Vital components of the beam that enable conjoint operation of two bridge cranes are braces and threaded spindle. The beam connects two bridge cranes with overall lifting capacity of 500 t (2 250 t) and enables their simultaneous conjoint operation during the rehabilitation or major overhaul of hydroelectric generating set equipment at the hydro power plant ‘'Djerdap 2’. Two braces are being installed instead of two hooks when this situation occurs. The threaded spindle is loaded with 500 t (5 MN), while braces are loaded with 250 t (2.5 MN) each.
Integrity of structures is a relatively new scientific and engineering discipline which in a broader sense comprises condition analysis, behaviour diagnostics, service life evaluation and rehabilitation of structures, which means that beside the usual situation in which it is necessary to evaluate the integrity of a structure when a flaw is detected by means of non-destructive tests, this discipline also comprises stress condition analysis for the crackless structure, most often through the use of finite element method. This is the way to obtain precise and detailed distribution of displacements, deformations and stresses, which enables determination of weak spots on the structure, even before crack initiation.
Non-destructive tests are performed in order to analyse the current condition of braces and the threaded spindle. On the basis of performed analytical calculations it is determined that the integrity is not threatened, although some internal non-homogeneities are detected by ultrasonic testing.
Keywords: cranes, ultrasonic testing, braces, threaded spindle, structural integrity