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Barnshaws serves on Wimbledon Centre Court

Wimbledon Centre Court

Nothing typifies being British like adapting to unpredictable summer weather, but thanks in part to the expertise of Barnshaws Section Benders Ltd, those who travelled to Wimbledon Centre Court this month didn’t have too much to worry about. The stadium features a fully retractable 1,000 tonne roof, which allows tennis fans to enjoy the spectacle of world class sport in any summer weather condition. Barnshaws utilised its experience to supply high quality curved steel sections to the project, which ensured that play can go on during the prestigious Wimbledon event.

To build the 77 metre long roof, Barnshaws delivered large curved box-sections, the design and dimensions of which delivered the additional strength required for such a large span. Each individual truss weighs-in at 70 tonnes, and required bending to stringent tolerances due to the precise demands of the application. It was particularly important to balance the load, as the trusses would increase to 100 tonnes each with the addition of lights, locking arms and motors. The trusses were fabricated from 66 individual precision curved sections, and were subsequently assembled by Watson Steel Structures, part of the Severfield PLC group ready for construction onsite.

Barnshaws was contacted about the project due to a track record of supplying similar curved sections for other stadia around the country, including iconic venues such as Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The design of the roof at Wimbledon Centre Court has become the blueprint for maximising natural light in similar projects, and has also boosted Barnshaws profile in providing bends for these demanding structures. The roof has been such a success that a similar project is underway to provide a retractable roof cover for Court No.1 and Barnshaws have again been chosen to curve the steel sections for Severfield PLC.

Greg North, Commercial Director at Barnshaws, concludes: “Stadiums are by their nature, very demanding structures - especially when the structures are mobile as working tolerances become very tight. We are able to service the unique demands of these arenas thanks to our very experienced workforce, state-of-the-art equipment and consistent production methodology. As a business, we are in a privileged position to be able to provide precision curved sections to help deliver any stadium project up to CE Execution Class 4.”

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