2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference
Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein, University of Alberta
Mr. Ahmed Bouferguene, University of Alberta
Mr. Joe Kosa, NCSG Crane and Heavy Haul Services
The construction industry is moving towards modular construction paradigm with the integration of heavy crane usage. The unsubtle burning of resources creates an inevitable psychological push for the search for new construction methods and materials. The concept of ice as a supporting structure is not new. For instance, a British-led classified project during the Second World War, Project Habakkuk, sought to develop an aircraft carrier composed of ice. Canadian workers built a prototype at Patricia Lake, Alberta. This project was abandoned due to lack of innovation. This showed the inspiring future of ice as a supporting structure in the cold region, especially the north-western part of Canada. On the other hand, the soil mixed with water, the resulting frozen soil/silt has strong mechanical linear and non-linear figures competing with timber (Coastal Douglas-Fir). The idea behind this research contribution is to investigate the competitive analysis for the use of ice or frozen silt as a crane mat to support heavy lifting and hauling. Finite Element Analysis is performed to simulate the crawler crane loading. At the same time, the impact of loading on the crane mat under the crawler crane track is monitored using ANSYS (FEA platform). Five matting material (S355, G40.21, Coastal Douglas-Fir, ice & frozen silt) are investigated using five linear and one non-linear mechanical properties under identical boundary conditions. The required mat surface temperature for frozen silt is considered -10 °C based on the competitive mechanical properties for its practical usage and Finite element simulation. The graphical outcome in the form of normal stresses and ground deflection along the crane superstructure slew provides a perceptual mapping for the utilization of ice or frozen slit against traditional competitors (steel/wood). The resulted graphical representation shows that the compressive stresses under the mat are non-uniform in nature. Moreover, the findings are favorable for the use of frozen silt as crane support. The behavior of frozen silt is at par with Timber Mat (Coastal Douglas-fir). This similarity builds the confidence for the preparation and usage of frozen silt mat. The conclusions from these simulations will provide a foundation for the estimation of the freezing process in conjunction with ground freezing techniques. The findings can be used later to build a baseline for the cost estimation for the alternative crane matting solution in the form of capital, operational and opportunity cost for this novel approach instead of timber mat ground support.