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djrappa

Coaster Supports

9 posts in this topic

Heres one I've been wondering about for a while. I'm sure everyone has notice just how much support Arrow have for their coaster track, especially lift hills - http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery775....htm?Picture=11 B&M however use very few supports in relation to the amount of track on their coasters - http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery216....htm?Picture=21 Arrow sort of started to get it with X (http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery750....htm?Picture=20) but this still has some beefy supports. X is a bit different however just due to the sheer wait of the track and the train it must support. Even though a lot of B&Ms are much younger in comparison to the Arrows out there I still find it odd that there is such a difference with just how much supporting steel Arrow use, especially as the 2 wide track with its narrower guage would likely weigh less than the 4 wide B&M track. Of course Intamin are a different story as they tend just not to bother supporting their track at all :-p

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It's their age difference. The big one is ten years old and was in an era where not many people knew there was a difference between steel and wooden coasters. Now X is a different story. If you notice that the space between each support is the same then yet the structural changes (that is different use of traingles hehe, and steel guage) is different because the X trains are heavy, damn heavy whereas B&M trains are very light-weight, did i mention they were VERY light-weight? But it's also about designer. Arrow like lots of triangles using lots of small steel whereas B&M like big steel with little or no design (well not none, but compared to Arrow...) Oh and Intamin like squares apart from their actual track, which is more of an isoceles triangle thingy.... But look at the Tower of Terror, nothing but squares... Man maybe I should've wrote this after my headache went away...

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Well like I said I wasn't comparing X I was just saying things changed with X and already stated why. As for Big 1 I only used it as an example as the photo illustrates what I was talking about. Oh and yes Tower of Terror all about squares...well except for the GIANT Circle being the tower :-p

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Its funny about Intamins track being 'sqaures' all 3 of their track types (flat, tri and sqaure box) are actualy all triangles...they all use triangular webbing for their structural strength. Personaly I prefer Intamins track and support designs over anyones...actualy same could be said for their rides in general :-)

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The structure may appear to be squares but they would be triangles. Squares are a very weak structure compared with triangles and are therefore hardly ever used in structures. "The Bus is now leaving for Sesquicantenary Square, NSW"

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Arrow have significantly weaker track than B&M. Arrow used this to their advantage in that their support structures would absorb a lot more force through the way that the track is able to bend/wobble so as to distribute the force over a large length of track, not just the direct point where the train is located. At lower heights they'll use tubular steel of varying diameters, which also bend to absorb the force. Long story short, without using engineering jargon to explain it, the reason they don't go high with tubular steel is that a single tubular steel support will do two things at large heights - firstly, it'll be far heavier and not provide as much strength as a truss style support at such heights and secondly, it will act like a lever on the footer, where at great heights it'll have great "mechanical advantage" (allowed to use that one because it's a grade nine or ten science term), which will want to break up the footers. I could have said that in one line with the use of engineering terms, but then I guess it'd just ask more questions than it answered for most people. :) B&M have a far stronger track. The track is far less (or not at all) flexible. The force of the train will be directed directly down through the supports, with little or no wobble or bend. In terms of strength, at heights you can't go past the truss. You'll notice that Millennium Force, Steel Dragon 2000, Superman: the Escape and even Top Thrill Dragster all more or less use a truss design, keeping clear of single or double beams because they're useless at great heights. You'll see with Silver Star, B&M's tallest coaster to date, they've started to add cross bracing, which is just a very basic truss design. I think if they ever break 300ft or more, you'll see, though nothing to the extent of your average arrow coaster, a less "minimalist" structure. In terms of my preference, nothing beats Arrow's track and supports. Either the old, square style track (seen on Corkscrew and Cyclone), or their later curved bracing (seen on Tennessee Tornado), I personally think it's a much nicer looking structure than anything else out there.

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