We need very strong welded pipe to pipe connections to endure intense dynamic loads

Built to commemorate the new millennium, the London Eye is still one of the most iconic steel structures in Europe. It took 7 years and the skills of hundreds of people from 5 countries to make the ambitious project a reality. With its total weight of 1,700 ton’s and a diameter of 135 meters the London Eye is one of the World’s top 10 biggest ferris wheels. Build out of pipes the structure includes thousands of welded pipe to pipe connections.

The main components of the London Eye were built offsite. Once completed, barges transported the steel pieces on the River Thames up to the construction site on the South Bank. From there the entire structure was assembled flat on the ground before being raised. Once it was assembled, hydraulic lifts and cables slowly raised the 1,700-tonne structure over the course of an entire day, which made it the largest object ever to be lifted from the horizontal to the vertical.

Hollandia (Offshore), in close collaboration with various subcontractors, was the company rewarded with the ambitious order to design, fabricate, coat, assemble and install the “British Airways London Eye”. Essential in a construction of this scale is to ensure ultimate strength of the assembly which can endure numerous dynamics stress. This was to be achieved with fully penetrated welded pipe to pipe connections of the tubular branch members.

For realizing all the pipe cutting work Hollandia approached HGG. Together with Hollandia the welding specialist of HGG’s pipe cutting services modeled all connections, including the smallest welding detail of the structure, digitally. This digital data allowed the HGG 3D Profiling specialists to realise extremely clean and exact cuts on 2 of our machines: our most tried-and-trusted SPC1200 pipe cutting machine and the highly automated TCL machine. The accurate cuts resulted in perfectly fitting parts for ensuing maximum stability of the assembly.

The London Eye was successfully completed in only 15 months and is still one of the most iconic steel structures in Europe!

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