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News

Radiation detecting weighbridge protects recycling sites

Weightron Bilanciai : 05 June, 2009  (Application Story)
Hartlepool steel reprocessing site installs vehicle weighbridge with radiation detection system for preventing radioactive sources from entering the processing plant
Radiation detecting weighbridge protects recycling sites
A 15 metre Eurodeck surface mount weighbridge and Safeweigh radiation detection system, installed by Weightron Bilanciai, is playing a pivotal role for Van Dalen Metals Recycling and Trading at their steel reprocessing plant at Hartlepool Docks.

Dutch based Van Dalen is one of Europe's largest re-processors of ferrous and non ferrous metals. Founded in 1947, the privately owned company operates eight metal recycling plants in England together with nine in The Netherlands and Belgium. Through steady investment in the latest production equipment, the plants have built a strong reputation for supplying a wide range of selected grades of high quality scrap steel to Europe's steel industry via road, rail and ship.

The robust modular Eurodeck weighbridge is specifically designed for operation is such harsh environments. The structural beams, which support a 10 mm deck, run length ways, consistent with traffic flow and have sufficient depth so that they do not need stiffening plates. This gives a consistent, well-drained weighing surface, avoiding any condensation build up. The unsupported span between beams is only 165 mm which means that with a load of 25 tonnes in the centre of a standard 7.5 metre module, there is a maximum deflection of only 9 mm.

The Eurodeck weighbridge is fitted with Weightron Bilanciai's own fully weld-sealed stainless steel CPR rocker pin load cells, which provide excellent performance and reliability. The base plates have insulating discs, which provide electrical isolation to minimise the effects of lightning strikes, while sealing rings prevent any debris entering the bases. The full glass-to-metal cable entry seal and stainless bellows ensure full sealing to IP68. The rocker pin concept provides an effective energy restoring system, which ensures the weighbridge deck returns quickly to equilibrium after the vehicle has driven onto the weighbridge. This design together with the proprietary built-in end stops prevents potential damage caused by heavy vehicle braking.

However remote the chance maybe, Van Dalen recognise that it is essential to prevent radioactive material entering their reprocessing chain. To prevent this happening, the Safeweigh radiation detection system is installed at the entry to the weighbridge. All delivery and collection vehicles entering or leaving the site have to be weighed so therefore the weighbridge is the ideal critical control point for radiation detection.

The system already has a proven track record at steel works, incineration plants, land fill sites and waste reprocessing plants across Europe. As the loaded vehicle passes through the large Safeweigh detector plates, positioned each side of the weighbridge, it is scanned for traces of radioactivity. The system can be programmed for specific radiation thresholds and if it determines that a radioactive source is present, either in the load or the vehicle, the system actuates an alarm to immediately notify site security.

SafeWeigh provides a full radiation profile of the vehicle load and the system can be integrated with Weightron's comprehensive WinWeigh software suite. To ensure ongoing system integrity, Weightron offer a unique calibration service at three, six or 12 month intervals, using a known radioactive source traceable to national standards.

Van Dalen's Regional Manager, Ian Baxter is pleased with the overall installation and as he concludes: "Prior to the Weightron installation, we used the port weighbridge at the Hartlepool export terminal. This procedure was somewhat inconvenient in that all weighing data had to be manually entered into our system. The Weightron D800 weight indicator records all weighing transactions and interfaces with our management software. This enables fast and efficient processing on site, thereby improving supplier waiting times, whilst ensuring our customers continue to receive a high quality product'.
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