Banner
Fabricating

Scotland’s Kelpies

By Gretchen Salois

This story has been updated for the July/August 2016 Top Webex issue.

Steel behemoths stand tall, a fabricating feat

FFJ-0421-webex-kelpies-image3When artist Andy Scott was first appointed to create public art that makes a statement, he focused on Scotland’s industrial heritage by dreaming up two Clydesdale horses—similar to those used to help build the Scottish Canals. Roughly 35,000 motorists on a daily basis now have a reason to slow down while cruising down the A9 motorway.

Scott usually creates his artwork in his Glasgow-based studio, but the sheer size of the project required all hands on deck. Atkins, a design, engineering and project management consultancy, came in to scan the maquettes Scott created in order to come up with 3-D models. “Working from the external skin, Atkins developed an internal structural frame that would support the external cladding,” says Tim Burton, sales and marketing manager at SH Structures Limited. 

Scott created an internal frame to which he welded hundreds of small individual steel plates, giving the finished piece a degree of transparency, Burton says. The sculptures were then galvanized, giving them an initial shiny appearance. He added it was challenging to find a method to recreate this technique on a grander scale.

Fabrication breakdown

Going from smaller models to large-scale sculptures is where SH Structures, located in the U.K., came in, experienced with challenging fabrication projects.

On the much larger versions, fabricators used 6 mm-thick grade 316 stainless steel sheets which were uniquely laser-cut to give the impression of a larger number of panels while retaining the open effect of the models, says Burton. 

The skin of the horses is made from grade 316 stainless steel with an unpolished mill finish. Inside, the tubular skeleton is made from grade 355 CHS sections from Tata Steel. 

“The mild steel tubular sections were the obvious choice to provide a cost effective solution to creating such a complex shape of this scale,” Burton says.

A tubular structure was chosen because designers and engineers felt it would be more economical, versus a series of trusses and horizontal diaphragms.

FFJ-0421-webex-kelpies-image1

FFJ-0421-webex-kelpies-image2

According to Burton, SH Structures’ facility is not like conventional fabricators’ in that numerous jigs were needed. Drawings for jigs were produced by SH Structures’ 3-D CAD operators and fabricators and welders built the structures in stages, creating large sub-assemblies. 

“Welding the thousands of uniquely positioned brackets correctly takes great skill and it was sometimes physically hard to gain access to carry out the welds,” Burton says. “But all these difficulties were overcome and out of 34,000 pieces, only a handful needed any on-site modifications.”

Sitting on the eastern end of the Forth and Clyde canals, running through Helix park, “The Kelpies will serve as a gateway to the canal as well as being a major tourist attraction for the Falkirk area.” FFJ

The Kelpies from The Helix on Vimeo.

FFJ-0421-webex-kelpies-image4

Sources

Banner

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Beckwood Press Co. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters Triform

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. Mazak Optonics Corp. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC MC Machinery Systems Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

Murata Machinery, USA, Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC TRUMPF Inc.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group MTS Sensors Rolleri USA

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial Automec Inc. BLM Group
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies SafanDarley

WATERJET

Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

PUNCHING

Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc. Behringer Saws Inc.

WELDING

Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company

 

MetalForming Inc.

 

 

 

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

 

 

 

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

 


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg