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R.G. Parkins & Partners Ltd - Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers

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Azerbaijan Flame Fountain

Success in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 has raised awareness of Azerbaijan throughout Europe and T. P. Aspinall and Sons Ltd from Heysham completed the £1 million flame fountain in time for the birthday of President Ilham Aliyev in December 2011. The 30m high sculpture was taken 3,000 miles to the capital Baku overland in 10 lorries.

R G Parkins & Partners Ltd were commissioned to prepare bolted and welded connection designs for the futuristic fountain structure in accordance with Eurocode 3. The stainless steel structure was constructed locally. Three dimensional modelling was undertaken by the main consultant and loadings transmitted to Aspinalls for connection design.

Assembly on-site required bolted, rather than welded connections because of the need for tight quality control. Each leg of the sculpture started at ground level with three sides, each 600mm wide, bolted down with moment connections to a reinforced concrete base in the fountain itself. Each leg then reduces in cross section with increasing height and also twists about its own axis. Each level of connection therefore had independent geometry and spreadsheets were developed in-house to manage the complex analysis.

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