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ARCONIC FASTENING SYSTEMS’ HUCK® C50L® FASTENER HELPS SHAPE ICONIC KELPIES MONUMENT


The Huck® brand C50L® fastener from Arconic Fastening Systems (AFS) is one of the key components in a major iconic Scottish construction project.
 
With recommendation from design company Atkins and Huck products supplied by AFS distributor Permalok Fastening Systems Ltd, construction company SH Structures started the project in June 2013, completing the installation on time in October.
 
“The internal frame was designed, fabricated and installed around a tubular steel skeleton. A tubular steel secondary frame carried the many brackets to which the stainless steel ‘skin’ was attached using C50L fasteners. The C50L’s powerful clamp strength combined with Huck’s hydraulic tooling enabled the sheet to be immediately shaped into place during installation, thus eliminating the additional time it would have taken using a conventional nut and bolt system. Not only did the solution meet the mechanical requirements of holding everything in place but the fasteners were quick and easy to install,” said John Rickers, systems development manager at AFS.
 
Tim Burton, sales and marketing manager at SH Structures had considered more conventional fixings. However, he believed that the C50L provided a perfect, structurally-sound, tamper-proof solution. Commenting on the time saved and potential future use of Huck products, he said: “The most time-consuming part of the work was the fact that the plates were flat and had to be cold formed or bent to match the complex profile created by the brackets. Using the C50L fasteners with the hydraulic rig definitely helped the process as drawing the connection to close required a significant load, which the combination were able to deliver faultlessly every time. If we had employed a conventional bolted solution, I have no doubt that the operation would have taken longer. Although The Kelpies was a very special and unusual project, if the circumstances are suitable and based on our new knowledge and practical experience, we would certainly consider the use of Huck products in future construction applications.”
 
“Permalok is extremely proud to have been involved with this prestigious project, supplying over 12,000 Huck C50L lockbolts and the hydraulic installation tooling required to complete the construction of the two sculptures. The C50L lockbolt is historically a heavy industry fastener, and this application showcases the enormous strength of the product - as shown in its ability to bend the sheets to the supporting frame - and the ease with which it can be installed. It is also interesting to see how the fastener has been incorporated into the aesthetics of the sculptures,” added David Tyas, managing director at Permalok Fastening Systems.
 
The Kelpies is a 30-metre-high steel monument paying homage to central Scotland’s horse-powered heritage and providing a dramatic gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal entrance, on the country’s east coast. Sculpted by Andy Scott, the two massive horses' heads are positioned either side of a specially constructed canal lock and basin to form The Kelpies Hub. Commissioned as part of The Helix, a £43m project aimed at regenerating land in the region, the work claims to be the largest equine sculpture in the world as well as one of the largest pieces of public art in the UK.  The £5 million project in Falkirk has been funded by a partnership of The Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals.

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