PNEUMATIC actuation, isolation and suspension specialist Air Springs Supply has introduced the latest custom-fabricated lifting cushions from French elastomer engineers Pronal, the organisation that developed the lifting tanks used to pluck artifacts from the Titanic on the ocean floor.
Pronal's newest cushions range from ultra-thin bags (just 20mm thick deflated) that can lift weights of more than 60 tonnes, to vulcanised Aircraft Recovery Cushions constructed from a specially formulated fabric coated with synthetic rubber that is chemically compatible with environmental agents such as kerosene.
Air Springs Supply managing director Andrew Cameron 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.
"Sometimes, it is not necessary or desirable to use cranes, slings or cylinders for lifts that present particular technical challenges in terms of lifting surfaces or surfaces to which lifting force is to be applied.
“Where considerable investments may be contemplated in custom-engineering a conventional lifting platform, it may be well worth considering the simple principle of pneumatic actuation," he said.
Pronal equipment such as the PAC series of lifting cushions can be supplied with trailers, lifting bases and control systems developed to the demanding standards of Pronal's world-wide customer base, including military and civil aviation applications.