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We're going to need a bigger lid!

Posted on by Website Administrator

The scaffolding around the Bessemer is now complete! Sand blasting can now commence, taking years off the Bessemer’s appearance!

LHS bottom support steel work

The above picture shows the LHS bottom support steel work, a fully riveted construction with various layers of paint waiting to be sandblasted.

The picture below shows the same section of steelwork after it’s first session of sandblasting. The NRC contractors are testing the waters to see how readily the paint comes off. There’s still a lot more work to be done!

LHS bottom support steel work after sand blasting

It will take approximately 1 week to strip the previous layers of paint! The NRC team will work their way up one level at a time as the painting process needs to happen within a short time of the sand blasting, to prevent any moisture getting onto the surface before the paint is applied. The contractors are currently sand blasting in the morning and painting the section they have worked on in the afternoon.

The first layer of paint is a two pack epoxy based primer undercoat. The picture below shows the first areas which have been primed.

LHS bottom support steel work whole structure

Once the whole structure is primed, the NRC team will clear away all of the sand from the area which means they will then have more manpower on the job to paint the top coat over the entire Bessemer.

The picture below shows the underside of the drive mechanisms and the top support structuring which have both been sand blasted and primed.

Bottom of Bessemer Chamber

You can see the bottom of the Bessemer chamber below, which has had a little sand blasting done, but needs more work.

 The new Bessemer bolts have arrived and have been fitted.

The picture shown below is the result of the NRC contractor’s sand blasting around the bottom of the Bessemer. It now has a two pack epoxy primer undercoat on. The lower end of the air blast pipe is next in line for the above treatment. On the third level of the scaffolding is the mid section of the Bessemer and its drive assembly, this will take a while as they are large surface areas and complex areas to blast and paint.

Bottom of Bessemer after sand blasting

The contractors are now sandblasting and primer coating the third floor of the scaffold today. This area has very complex shapes to blast and paint around. In the picture below you can see the open gears. The drive motors are out of shot to the left. This is the most complex part of the Bessemer to paint.

Three more pallets of sand bags were delivered yesterday for the job. 

Bessemer Open Gears

The picture below shows two of the six rim clamps that our Conservation Engineers have made, this pair is now in place on the front bottom edge of the Bessemer. They have drilled and tapped holes in the rim and bolted the new clamps in place. Once all of the clamps are in place they will be able to measure between them for the length required for the angle iron, which will support the Bessemer’s new plastic lid.

Bessemer Rim Clamps

The picture below shows the original diagram of the Bessemer found in our document store. It shows a Bessemer of 25 tons capacity with an open top of 6 feet 6 inches in diameter. Our Conservation Engineers were able to gain access to the rim of the Bessemer for the first time in 35 years, they now know the diameter is at least 82 inches, this is four inches larger than expected which means we’re going to need a bigger lid!

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