The size and scope of slide bearing projects that AFT Fluorotec is involved with can vary a great deal.
We receive daily requests to help with smaller UK construction industry projects. All of these are individual requirements (not many buildings are built twice!).
However, slide bearings for Sainsburys supermarket car parks have been regular repeat requests as the company continues to build new and refit existing stores.
Many of these stores now have underground or ground level parking with the stores built above and many have multi level car parks which connect to the supermarket. It’s important that shoppers have ease of access, so where possible the buildings are connected by a bridge.
The problem is that bridges between two independent structures cannot be fixed at both ends. Seismic movement, temperature influenced expansion and contractions are all factors to be considered. In addition, the movement and vibration means that the connections between these structures must allow each to move independently.
How do they do this? Well, they come to AFT Fluorotec for a solution!
We usually get phone call from a site manager saying he has a bridge to connect between the supermarket and car park.
The drawings state "movement joint by others" and he has no idea what he is to do with it.
He searched the web and found us.
Can we help?
Our approach to a job like this is:
- We request the drawings of the connection area between each item.
- We also require the loading and calculated movements to perform suitability and safety calculations.
From this we can design the required slide bearings to manage the movement safely. We reply with a proposal and design overview along with the technical data on our product. It’s usually the case that the design is “standard” (i.e. we have an standard product that can be used as a solution), although we can create a bespoke solution when the job requires it.
The dimensions, connection method etc are always adjusted to suit individual applications.
The next step is for us to have a discussion with the original architect, structural engineer and the steelwork site manager to review the proposal and ensure that it is technically accurate and suitable. We also need to ensure that the installation method is feasible for the particular site.
If any major adjustments have to be made we will repeat the proposal and review stage. Finally the commercial details are agreed and we get to work.
In most cases we can have this type of requirement on site in less than a week. This quick service is very important as the slide bearing demand is often overlooked and can be required as a matter of urgency.
This is good example of an AFT Fluorotec project for the construction industry, solving problems and preventing delays on strictly controlled building projects.
If you would like to discuss your project, then get in touch with us.
We work in close partnership with many structural steel companies, architects and engineers and find ourselves the technical partners for many of these projects when it comes to talking about slide bearings.