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Kone reopens 350m-deep high-rise testing lab

Kone has reopened its renovated high-rise testing laboratory in Finland which, at a depth of 350m, is the deepest facility of its kind in the world

At 350m in depth, Kone’s high-rise testing laboratory is the deepest in the world.
At 350m in depth, Kone’s high-rise testing laboratory is the deepest in the world.

Kone has reopened its high-rise testing laboratory in Tytyri, Finland, following extensive renovations.

The laboratory, which forms part of a working limestone mine, hosts the elevator and escalator manufacturer’s elevator test shafts.

Reaching a depth of 350m, the facility is the deepest of its kind in the world.

Tomio Pihkala, chief technology officer at Kone, said: “At Tytyri, we can push the limits of elevator physics like at no other place in the world.

“With the extreme tests, such as the free-fall test, we can drop an elevator frame, weighing 10,000kg, into a 200m shaft and test safety gear performance, bringing the elevator to a controlled stop.”

Established in 1997, Kone’s Tytyri testing laboratory boasts 11 elevator shafts with a combined length of 1.6km. Seven of these shafts are dedicated to super-tall and mega-tall testing, with the remaining four being used for mid- and low-rise testing.

The renovated facility will allow Kone to carry out tests under extreme conditions that are harsher than those encountered by regular buildings. The depth of the shafts means the company can test elevator speeds of up to 70km/h, or approximately 19m/s, at conventional acceleration rates.

Kone’s free-fall tests, meanwhile, facilitate speeds of up to 90km/h, or approximately 26m/s.

“At Kone, we have introduced technological breakthroughs that have changed the face of the industry,” said Pihkala. “As plans for tall and mega-tall buildings reach new heights, we will be able to use new materials to simulate the demands of tomorrow’s buildings, today. With the deepest and tallest facility of its kind in the world, we are excited to bring together design, engineering, and technology, specifically to meet and exceed the needs of our customers.”

In addition to its Finnish facilities, Kone has testing laboratories in China, India, Italy, Mexico, and the US.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019