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STEELROOTS®   –   concreteless foundations
The world's first roller coaster on a brand new cruise ship is expected to set sail at the end of this year. It was built by Maurer Rides GmbH from Munich - with the support of BFTec GmbH from Nentershausen.

Roller coasters are among the great attractions of every festival and amusement park. Not only there, because in the near future the thrill should also be felt on the high seas: Probably at the end of this year the world's first roller coaster will set sail on a brand new cruise ship. It was built by Maurer Rides GmbH from Munich – with the support of BFtec GmbH from Nentershausen.

Racing at almost 60 kilometers an hour 57 meters above sea level on a 250 meter circuit around the large ship's chimneys over the deck of a luxury liner promises adrenaline rushes of a special kind set sail for her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. It will then be on board the Mardi Gras, the modern flagship of the US shipping company Carnival Cruises, which can accommodate more than 5,200 passengers. The ultimate leisure pleasure is currently being assembled in a shipyard in Turku, Finland. In order to keep the assembly time on deck as short as possible, extensive test drives and a partial acceptance by the TÜV (German Association for Technical Inspection) were carried out in March on a test site near Munich.

BFtec provides the safe, flexible foundation system

And that's where BFtec GmbH came into play, because what was needed was a secure, flexible foundation system that was quick to use and that could be dismantled after the test phase and trial run. A classic case for the STEEL-ROOT® from BFtec made in Nentershausen, which can not only be dismantled, but are also recyclable and can therefore also be used for future test tracks and TÜV partial approvals. Finally, the layout of the roller coaster for the Mardi Gras, the so-called Bolt Ultimate Sea Coaster, is unique.

BFtec supplies the safe, flexible foundation system in the form of the concreteless STEEL-ROOT® foundations

The test operation

But back to test operation. First of all, a test site was temporarily created on the approximately 120 x 60 meter plot opposite the Maurer Rides GmbH company headquarters, which is normally used as an agricultural area — on a green meadow, so to speak, so that only the top floor had to be removed. The individual locations for the concreteless STEEL-ROOT® foundations were then measured and foundation trenches dug about 120 centimeters deep using an excavator. The STEEL-ROOT® were installed wherever the steel structure of the Sea Coaster is later mounted on the ship's deck. The team led by BFtec founder Peter Kellner delivered exactly 41 of these STEEL-ROOT® foundations to Kirchheim near Munich. They were again aligned in height and position with the appropriate spacing from each other and then backfilled with the upcoming soil. The STEEL-ROOT® were integrated into the floor about 120 centimeters thick. Only the upper part with the connection flange for the steel support structure protruded from the floor. Then the individual segments of the roller coaster were assembled and the test operation on the 250 meter long circuit could begin. The so-called spike coaster reaches up to 60 km/h. They have their own electric drive and thus differ significantly from common roller coasters. The drivers can regulate the acceleration and speed of the two-seater, motorcycle-like cars themselves.

The finished setup of the test operation.

Dismantling after successful TÜV approval

After the successful TÜV (German Association for Technical Inspection) approval, the roller coaster was dismantled, safely packed and transported to the shipyard in Turku, where it is currently being rebuilt on the luxury liner Mardi Gras. The STEEL-ROOT®, however, remained in Germany. They were expanded again on the test site in Munich, so the area can now be used again for agricultural purposes. The dismantled STEEL-ROOT®, along with other concreteless foundations, are being used again on a test site in Güstrow for the test setup of the second, even longer roller coaster for the world's largest cruise ship.

Animation of the final roller coaster on the high seas.

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