AFS helps shape iconic Kelpies monument 11 July 2014

The Huck® brand C50L® fastener from Alcoa Fastening Systems (AFS) is one of the key components in a major iconic Scottish construction project, due to be officially opened later this year.

Alcoa C50L clamp used in Kelpies Monument

 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. With recommendation from design company Atkins, Huck products were supplied by AFS distributor Permalok Fastening Systems Ltd.

“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,” explains John Rickers, systems development manager at AFS. “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.”

Alcoa C50L clamp used in Kelpies Monument

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. “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 was able to deliver faultlessly every time.”

David Tyas, managing director at Permalok Fastening Systems, added: “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.”

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.

Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.