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Posted on May the 5th
By Melissa Baker


Posted In: Innovation Nation

Solum – The Weight Is Over

Solum (Europe) Limited has introduced a range of innovative, aluminium temporary foundations and crane outrigger pads. The modular Solum units are available in a range of sizes, from 600 x 600mm, capable of spreading a 20t SWL to 600 x 1800mm which can be used in a 5-pad arrangement to spread a 100t SWL.

This engineered temporary foundation has been designed from first principles utilising finite element analysis to optimise strength, whilst keeping weight to a minimum. The lack of weight ensures the smaller units can be lifted, carried and placed by a single individual, with only two people needed to move the largest units, helping speed up on-site set ups.

Solum Technical Director Bob Quinn commented: “The Solum has been designed to take the guesswork out of specifying temporary foundations. In the past construction engineers have typically had to contend with old railway sleepers or non-engineered plastic solutions, with little known about their history or performance under load.

“We designed the Solum so it could be laid in a variety of configurations to accommodate a large range of loads, yet remain light enough to be man-handleable. Currently to get steel pads into place, the crane will often have to be short-rigged and lift the heavy pads into place, whilst on little or no adequate foundation. Our much-lighter Solum pads will make working around cranes a lot safer by significantly reducing the need to short rig.”

The Solum units are all 600 mm wide, but come in three lengths; 600, 1200 and 1800 mm, which can be used singly, or combined in a variety of arrangements to spread an impressive range of loads. The smallest pad can not only be used as a foundation for smaller crane loads, but also for falsework, propping and lorry loaders.

Quinn continues: “Although we were confident in our calculations, we put Solum units through rigorous independent testing with Lloyds British Group, the international leader in test, inspection and certification, to confirm the results of our extensive finite element analysis. Despite the light weight of each unit, they performed as predicted, with the innovative design able to spread the load throughout.

“We received valuable support from Sapa, the world leader in aluminium solutions, who helped us specify the aluminium used; a grade that combines high tensile strength with low weight. Although when used correctly the Solum will provide decades of valuable service to the construction and crane industries, when it comes time to replace them, they have the added bonus of being 100% recyclable with a high residual value.”

Jon Bennett, Operations Director for Solum: “Given the performance required, aluminium was the natural choice. The Solum is another example of UK engineering excellence, not afraid to push the boundaries and look for new solutions to old problems. These strong, durable yet man-handleable units will change the way the construction and crane industries look at temporary foundations in the future; no more guesswork when the outrigger touches down.”

The Solum will be officially launched at the Vertikal Days show at Haydock Park racecourse on 13 and 14 May (Stand MP35), when visitors will get a chance to see the units in use and question the team behind the light, strong and durable temporary foundation solution.

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