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2 April 2017


EcoTechnoPark: concrete filling into string rails

Concrete filling of SkyWay rails at the semi-rigid section of the lightweight track structure was carried out on-site the SkyWay EcoTechnoPark. The event was preceded by successful tests of unibike and track structure under simulated emergency operating conditions, testing of SkyWay strings for strength, as well as checking of clamping collets for their tensioning and anchoring.

EcoTechnoPark: concrete filling into string rails

The General Designer Anatoly Yunitskiy comments on the current work at SkyWay EcoTechnoPark.

Translation of the video:

Michael Kirichenko: Hallo everybody! Here is Michael Kirichenko with you. You are watching SkyWay news, where we tell you about the developments and implementation of breakthrough transport technologies. Today we are staying together with you in EcoTechnoPark near the town of Maryina Gorka. The General Designer of the SkyWay Technologies Co. Anatoly Yunitskiy himself will tell you what is happening here today. Good afternoon, Anatoly!

Anatoly Yunitskiy: Good afternoon!

M.K.: It is a big day today. We are at the final phase of making and assembling the lightweight transport system. Please tell us about it. It seems concrete filling work is going on here today. How can you explain this process professionally?

A.Y.: Nothing extraordinary is happening today. It is another working day. In fact, this is an ordinary operation. I mean concrete filling into the string rail. We were planning to do it last year. Then I decided to conduct an experiment, because there were many questions. They are constantly asked for years and decades. The string will break, everything will fall down and people will die. There was even a conclusion of one respected Institute that a breakage of a string in a rail will be equal to an atomic explosion and a huge number of people will die. In addition, the track will be so curved that people in a unibus will fly in the air and hit their heads against the ceiling. We decided to simulate string breakage, to simulate various failures while assembling. It happens very often and everywhere. We know how the builders work. They can make mistakes. By the way, our contractors "helped" us in it. It was a Russian Company that even built atomic power plants. They used to stretch reinforcing rods, also sort of strings. They have designed and produced anchors for this lightweight structure against our order. The tensioning force for each steel rope was planned at 18 tons. There were 6 steel ropes inside 2 tubes there. When we started the operation and reached 1/3 of the designed tensioning force, the anchor has broken up. Then we started to stretch steel ropes on other anchors and their bodies have also broken up. I began to think that we have to simulate steel ropes breakage. Weak contractors have "helped" us in it. We decided to tear up the strings. We made a planned breakage of strings. And you know, nobody died. Nothing has collapsed. Nothing has changed, because the strings are located inside the rail. We have designed the anchors ourselves. We have produced and tested them ourselves. They withstood 90 tons up to the rope breaking point. We have tested it at the Belarusian National Technical University.

M.K.: Yes, we made reports about it. Our audience know it.

A.Y.: And the anchor clamping have withstood it up to the complete breaking of ropes, i.e. they have kept the whole designed load. Now we have our own anchors here, therefore we have fixed the steel ropes on them with the designed force. Moreover, we have been testing them without ropes for the whole winter. In fact, they were inside the tube, but not tensioned. We have only gave them load and weight, because the body of the rail is also a string. A string is not the thing that is used in a guitar or balalaika. It is a pre-stressed element. We have been operating only with the stretched rail body and receiving acceptable values for the motion of the rolling stock. We have already filled one tube with concrete without any problem. The length here is about 1 km, 800 meters. It was done with one attempt. Naturally, we did not pump concrete in during winter, because at low air temperature and frost, we would have failed pumping concrete in. We would have got another problem - an air lock. And how could we fill it up?

M.K.: Many of our partners ask how would it be possible to build it under permafrost conditions in the Extreme North? In the countries, where temperature is even lower than in Belarus?

A.Y.: They are also building there. We are in Belarus, not in the Extreme North. Certainly, we shall use there other technologies, options and materials. Now we are building here. Why should we do it worse in winter? Ok, we have waited for a couple of months and pumped through when it became worm. So what? Who was hurt by it? The same will be in the Extreme North. Concrete mixes contain water that does not like frost. Therefore, various admixtures are added. However, it all makes the quality of concrete worse. They can be used or they can be excluded. Even in the North there are positive temperatures.

M.K.: Thank you very much, Anatoly. Now please tell us what other work is scheduled, what plans you have for the construction of this structure. Here we have 2 more U-turn circles and a flexible or high part. This semi-rigid track is already finished. We can say it is ready. What are the next plans for its construction and operation? How is it related to our remarkable date of July 1?

A.Y.: This will be a lightweight track with 40-meter spans and 800-meter distance. Anchor supports are located at its ends. Then there are U-turn circles from both sides. A turnout switch will be over there, on that side. This end will not have it at the U-turn. Then it will continue a lightweight line with a sagging track structure. This is a semi-rigid rail. Look how thin it is. Its height is only 12 mm. And it is so straight, because the strings inside hold it! Actually, it is a suspended bridge by its design. It has a stiffening beam, a carrying rope and a suspension of concrete that makes it monolith and holds it. Therefore, it is a light, strong and accurate structure designed for the loads and speeds we are planning for it. The speed is 150 km/h and the load is up to 1 ton (a unibike). It will work just as we have claimed in the project. We cannot start its operation now, because other machines are functioning here. Next, we shall start assembling the sagging track structure. Here we have a semi-rigid rail, like in a suspended bridge. Over there the track will sag together with the rope. It will be a special sagging track structure.

M.K.: To use a gravity motor.

A.Y.: Yes. It is just like the operation of a cableway. However, the wheel will roll not on the rope, but on the rail. Due to this the coefficient of rolling resistance and energy consumption are reduced by 6-7 times. Anyway, it will not be a cableway, because the wheel will roll on the rail. Here we shall have a 200-meter span with increasing height by 12 m. Then - a 400-meter span, where we shall work out the gravity motor and gravity brake. Then a descent on a 200-meter span and, finally, a U-turn on the circle and a ride back.

M.K.: Both a unibike and a 14-passenger unibus will run here?

A.Y.: Yes. The load here is up to 1 ton, that one may be up to 3.5 tons. It is the weight of a loaded unibus.

M.K.: Now please a couple of words of your wishes to our partners before we finish the footage.


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