New uses for rigid chains
Serapid has adopted a new approach and at the interlift presented its latest passenger lift, based on rigid chain technology.
Network Rail Ltd made a request to Serapid in 2020. The operator of the biggest and busiest British railway stations wanted safe and reliable access to the rail network for all passengers. Among other things, Serapid is a heavy duty lift specialist. However, based on the customer request, Serapid began to develop a new solution for a passenger lift using rigid chain technology (see box).
Serapid’s solution convinced the operator. Apart from a payload of 1,250 kg and a speed of 0.63 m/s, a version for emergency operation in the event of failure of a component was defined especially for Network Rail with 450 kg payload and a reduced speed of 0.38 m/s to bring rail passengers to the platform.
New product line Photo: © Serapid
The new development is part of a new product line of lifts with low payload from Serapid. Due to the sturdy design, based on rigid chain technology, it fitted into the tough environment at railway stations and would withstand special requirements in public places, Serapid declared. Like all the solutions of the French company, the passenger lift also met the standards of the EN 81 standard series.
The lifting columns are continuously lockable. They can be positioned without rebounding in the millimetre range and permit precise positioning irrespective of changing or eccentric load distribution. Mechanical intervention by locking mechanisms, relevelling or compensation systems is not required.
Test rig at headquarters Photo: © Serapid
The compact design of the purely mechanical Serapid drives facilitates space-saving retrofitting in existing lift shafts. This meant the building fabric was practically unaffected in operation, according to the company. It also made retrofitting of the existing solutions to all kinds of railway platforms possible.
The rigid chain worked reliably, demanded only minimal maintenance and as a result reduced downtimes, the company emphasised. In addition, on the customer’s request, an extensive test rig was created at the French headquarters of Serapid where the new development could undergo rigorous testing.
More information: Rigid chain technology: Serapid has been operating in the field of vertical and horizontal load conveyance since 1972. The conveyance systems work according to a simple mechanical principle that allows loads up to several hundred tons to be moved with rigid chain technology.
The technology is based on chains whose links intermesh in a form- and force-closed manner and under forward pressure interlock to form an expanding rigid linear member that pushes the load ahead or upwards. The passive part of the chain, i.e. the return travel, remains flexible and can be deflected, rolled up and stored to save space at ground level.
Since 2019, the Serapid Group has concentrated on the lift market through its Serapid Lift Systems business unit and offers a complete range of lifts for vehicles, containers and goods as well as custom passenger and special lifts. All of the lifts operate with rigid chain technology.