Unitsky String Technologies
14 November 2018
À conversation with Yury Kashchuk, Head of track infrastructure, rigging and testing equipment Department
A new, very important period is approaching in SkyWay project's development, and it is time to sum up intermediate results to assess our degree of readiness for it. A series of video interviews with key employees of SkyWay Technologies Co. are planned. They will highlight the experience acquired by their relevant Departments during the construction of SkyWay EcoTechnoPark.
This series begins with a conversation with Yury Kashchuk, Head of track infrastructure, rigging and testing equipment Department, who talks about the types of transport systems built, the difficulties that have arisen and how they have been overcome, the importance of this work for the development of methods to replicate the technology in others countries helping to determine its critical points and find the necessary solutions.
As a result, you will find out if the professional is confident that we can build similar types of track structure anywhere in the world.
Translation of the video:
Mikhail Kirichenko: Hallo! Here is Mikhail Kirichenko with you. You are watching SkyWay news, where we report on the developments and implementation of breakthrough transport technologies. I think you understood that today we are at SkyWay EcoTechnoPark talking with your well-known acquaintance Yury Kashchuk. Taking into account that new constructions have started in other countries, please summarize some results. What did we master for these 3 years regarding your Administration?
Yury Kashchuk: To date, we have built and implemented 4 versions of track structure of 3 types: rigid, semi-rigid and flexible ones. You can see here the truss-string overpass. It is the so-called rigid track structure designed for the traffic of heavy vehicles and ensuring the speed above 350 km/h. For its installation we managed to pump in our mix filling for the tubes used in aviation on a 1-km section. It means a horizontally laid structure was pumped through on a 1-km distance. We have conducted a large range of preparatory work. It was a great job done by the staff of SkyWay Technologies Co. We managed to insert strings inside this structure. It is a closed pipe 1 km long and we managed to pull strings (PSC strand) through it, stretch them and fix at anchor supports. It sounds quite easy, but, in fact, it is rather a complicated work. Not every company that starts such work is capable to complete it. With the aim to implement our track structures, we managed to do it and proved that it was possible. We have worked out the methods and technology so that it would be possible to do it not only here, at EcoTechnoPark, but also at other places, where we are going to install our track structure. This allowed us to determine certain critical points, the problems that may arise and that the developers and designers did not see at the beginning. On completing this work, we say that we are absolutely confident we can build this type of track structure at any location in the world. Right here, not far from us we demonstrate the so-called semi-rigid track structure. We also faced a number of problems on it while building it. Finally, we have tested here the means of fixing strings in the concrete mixture. Without special collet clamps. We have simply used concrete pouring of string elements at certain sections and then made their stretching. That is, we have transferred the tension to the structure itself. It is a very important element in our future constructional solutions. We have also applied the principle of modernization in this track. So as to use it for riding a heavier transport, in particular, a spacious unibus, we have done some modernization we have attached additional string elements. Those who were at our EcoFest and watched videos could see it. These are steel ropes fixed on the exterior with special elements. In fact, we applied the principle of improving consumption features of this track structure. That is, we have done improvement and modernization.
M.K.: So, that gives a client the possibility to build a lightweight track at low cost and then, with the growth of passenger traffic, to raise the throughput capacity, if necessary, using the experience obtained by us at EcoTechnoPark for 3 years and expand the capacity of this line.
Y.K.: Absolutely right. We are gaining experience from operating the line, too. In this case we have done some improvement in structural elements (pole saddles). We have improved the parameters of vehicles motion on rather critical units. We managed to specify the comfort parameters while riding along the track structure: motion speed and mass of vehicles. This track contains many interesting design solutions that allow to expand the range of its application. Initially, this track was designed for operating pods of up to 4 tons weight; now we say we can operate pods of above 6 tons weight on it.
M.K.: Very impressive achievements. Can you tell anything about the cargo route now? I understand this is one of the latest tracks, but anyway...
Y.K.: This track structure is designed for transporting large volumes of cargo. In particular, this is unitrans, i.e. a continuous long-length transport means. This is also unitruck designed for haulage of bulk cargo, but some other types of vehicles can be used on it for transportation of unit loads, too. In principle, we have applied in it the same techniques that we used in designing the overpass of the high-speed transport complex. Here we have just accentuated the strength of this structure to ensure large volumes of cargo haulage. During this time, we have not only implemented our track structures, but also conducted their pilot operation. We were gaining experience in reducing the noise from vehicles motion, i.e. the work of the pair "wheel rail", in possibilities to ensure smoothness of tracks, in determining the quality needed for us to reach our set objectives in operational features. These are durability of the track structure, its comfortability for passenger traveling. All these works still go on now. We are gaining experience and it gives us the opportunity to say confidently that we are ready to implement our projects in other countries with different possible requirements on climatic conditions. These may be hot and cold regions like in our neighboring Russia and, possibly, Asia. We are still proceeding with improvements and today the features of our tracks contribute very much to our confidence in the future.
M.K.: Yury, recently EcoTechnoPark has also received one more new line super light-weight track or coil-tubing. Did you get any experience from it?
Y.K.: I have already given explanations on this issue. This type of route allows us to implement our tracks with a very high degree of adaptability to manufacture. The thing is that the assembly procedure becomes greatly easier in this case. There are no so-called butt joints in the tube or connections of sections in the track structure. The truss and semi-rigid tracks I described earlier need connection of some sections while assembling depending on the logistics of their delivery to the site. For motor-transport the sections may be 12.5 or 13.7 meters long. For rail and sea transport up to 25 meters long. Coil-tubing is two "threads" to unwind. You can see them against the sky. They are almost invisible.
M.K.: We'll go there and see.
Y.K.: They have a sufficiently high degree of stretching. The strings are quite simple elements. They are not steel cables complicated in manufacturing and costly. It's a usual wire known from ancient times by its production technology. It's very strong, made of some exotic material. But this is just a wire. The track that is very easy and simple in production for our transport. As I mentioned before the pumping-in of the mix is a very complicated technological operation. In coil-tubing the whole inner space of the tube was filled with the mix. I don't want to boast, but we managed to do it. We have not only inserted strings in it, but also filled it with the mix. For this, our staff have worked out a compound of special composition to get a full-featured rail with filling, inner arrangement of string elements and a railhead as a tube.
M.K.: Thank you very much, Yury, for a very interesting interview. I'd like to add that we are not only ready to realize these projects, but we are already doing it. Sign up to our YouTube channel. Follow the news update at our official website. Support our project. And even the moody season autumn will play with bright colors for you, like this sunny day.
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