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Barnshaws Polska supplies structural steel tube for S5 Expressway viaduct

Mostostal Kielce requested 17 steel tubes in varying wall thicknesses of 70 mm and 50 mm to enable the erection of the viaduct

Barnshaws Polska has brought further support to Polish domestic infrastructure by supplying 17 precision-curved steel tubes to enable the construction of a new viaduct on the S5 expressway. The viaduct will be located nearer Wroclaw, Poland's fourth largest city, constituting part of the direct road connection between Wroclaw, Poznan and Gdansk that the S5 will provide.

The new S5 Expressway aims to boost tourism and economic growth in the area by offering a direct route across Poland from North to South. Benefits will also extend to local residents, as volumes of traffic travelling local roads in the area will decrease markedly, improving the quality of life.

Barnshaws Polska was initially contracted by Mostostal Kielce, the contractor having worked with Barnshaws Polska in past, knew the metal fabrication specialists could deliver the expertise required to achieve the project. Mostostal Kielce requested the work to be carried out on 813 mm diameter steel tubes, a particularly large size which demanded a high bending capacity.

Mostostal Kielce requested 17 steel tubes in varying wall thicknesses of 70 mm and 50 mm to enable the erection of the viaduct, which amounted to a total weight of 167 tonnes of metalwork. As a result of their 813 mm diameter, tubes of this size are notoriously difficult to bend, due to the expertise and specialist machinery required. Therefore, Barnshaws Polska enlisted the help of Barnshaws UK Coseley plant – which can supplement the capacity of Barnshaws Polska to service larger orders for mainland Europe.

Tube constitutes one of the strongest structural sections due to its neutral bending axis, but bending must be conducted to a high accuracy under strict control conditions to ensure the tube doesn't kink when loaded.

Barnshaws utilised specialist equipment for the project, due to the large size of the tubes required. Barnshaws can precision curve tube sections via this method up to 1524 mm in diameter and 100 mm in thickness, providing total confidence in achieving a finished product for the project.

The bending machine can also be adapted to enable the accurate curving of thinner walled tube, which allows bending to a consistent radius while minimising tube deformation. Each tube was subsequently precision bent to a 200 m radius, well within the tolerances required by the contractor.

Maciej Walkowicz, Director of Barnshaws Polska, commented: "While we can service most bending and fabrication requirements at our facility in Siemianowice Slaskie, for particularly large orders we can act as a portal to the services offered by Barnshaws UK. This means our European customers can benefit not only from our in-house expertise, but also gain bending support from the UK with greatly reduced lead times. This allows us to service any project on mainland Europe effectively and efficiently." 

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