Lifting Tool for One Ton Sphere

Los Alamos National Laboratory sponsored a team of BYU students to solve a problem they encounter in their field. The National Laboratory receives spheres ranging from 14-40” in diameter and weighing up to 2000 pounds. These spheres are packed in crates and often supported in a way that makes the bottom third of the sphere inaccessible. Due to the nature of the sphere, measures must be taken to protect the surface finish and integrity of the object so that it can be moved securely.

The team of six brainstormed a variety of solutions and eventually decided on a pentagon frame made of 6061-T6 Aluminum which could be assembled around the sphere to lift it without accessing the bottom. This design allows for simple assembly, is lightweight, maintains control of the sphere, and can safely lift and transport any sphere from 14-40” in diameter.  

The design was able to meet all of our sponsor’s needs. While the solution was simple, the project was rather complex. We were able to gauge our sponsor’s and other stake holders’ satisfaction with the design through an instructional video to introduce the design and a questionnaire to measure responses. The results showed overwhelming satisfaction with the design and the simplicity of our solution. They were most impressed with the ability to adjust and support assemblies of all different dimensions. 

School Year (term): 
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Team Name: 
Jason Weaver
Team Members: 
Michaela Green, Landon Wright, Joseph Pace, Kendall Seymour, Josh Jones, Daniel Ramos

Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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