Hydraulics move heavy Egyptian

THE GIANT statue of King Ramses II was recently moved from Cairo Central station, downtown Cairo, to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids.

THE GIANT statue of King Ramses II was recently moved from Cairo Central station, downtown Cairo, to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids.

For more than 53 years, the statue for Ramses II was the centrepiece of the famous square in Cairo that was named after him. But the Ramses square is considered to be one of the most crowded place in Cairo.

Because of extensive pollution and weather conditions, the Egyptian government decided to relocate the statue last year to the new Grand Egyptian museum near the pyramids plateau.

The main reasons for the relocation included protection of the statue against excessive vibration as well as air pollution by relocating it in a suitable environment where it can rest in harmony with the surroundings.

The 83t granite statue is a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian art because of the precise proportions of its body parts and is over 3000 years old. The 11.35m tall statue and has a volume of 24.2m3 of Egyptian granite.

In order to put the statue in a precisely vertical position, a steel frame was designed to let the statue move freely in the XY plane to eliminate any internal forces that may have damaged it, because ultrasound tests showed that some internal cracks already existed.

Atef Helal, the contractor involved, studied the statue for months determining that there would be considerable risk to the structure if the statue was to be transported horizontally.

To ensure precise vertical positioning, the contractor used four Enerpac 90t RCS cylinders with an equal number of air/hydraulic pumps to lift the statue free and to determine its centre of gravity.

During this process, a lot of attention was paid to any internal forces in the statue, while assuming its final position for transportation.

RCS cylinders are part of Enerpac’s range of low-height cylinders, available in capacities from 5-90t in collapsed heights of 32-141mm so they can fit into awkward spaces.

The cylinders can be safety and precisely controlled and synchronised either by custom-built pump and valve arrangements (as in this case) or (in demanding applications) Enerpac’s computer-controlled synchronous hydraulic lifting system can be used with multiple cylinders ranging from 10-1000 tonnes capacity each.

This system uses digital synchronisation control accurate to within a 0.1mm between leading and lagging lifting points.

The lifting and transportation process was successfully competed and the statue is now safe at its final destination.

Enerpac 02 9743 8988.

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