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New Beijing airport gets ready for take-off

Written SP 500 paver

Wirtgen slipform pavers used to lay precise apron area pavements for Beijing New International Airport

FOUR Wirtgen slipform pavers have played an important part in the construction of the apron area for Beijing New International Airport, which is scheduled to commence operations on 30 September 2019 and is predicted to be the world’s largest airport once completed.

Located 67km from China’s capital city, it will relieve pressure on the existing airport to the north-east of Beijing, currently the world’s second largest in terms of passenger volume. The new airport will initially serve 45 million passengers but will eventually have a total capacity of 100 million.

The concrete paving of the vast apron area was carried out by four Wirtgen SP 500 slipform paver units, with full application support provided by Wirtgen Group’s subsidiary in China. When choosing the equipment fleet for the venture, contractors Sino-Aero Construction Engineering Co. Ltd concluded that the Wirtgen slipform pavers were the right solution for automated, efficient concrete paving.

The company used the machines to pave single-layer concrete slabs 5m wide and 42cm thick over fixed forms. Levelling and steering parameters were communicated to the Wirtgen machine control system via string-line sensors. To withstand the high aircraft loads, the concrete slabs are reinforced by means of steel dowels.

Electrical vibrators emitting high-frequency vibrations ensured optimum compaction of the concrete during the slipforming process, whilst the oscillating beam and super-smoother applied the finishing touches to the new pavement. According to Sino-Aero Construction Engineering, the process ran smoothly and exactly to schedule, with the slipformed concrete exceeding the required specifications.

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