In the past, scale models were built of pre-cast concrete parts to be lifted to determine safe lifting; however, it is now possible to undertake this work using building information modelling (BIM) software.
The BIM environment offers designers a level of sophistication in scheduling parts and moves are being made to add intelligence to some of the lifting inserts. The information will inform the designer of capacity and part selection. Large precast elements often require specialised sacrificial lifting loops that are left in place and form part of the final structure.
Use of this type of lifting loop involves specialist support, as they impart localised stresses within the main body of the precast element. The specialist manufacturer will have undertaken testing to validate load data and will provide the appropriate level of technical support to ensure the lifting operations are completed successfully.
Perfect safe lifting
Reputable manufacturers have invested a great deal of time to perfect the safe lifting of precast elements and also bring some sense of safety guidance to the industry. However, there remain some contractors and factories that still make their own unregulated lifting loops, or use imported parts from suppliers that do not perform the same level of quality and verification checks that are set out in the VDI/BV-BS 6205 guideline. These lifting products are in use due to their low cost, but they also bring with them a level of risk that has no warning of pending failure for the people who work with them. Lifting components from reputable manufacturers come with performance guarantees and expert design support. In contrast, their cost is insignificant when safe lifting operations are required every time.
To discuss your concrete system requirements, please contact us.