Did you know that Seattle, Washington is the city with the most active tower cranes? There are many types of cranes around, including larger cranes like those and then smaller overhead cranes for warehouses.
A patented track rail provides a smooth riding surface, is more cost-effective, and has higher wear resistance. But it has more advantages than that for cranes and monorail systems!
If you want to learn more about why a patented track system is a must, just keep on reading this article.
Patented Track Rail Basics
I-beams and broad flange shapes are examples of standard structural members. They are designed and selected based on the load bearing or wheel load required to support the hoist.
As a result, the depth and weight of the beam vary. The thickness of the lower flange also varies. This difference in width and size must get accommodated.
Patented track beams are similar in that the bottom flange is always the same width. This allows for uniformity in end truck or trolley choices.
With a patented track, there are 2 different lower running flange thicknesses. These thicknesses are categorized as “regular” patented tracks and “heavy duty” patented tracks. However, this hardly ever affects the choice of wheel or end truck. Additionally, unlike I-beams, the patented track has a flat, straight flange. This flange lacks camber or sweep.
Standard structural shapes are also made with subpar tolerances. This includes bowing, variable flange width and thickness, and softer steel. This can cause wear and maintenance problems in a manufacturing environment.
Benefits of a Patented Track System
Switches, transfers, or locks are not permitted in structural members. Only straight runs are permitted. This means that expansion may prove a difficult feat.
Patented track rail sections have much tighter dimensional tolerances. Thanks to the flange shapes and sizes, they also enable simple mating of track sections during installation. The lower flange of proprietary rail hardens and gets better with time. This enables a good portion of the rail to get reused again at different places within a plant.
Additionally, it is simple to add subsequent components like curves and switches. There is no requirement for tapered and flat tread trolleys on the same system. After all, one type of trolley could get utilized for the entire system.
Patented Track vs. I-Beam or Wide Flange
The majority of monorails and under-hung crane runways got built in the 1900s. This was achieved by using conventional structural steel shapes.
I-beams were the most popular shape used a decade ago and previously (also known as S- beams.) I-beam availability has decreased as wide flange beam availability has surpassed I-beam availability.
But these common structural steel forms are not for cranes, monorails, or runways. Rather, they were designed and rolled for use as structural members. Because of this, structural steel shapes utilized as runways and monorails have flaws.
Equipment Operation Comparisons
The carrier’s or crane’s wheels must have a tapered tread. Or, it must be set in a slanted position due to the I-tapered beam’s flange.
It is challenging to achieve good contact between the wheel and the beam flange. The angle of the taper varies along with I-beam diameters and specifications. This makes it impossible for the “one size fits all” tapered wheel to function.
The effects include excessive bearing, wheel, and rail wear due to thrust loading. They also include skewing of the wheels, rail flanging, and binding of carriers and cranes.
To maintain the wheels moving properly on the lower flange, flanged wheels are needed. The loose tolerances that are allowed while rolling structural elements might result in irregular lower flange dimensions. This accelerates the wear and failure of the wheel and flange.
Luckily, wheel mounting in a vertical position with the thread in a horizontal plane is possible! This is thanks to a patented rail with a smooth and flat running surface. It significantly lowers thrust loadings on bearings.
Carriers with swiveling heads prevent rail flagging. They also prevent carrier or crane wheel binding and skewing.
More on Patented Tracks and Crane Systems
Due to the popularity and longevity of patented tracks, many producers of enclosed track crane systems offer end trucks that can run on a patented track. This enables the hybridization of crane systems. This means the runways may use a patented track design while the bridge may be an enclosed track of a different type.
Due to its higher load-bearing strength at like spans, this often enables more cranes to work on a proprietary track runway system. Longer runway support centers are made possible by the unique rails’ increased load-bearing capacity. This results in fewer support columns, allowing for optimal floor area use and cost savings.
The operator can benefit from the unique rail’s ergonomic features as well. It requires only a small amount of work to transfer a load on a patented track compared to moving a load with structural components because of the tight tolerances and flat, smooth-running surface of the track.
Reap the Advantages of a Patented Track Rail for Cranes and Monorail Systems
If you’ve stuck around until the end of this article, you’re now aware of the many benefits of a patented track rail for cranes and monorail systems. After all, every American monorail system’s foundation and heart are built upon the combination of its articulating trolleys and time-tested patented track rail.
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