A water film about 0.005 in. thick is now being used by Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, to move heavy vessels over land. To increase the building capacity of the firm's 40-acre site in the Port of Vancouver, they added a multiship level building berth that uses an Aero-Caster "water film" overland ship assembly transfer system. A new side launchway and buildings enable the yard to now build vessels up to 500 ft long and with a 100-ft beam. The level berth area is large enough for simultaneous construction of two vessels each 500 ft long and with a 100-ft beam. It is surfaced with concrete runways over which the Aero-Casters lift and float vessels on the 0.005-in. thick water film. Berth surface area is 280 by 420 ft. The water-film transfer system was developed by Aero-Go Inc., Seattle, Wash. It reportedly virtually eliminates friction under heavy loads so that only a 1-lb push is needed for each 1,000 lb of load weight to move heavy loads in any direction and desired speed. Each Aero-Caster has a 40-ton capacity at 50 psi and operates with a water requirement of 15-20 gpm. The unit itself is a 48-in. diameter, donut-shaped diaphragm of flexible nylonneoprene and hypalon materials. It is bolted to a square, load-carrying top plate of aluminum. When pressurized with water to lift 40 ton, the units lift the load about 1 in. At this point, water seeps under the flexible bottom face, and the ship assemblies become free-floating above the concrete surface on a thin film of captured water.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Development Agency Centre

    800 rene-Leveque Boulevard West, Suite 600
    Montreal, Quebec H3B 1X9,   Canada 
  • Publication Date: 1976

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00142632
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Development Agency Centre
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 15 1976 12:00AM