, providing expert evaluation in shutting down and removing nuclear power plants of various designs, and other types of nuclear facilities.

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