Brick roads have been around us for centuries. They are both durable and are a treat for the eyes and also easy to procure and reuse, cement pavers last a very long time, and they are easy to repair and replace. But now-a-days they are difficult to find because building them is an arduous and back breaking task. Engineers are always busy finding solutions to problems around the world and strive to decrease the time consumption to complete a task. One such endeavor has resulted in one such machinery which is more than just a symbol of great engineering, it is both cool and awesome: “The Tiger Stone”.
The Tiger Stone:
The road printing machine, Tiger-Stone is invented by Henk van Kuijk, director of Dutch industrial company Vanku, who thinks that squatting or kneeling down to place the bricks into the ground by hand is too much hard work. The device, which is as wide as a road and comes in four, five and six-meter widths, is fed loose bricks and it lays them out onto the road as it slowly moves along. The tread-tracked machine is powered by electricity, and has very few moving parts, making noise and maintenance next to none or minimum. Once the machine is done with the work, all a contractor has to do is go over the new road with a tamper, and the new highway is complete.
How this monster does work?
The process may look magical, but the secret behind the invention lies in a smartly-designed gravity-based system. The road printing machine consists of an angled plain that workers feed with paving stones or bricks. As the electric crawler inches forward along a sand base layer, the bricks are automatically packed together by gravity. A small telescoping forklift feeds the hopper, allowing the Tiger-Stone to lay out an impressive 400 square meters of road day, and the span can be adjusted up to six meters wide. All a worker has to do is load the bricks by hand from a hopper into the Tiger-Stone in the desired pattern.
It requires 1-3 operators on its platform to provide the machine’s pusher slot with loose bricks. Another thing to be aware is that the bricks that are given to machine is required to be in the pattern which is needed. The next step utilizes gravity to let these bricks slide together onto the sand in the form of a road-wide sheet of bricks and by using the built-in sensors, it is capable to stay on track which is outlined by the curbs.
Here is a video of monster at work: