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GROUTING UNDERNEATH THE SOLEPLATES
Machinery and equipment which have precise tolerances for alignment or require uniform support cannot be placed directly on finished concrete surfaces. Both concrete surface and the soleplate base have irregularities which result in alignment difficulties and bearing load concentrations. For this reason, soleplates are aligned & levelled and the resulting space between the soleplate base and the foundation is filled with a load transfer material. The load transfer material most frequently used are
• Non-shrink cementitious grout
• Epoxy grouts.
A good quality grout, whether resin-based or cementitious must provide good load transfer and be easy to apply under most conditions.
The selection of a suitable grout depends on the crane load, purpose and grouting method. Choosing the wrong grout can lead to failure of the design load.
Proper grouting methods are crucial for the functioning of the crane. Improper methods leads to disastrous consequences on the crane. The following are the consequences of improper grouting methods
• Voids in the grout
• Cracks in the grout around the baseplate
• Grout not flowing under the baseplate
So to avoid these consequences, proper grouting methods should be accepted and applied in practice.
• The surface beneath the soleplate or the area to be grouted should be free from dirt, debris, water and other waste materials
• In cementitious grout, the quantity of water to be mixed should be accurate
• Mixing should be done evenly and it should be ensured that no air bubbles are trapped
• Pouring of the grout from one side of the plate
• Ensure that the grout flows from one side to the other by its natural flow
• Using of small wires at regular intervals to assist the flow and also to remove air trapped beneath the soleplates