Performance Tests Prove Outrigger Crane Pads’ Strength

Composite Advantage, Dayton, Ohio, has completed performance testing on its FiberRigg outrigger pad at the National Composite Center (NCC). Composite Advantage conducted two types of tests on the high-performance fiberglass composite crane outrigger pad using extreme conditions. The test results confirmed that FiberRigg exceeded performance expectations and experienced no failure.

“Although the ideal case for crane outrigger pads is to sit on a hard, compacted surface, worksite soils vary greatly and it is equally important to have pads that can perform in soft soil without excessive deflection,” said Scott Reeve, president of Composite Advantage. 

A large structural test machine was used to assess FiberRigg’s performance on a surface simulating soft soil (pictured). Foam was used to provide a soil condition with low psi foundation. FiberRigg was loaded in the center of the foam with a concentrated 10-inch by 10-inch footprint.  The pad continued to spread the load evenly even when the load reached 45,000 pounds and began to push the pad through the foam. FiberRigg maintained the stability of the load footprint.

The second test evaluated FiberRigg’s performance under extreme conditions over an open hole.  FiberRigg handled load weight up to 60,000 pounds with deflection of less than 2 inches.   “Although this is a condition that should never be allowed to occur at the jobsite, FiberRigg demonstrated very low deflection under conditions where there was no support under the pad,” said Reeve. “The test verified there was no failure of the pad.” 

When FiberRigg is loaded on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt, the pad will not crush or compress under loads up to 500,000 pounds. The fiber composite crane outrigger pad outlasts wood pads and is more cost effective than UHMW plastic pads. Continuous glass fibers provide maximum strength and stiffness for enhanced safety while its polymer makeup resists chemicals and water degradation. Stronger, yet lighter for easy transportation and use, FiberRigg has a non-slip wear surface. The pad retains performance over its life cycle and is available in bio-resins such as corn and soy. FiberRigg is offered in standard sizes and can be easily tailored to sizes specified by the customer. Minimum orders are not required and volume pricing is available. 

Composite Advantage is a leading manufacturer of large fiber reinforced composite parts, up to 52 feet, for structurally demanding applications and corrosive environments. The company has developed ground-breaking processing techniques and combined them with efficient manufacturing processes to give customers products that solve technical challenges. The advanced materials company primarily serves the infrastructure and construction industries, fabricating large, complex parts that incorporate the finishing and assembly details customers need to reduce installation costs. Composite Advantage products range from vehicle and pedestrian bridges and bridge decks, large structural walls, roofs and panels, to high performance pads and mats.