In the recent past, 12 new projects have been designed by using rail systems supported by steel girders made of rectangular and square MSH sections by Vallourec, which were produced and certified in the Group's mills in Düsseldorf. The new constructions are currently being showcast in Germany's biggest amusement park, the "Europa Park Rust".
Today's premium rollercoasters are thoroughly designed high tech-machines, promising the ultimate thrill under safe and secure conditions. Current rides will be performing steep drops, inverted and non-inverted loops, series of airtime hills interspersed with valleys and directional changes as well as sudden dips, twists and spins. Behind these props dramatically composed to a ride choreography there lie loads of experience, creativity and careful engineering work. Even more so, as each individual feature is relevant not only to sales success but most of all to safety. Passenger trains weighing almost 20 tons carry up to 28 riders through steep and curvy routes at max. 120 km/h and push G-forces up to 4,5 G! Meaning that a person weighing 80 Kg will feel like 450 Kg, which is quite close to forces generated during aerobatic flight.
Engineering G-force fun with MSH sections
Static and dynamic calculations of modern rollercoastes are calculated according to customer specific design requests in ride design, while taking into account all mechanical and technological characteristics of the construction materials used. Steel is the unrivalled material of choice in this field of construction, with present coaster-models by Mack Rides using almost 400 tons of it in one single model. Besides the trains themselves and the numerous support columns, the rail system is the most critical element in modern coasters. Mack Rides recently developed a new rail system featuring upper (round) tubular rails supported by triangular girders made of square and rectangular MSH sections - the 'backbones' of the coaster, so to say. Mack Rides' Marketing Manager Maximilian Roeser claims that "our constructions have been precisely adapted to the specific material properties of Vallourec's MSH sections, thus benefitting from features such as tight corner radii, straightness, excellent weldability and constant overall quality." For these reasons, Vallourec has become Mack Rides' accredited supplier of rail system tubing in a whole variety of diameters, wall thicknesses and shapes. During the past 16 month, the customer ordered about 1,400 tons of MSH sections that were supplied in partial, project specific quantities by the three different German distributors Salzgitter Mannesmann Stahlhandel, ThyssenKruppSchulte and Hoberg & Driesch.
Safety, customer specifications and ride choreography determine the individual design of the rollercoasters' rail segments.
Upper rail element tubes are precision bent according to individual segment design.
MSH section ends after preparation process for welding.
MSH sections for the substructures are welded to the circular rails.
Prefabricated segments ready for transport.
Thrill and ultimate safety: Mack Ride's Island Bluefire rollercoaster in "fun operation", featuring the new triangular rail system made of MSH sections by Vallourec.
All photos: Mack Rides, Waldkirch