“Big Ton” is the name PT&P uses for a special type of variable spring supports which was developed for the petrochemical industry. Many of these supports have been in service for more than twenty years. These supports are very stable and can be designed to supports loads up to 200,000 pounds. A typical Big Ton will have a rectangular array of coil springs supporting a pressure plate which in turn support a top load flange. Slide plates are used when required.
Big Tons provide the designer with options that are not available with typical spring supports because they can support vessels and other components which have piping attached to them. The piping designer can choose to support these components and thus reduce loads which would be transferred to the piping. This is often a more economical and stable design for entire systems.
A recent example of this occurred during the design of a major new additions to a refinery in Korea. The original design called for a number of large constant spring hangers to support the piping. PT&P engineers showed our customer how to use Big Ton supports for certain units and eliminate the need for constant supports for the piping. This reduced the cost of the support system and also provided a more reliable total system.
A custom big ton
The illustration below shows a Big Ton with nine springs set within an efficiently compacted structure. The table below is a Bill of Material for this unit. Notice the many components that go into making a Big Ton. All Big Tons are in rectangular configurations. Some Big Tons, because of spatial restraints, are designed in one row, as shown in Fig. 1. This tends to make for longer units. If the width is not of great concern and length is, then Big Tons can be designed with more than one row as shown in Fig. 2.
A long custom big ton with slide plates.
If you have a particular application to discuss, you will need the same type of information required for other spring supports such as, loads, travel, distances, and directions. If you are interested in learning more about Big Tons, please contact us. Please refer to Sizing a Variable Spring Support if you need help on sizing Big Ton Springs.