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Cushions solve lift problems

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article image Pronal's air lifting cushions in various shapes
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NEW ranges of seamless inflatable lifting cushions are being introduced to Australia to handle tricky lifts where there is very limited space in which to work.

The Pronal lifting CLP cushions can delicately raise loads ranging from heavy vehicles, pipelines and plant through to beams, bridge components, building components, machinery and resource development structures.

Pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension specialist Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd is the national distributor for the custom-fabricated lifting cushions engineered by French elastomer specialists Pronal, the organisation that developed the tough lifting tanks used to pluck artifacts from the ocean liner Titanic.

Pronal's newest cushions range from ultra-thin bags (just 20mm thick deflated) that can lift weights of more than 65 tonnes each, to powerful spreading cushions that can exert hundreds of tonnes of force to part plant and machinery components for servicing, or to extract quarried material. Complementary low-pressure CPB Maxi-Lift cushions can be used on land and under water, offering greater strokes of up to 700mm (or 1400mm where a pair are employed).

Air Springs Supply National Sales Manager Mr Simon Agar says the Pronal bags combine the advantages of high durability and power with gentle, precisely controlled lifting that can spread the load over broader surfaces of the object being lifted, rather than point loads. They are so delicate and progressive in operation that they have been employed in difficult emergency applications such as aircraft recovery.

They can be used in confined spaces underneath inaccessible loads ranging from engines and plant, through to foundations of bridges, buildings, machinery, pipeline structures and resource development rigs requiring lifting for inspection and repair.

Features include:

* Ability to be used for pressing, clamping, tilting and guiding

* Strokes from 70-585smm (CLP), with longer strokes provided by combinations of cushions

* Specific sizes and shapes can be made to order to suit particular applications.

* Ease of use, with inflation either by compressor or simple air cylinders

* Inflation pressures up to eight bar, regardless of stroke (CLP models - CPB pressures vary from under one bar, depending on model)

* Construction from threaded layers coated with chemical resistant elastomer, hot vlucanised under pressure in one operation.

* Non-slip surface providing maximum friction when stacking two cushions

* Control systems tailored to particular uses

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