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Super strong augered piles pass the test for wind turbine blades

CONTRACTS

SUPER STRENGTH augered piles designed to withstand an uplift of 300kN each have been installed on the Isle of Wight to pin down a new test frame developed for wind turbine blades.

Roger Bullivant installed three of the piles to support the test frame on the £11,000 subcontract. It also built a further eight standard augered piles to support an extension to a steel frame building which houses the blade manufacturing and testing facility.

The work took place in the town of Newport in September for contractor Mansell which won the about £100,000 contract from Vestas Blades UK.

Each of the three super strength piles is designed to work in tension in ground made up of Hamstead Beds - a firm to stiff clay. They feature a robust T40 steel bar, which is installed to a full depth of 14m to give the pile added strength.

All 11 piles were created using a minirig which installed 300mm diameter fl ghts made up of 1m lengths. As the auger descended into the ground, further sections of auger were connected until it reached full depth.

The rotation of the rig was then reversed and concrete pumped down the centre of the auger to fill the resulting void before steel reinforcing cages were installed.

The extension to the manufacturing and testing facility in Newport will allow huge 59m long wind turbine blades to be developed. Once tested, the blades will be lowered on to a waiting barge on the nearby River Medina for despatch and assembly at one of the growing number of wind turbine sites springing up across the UK and mainland Europe.

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