Many bulk storage projects in the USA and Asia have been realised in recent decades using aluminium dome roofs, resulting in aesthetically-pleasing structures that allow a large free span and are maintenance free. This is an attractive and fast-track alternative to the traditional approach, using beam-supported conventional structures which are often based on steel components. Storage domes have been built for a multitude of raw materials and fuels, including limestone, coal and sulphur, as well as clinker. Gert van Meijeren, CTS, explains the benefits.
Aluminium domes – constructed with circular, square, rectangular or different geometrically-shaped bases – are structures built around aluminium beams, covered with aluminium panels that are interlocked at the upper flange of the beams. As a result, these beams cannot rotate under compression unless excessive force is applied. As the dome beams are typically loaded under compression these lightweight structures can deal with very serious loads exerted by wind, snow or dust, or any other local loads and load combinations to be reviewed under the relevant local and international structural design codes.
Dome structures are assembled using special lock bolts and are designed to provide permanent, vibration-resistant, superior-quality joining solutions for use in industrial applications. Because these fasteners offer relatively high tensile, shear and clamp properties they are suited to applications where the joints are integral to the structure. Offering a clean and safe alternative to welding and a more efficient fastening method than standard nuts and bolts, lock bolt fasteners offer benefits including quick and easy installation, elimination of re-checking/replacement, and as such ultimately result in cost reductions.