Reinforced concrete construction at Locke plant in Victor, NY

[Trade Journal]

Publication: The Brickbuilder & Cement Maker

London, England
p. 36-39, col. 1-2


By ARTHUR S. WATTS, Victor, N.Y.

Is bringing before you the subject above mentioned it is not my idea to discuss the preparation of concrete or the systems of reinforcing concrete, but to call your attention to the fact that this is to my mind the ideal material for erecting potteries. All woodwork about a clayworking plant is thoroughly dry and the fact that for economy's sake the ware must be fired close to these dry buildings makes the fire risk very serious. The insurance companies appre¬ciate this fact, as the rates of insurance indicate. If the manufacturer could know that his plant is proof against fire and could add the amount which he 'now spends for insurance to his annual profits, the outlook for clay manufacturing industries would brighten immensely. Moreover, wood construction has become so expensive that a brick building can be erected almost as cheaply as a frame building. How¬ever, your floors and ceilings must be of wood. Of course, steel truss and fire¬proofing floors could be used, but the delay incident to obtaining steel material and the cost of this form of construction are against its use. In many of our recent pottery fires the loss of models, moulds and ware in the process of manufacture has been more serious than the loss of the buildings.


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What the potter wants to-day is a form of construction which is in itself fireproof, which can be built without serious delay on account of material and which will not cost far in ex¬cess of frame construction. I believe we have this in the new plant of the Locke Insulator Manufacturing Co., at Victor, N.Y. The only wood used in the construc¬tion is for window frames, which could not be obtained of iron without long delays. The floors are all of reinforced concrete and are constructed to stand a live load of 200 pounds per square foot, so that any ordinary pottery ma¬chine can be located where you please with no fear of over-taxing your floor. The ceilings and roof being of concrete, furnish a solid fastening for any heavy shafting. The floors being supported by columns and not walls, enables you to have as many windows as you wish. The founda¬tion, as shown in the accompanying drawing, are flared at the base, thus furnishing a very substantial fastening, which is also reinforced with steel bars.




The columns are constructed of bars of twisted steel held in place by steel coils forming a skeleton column one inch less in diameter than the completed column. This skeleton is encased in concrete, making a solid column. The columns are tilled at the same time as the surface above, so that column and floor are firmly joined. The walls between the outside columns are not filled when the building is erected, but are put in as curtain walls later. The number of columns can be reduced by using heavier steel bars and making the spans longer without in any way weakening the structure, as the concrete is only used to take the load of compression.

For erecting storage bins for heavy ma¬terials, such as clays and spar, I find this form of construction ideal. The plan shows the clay storage bins along the railroad front, which in our case is above the level of the second floor of the plant. This enables us to deliver our materials from the car into the storage bins by gravity. The materials are stored on the second floor of this building. On the first floor are the mixing tubs or ball mills, which are filled from hoppers in the floor above. These hoppers