CERN uses automatic hook for irradiation tests

By Ian Vallely14 October 2016

The 2.5t capacity e2 automatic hook at CERN

The 2.5t capacity e2 automatic hook at CERN

The European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN, is using an automatic hook from Spanish manufacturer Elebia to lift and lower a 750 kilogramme concrete beam used for radiation tests at the Franco-Swiss site.

Physicists and engineers at CERN are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter.

The 2.5 tonne capacity e2 automatic hook works beneath a 25 tonne capacity overhead crane with a 10 tonne capacity hoist, which combine to lower the beam that contains samples for exposure to radiation at the shielding benchmark facility.

The hook met unusual requirements to operate in a hole 400 millimetres by 400mm and access a lifting point 1.6 metres beneath the surface before lowering the concrete beam to a total depth of 4m, where irradiation takes place. On completion of the tests the beam and samples are removed for inspection.

Michael Lazzaroni, technical manager of the East Hall experiment area at CERN, said, “The lifting point was too deep to access by personnel so we needed a solution that not only addressed that but also operated reliably by remote control even though the hook is inside a concrete bunker required to conduct the tests safely.”

The Elebia hook has reduced to only 30 minutes what was taking up to two hours using an alternative method.

The e2 hook, like other automatic hooks in the Elebia range, has a magnet that both attracts and positions slings and other rigging gear, providing inherent safety advantages in removing the requirement for personnel to access the hook to rig loads manually.

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