Apex Hydraulics Produce Bespoke Cylinder for Unique Sculpture

Hatfield House is a stunning 17th Century stately home. The family of the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury, the owners of the home, recently commissioned the first piece of contemporary artwork for the estate, from renowned artist, Angela Connor.

Famous for extravagant sculptures, Conner designed the huge water feature, “Renaissance” out of stainless steel. Two imposing arches pivot with the weight of the flowing water, after which a golden globe rises from a mist.

Apex Hydraulics was approached to fabricate the hydraulic cylinder used to lift the golden globe in this exciting piece of artwork. The artist designed a large pit under the water feature that the globe was to sit in. The hydraulic cylinder was single acting, as the water was pumped in, advancing the cylinder and pushing the globe up into the view of visitors. When the water was let back out, the weight of the globe pushed the cylinder back into the retract position, removing the globe from sight once again.

The project was unusual for Apex, for a number of reasons. The hydraulic cylinder worked on chlorinated water (and was surrounded by the chlorinated water of the water feature.) This meant that the entire cylinder and all parts had to be made from stainless steel to avoid any parts rusting. This was particularly challenging, because there are not currently any honed bore stainless steel tube available in the size required on the market. Therefore, Apex were required to purchase a solid piece of stainless steel and have it bored out and honed in the machine shop of the Apex factory in Dewsbury.

Specialist low friction seals were used as the cylinder was to work under 5 BAR; an extremely low pressure within the hydraulic industry.

In spite of the non-typical requirements of the cylinders, Apex approached the task with the usual precision and skill shown by the team of designers and engineers. The hydraulic cylinder has a 100mm bore x 50mm rod x 2500mm stroke length and was required to lift the 0.5 tonne globe. After the machine shop had manufactured all the stainless-steel cylinder components and the parts had been assembled in the fitting shop, the cylinder was tested in the in-house inspection department, ensuring that the cylinder worked perfectly. The cylinder was transported to the site within the stipulated six-week lead time.

The result is a long lasting and seamless hydraulic cylinder for this extraordinary piece of art work; contemporary in design but with an elegance that will stand the test of time, on the site of this fabulous home of British History.

Related Products

The following products were utilised as part of this project. For more detailed information on these products, click on an image below…

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