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Niederfinow boat lift - Wasser- und Schiffahrtsamt Eberswalde

Niederfinow boat lift - Wasser- und Schiffahrtsamt Eberswalde

The

The foundation engineering In accordance with the geological conditions, the composition of the soil layers changes so greatly that only a building site on a slope came into question for the construction of the boat lift. The nine foundation piers of the lift had to be taken down to more than 20 m under the ground with the use of compressed air in order to reach load-bearing sand layers. A concrete sump pan to support the tank by conveyance to the lower water level of the Oder reach had to be built. The sump pan at the same time also represents the main foundation raft for the framework of the boat lift. Since the caisson or tank chamber projects into the groundwater, a watertight concrete sump pan of 7.90 m internal depth had to be produced. The dimensions of the framework gave the sump pan a length of 97.65 m and a width of 29.10 m. The sole is 4 m thick. The foundation was made by lowering the ground water table in an open foundation pit to a depth of 12 m under the ground. Further lowering to the relevant foundation depth was achieved using a pneumatic process. The foundation was completed in 1929 after a construction period of about 2 years. The constructional steelwork The constructional steelwork of the boat lift is divided into four parts: 10 Technology 1. the caisson, 2. the steel framework, 3. the lower pound lock, 4. the canal bridge. The caisson is the movable part of the lift. The vessels float in it while they are being lifted or lowered. It is 85 m long and 12 m wide. The water has a depth of 2.5 m which can be increased by up to 0.65 m. The caisson weighs 4,300 tonnes, including the water load. The steel framework stands alongside the caisson and supports 64 hoisting sheaves with a diameter of 3.50 m each on both sides of the hoisting sheaves hall. The cables run over these hoisting sheaves, supporting the caisson on one side and the compensating counterweights on the other. The load is equalised by concrete weights (21 tonnes each) which are connected to the caisson by 192 cables of 52 mm in diameter. The cables are 56.70 m long. The 64 remaining cables are joined to the counterweight guide frames and have a load-bearing capacity of 4 tonnes each. In addition, the steel framework supports the central spindle columns which take on the excess load when the balance between the caisson and the counterweight is disturbed. The rack ladders and guides along which the caisson moves up and down are also attached to the steel framework. On its western side, the framework supports the vertical gates which seal the upper reach from the lift and all the other auxiliary facilities necessary for connecting the caisson. In cross-section, the framework con- View of the boat lift from the south Elevation approx. 36 m Tank length 90 m Tank width 12 m Proposal for a boat lift constrution from 1906 Fig. 12 Lift with hoisting cylinder-drum from M.A.N. 1906 Drum for cleft water Drive Ballast 11

sists of two-hinged frames, two of which are supported by lateral braces. In longitudinal section, there are eight of these two-hinged frames; actually, two frames at a time are joined together by longitudinal bonds ("interior and exterior wall") to form a threedimensional double-frame. The two towers in the centre of the boat lift are connected by special bonds into a middle tower, which has the effect of a constrained framework lengthways to the boat lift. The four central spindle columns, the rack ladders and the four lateral braces are installed in this middle tower. Two other two-hinged frames form the west tower which is connected in a longitudinally traversable manner with the middle tower. The east tower formed by the remaining two twohinged frames is permanently connected to the middle tower by the cable sheave girders. The lower pound sealing, an independent structural component beside the steel framework, supports the vertical door which seals off the lower pound and the facilities for connecting the caisson as well as their operating gear. The complete boat lift framework is about 60 m high, 94 m long and 27 m wide. It is made of St 37 structural steel. The steel framework was constructed between 17 February 1931 and the spring of 1932 using a special gantry crane. Most of the structural components were delivered to Niederfinow by railway and brought over the Finow Canal by railway ferry. The components were riveted together at the building site. The canal bridge with a length of 157 12 metres connects the boat lift with the upper reach. The bridge tank has a waterlevel width of 28 m (total width 34 m) and a water depth of 3.00 m. The main loads of the canal bridge are transmitted by the two middle piers to load-bearing foundation soil. The foundations of the hinged piers situated about 37 m from the lift had to be just as deep as the foundation piers of the boat lift. Because of their flexibility, the hinged piers allow for temperaturerelated longitudinal variations in the steel construction. Two watertight contraction joints take this fact into account as well. The gates The tank gates and the pound lock gates are built as vertical gates. Each tank gate is 12.5 m wide and 3.50 m high. They close the tank at both sides. The pound lock gates close the upper and lower pounds respectively. One tank gate weighs approx. 23 tonnes. The pound lock gates have the same width but are slightly taller and thus also slightly heavier. The gate bodies consist of a sectional steel construction, on the air side of which a sheet-metal skin has been riveted. The tank gates, which have been renovated, are a welded construction. The gates are driven transversely and longitudinally on rollers. Counterweights running on cables nearly equalise the weight of the gates. In order to close the gate securely, there is a gate excess load of approx. 1 tonne in closed position. A second cable, the hoisting cable, connects the gate with the operating gear which effects the lifting and lowering process. The gates are sealed by a Ushaped rubber moulding running around the water cross-section. The necessary compression of the rubber is produced by the water pressure on the gate. There are timber fender beams in front of the pound lock gates to protect the gates from any possible collisions with arriving vessels. In case the upper pound lock gate suddenly malfunctions or has to be repaired, an auxiliary gate of the same size is located about 3 metres in front of the actual gate. It also serves as a cut-off if any cleaning or repair work has to be carried out on the upper reach connection in the underwater zone. Another gate which can be locked by remote control is situated in the upper approach at the end of the canal bridge. It serves, on the one hand, for the drainage of the canal bridge for monitoring, maintenance and repair work and, on the other hand, as an emergency seal in the case of leakage in the canal bridge or the canal route. This gate was assembled on site as a separate structure. The lock approaches Even when the first descent, the staircase of locks, was being built, allowances were made for the planned second descent. The upper entrance was thus continued as a straight lengthening of the canal. The upper approach has a length of 1,200 m, a water-level width of 66 m and a sole width of 35.60 m. These dimensions guarantee room for four vessels to berth next to each other and to sail past. The lower approach has a water-level width of 68.80 m and a sole width of 41 m. In both approaches, electric towing locomotives taken over from the staircase of locks towed the vessels without their own propulsion from the tank. In the course of the transition from tug shipping to push shipping, the electric towing locomotives were taken out of service. Barges without their own propulsion are today towed out by a winch traction facility, while the push boat pushes them into the entrance. The upper approach, the mooring pillars, the route of entry and the abutments of the canal bridge were all built on dry land. The mechanical and electrical technology Strictly speaking, the boat lift is a gigantic machine which required a large share of structural engineering for its construction and functioning. There are a large number of mechanical drives on the lift, for example the caisson, the pound lock gates and the tank gates, the sealing frames, the shuttering and drainage systems and so on. Let us take a look at the mechanical technology of the caisson movement. The caisson is moved by four rackand-pinion drives. The racks are fixed onto the lift framework, while the drive pinions are fixed onto the caisson. Each rack-and-pinion drive is connected with a safety catch which catches 13

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