Olympic Stadiums Bearings Inspection & Evaluation

The inspection and evaluation of the bearings supporting the roof of the Main and Velodrome Stadiums in Olympic Athletic Center of Athens-Greece “Spiros Louis” has been successfully accomplished by HiSCS inspectors.

The iconic Olympic facilities are part of Athens Olympic Sports Complex, named after the first modern Olympic marathon gold medalist in 1896, Spyros Louis. 

The main stadium was originally built in the early ‘80s. Since then has hosted many athletic events and has been extensively renovated for the summer Olympics – Athens 2004.  

Its roof is suspended by cables through a double steel arch system designed by Architect Santiago Calatrava.

The two gigantic arches have a total span of 304m and a maximum height of 72m. The roof weighs 18,700 tons and is made of 5,000 polycarbonate panels covering an area of 25,000 sqm. Both arches were assembled away from their final position (60-70m) and were slide-moved into place. The roof is designed to withstand winds up to 120 Km/h and earthquakes up to magnitude 8 R.

In total 24 pot free sliding bearings have been installed beneath the South arch ends, having a vertical capacity ranging from 9,000 KN up to 39,500 KN, allowing their slide ± 400mm away from the fixed North side. The pot bearings of 3,950 tons vertical capacity are massive having an overall dimension of upper sliding plate 1.9 x 1.2m and a base diameter of 1.34m.

A similar roof concept has been adopted in Olympic Velodrome stadium which was originally built in 90’s as an outdoor venue. It was extensively refurbished in order to host the 2004 Olympics. Its track is 250 m long and 7.5 m wide.

Velodrome arches are supported by pot bearings, fixed in one end, and sliding guided in the other. The vertical capacity of bearings is to the order of 19,000 KN and can absorb horizontal loads of 13,650 KN allowing a longitudinal slide of ±180mm.

The inspection and evaluation of bearings is part of an ambitious renovation project with energy upgrading of the Country’s infrastructure known as “Green Transition” in line with the National recovery and resilience plan.

HiSCS is proud of being selected as the inspection specialist for these iconic structures/massive bearings.

A site inspection and evaluation with ratings, classifications, health conditions and proposals have been established using special inspection software properly adapted to the needs of this prestigious project. Rotations, remaining sliding capacity, overall condition of bearings and their parts followed by NDT have been recorded verifying the Safe for Use and Fit for Purpose policy for sustainability.

©[2022] Reyelise Ltd.


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