ESAB NASA Platform
MMI provided the foundation and structural design for ESAB’s welding tool in the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. This critical tool was specifically designed and built to weld pieces of the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System together. This new heavy lift rocket is designed to send humans and material deep into space, including asteroids and Mars. This VAC is the first of its kind in North America.
The foundation for the new welding machine required a highly integrated geotechnical design to be incorporated into the piling selection. New 18 inch and 24 inch diameter open ended steel pipe piles were driven inside the existing building and a new three foot deep, heavily reinforced concrete mat slab was installed tying the 100 foot long piles together. The massive mat footing was modeled using 3-D structural software to accurately determine loads and maintain the budget. The 155 foot tall tower was designed using structural steel. The various work platforms consisted of concrete fill placed on metal deck.