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View Full Version : Studebaker Foundry Site - What is Going On There?



t1003nl
01-12-2012, 06:53 PM
I was in South Bend last weekend and drove by the foundry site. I figured the building would be down by now but I was surprised by the amount of activity going on. There was a huge pile of dirt long Sample street and there were big earth movers digging holes so deep you could barely see the tops of them. Is all this just site prep for the next tenant? Are they digging to remove contaminated soil? Did the foundry have a basement? I'm just curious if all the work is due to anything that Studebaker did. Anyone know what is going on?

BobPalma
01-12-2012, 07:02 PM
Yes, the foundry had considerable working area below grade. Grade level had huge grates over which the fresh castings were shaken out, so the core and casting sand fell below grade into huge tombs to be hauled out later.

Purifying the soil for nano-technology will require that quite a bit of dirty dirt be removed...and, you're right, you won't be able to see the tops of most earth-moving equipment when they get low enough beneath grade to reach virginity. BP

DEEPNHOCK
01-12-2012, 07:21 PM
It was a long time ago, bit I remember having to go down pretty far to reach virginity, too.


<snip>...and, you're right, you won't be able to see the tops of most earth-moving equipment when they get low enough beneath grade to reach virginity. BP

Welcome
01-12-2012, 07:48 PM
I was in South Bend last weekend and drove by the foundry site. I figured the building would be down by now but I was surprised by the amount of activity going on. There was a huge pile of dirt long Sample street and there were big earth movers digging holes so deep you could barely see the tops of them. Is all this just site prep for the next tenant? Are they digging to remove contaminated soil? Did the foundry have a basement? I'm just curious if all the work is due to anything that Studebaker did. Anyone know what is going on?

As of 2:30 this afternoon the answers to all your questions are: YES!!!

Yes, they are still working 7 days a week at the old Foundry site.

Also, they have now hauled in more fill-dirt to try and fill "LAKE STUDEBAKER" ...the former site of the Engineering Building & SASCO. The fill had settled and when the rains came ... LAKE STUDEBAKER appeared!!!;)

Chris_Dresbach
01-12-2012, 08:28 PM
Yeah, I go by there every day and all they have been doing is a lot of digging. I figured they were removing impure soil from that area. I'm by no means a geyologist, but I've seen some crazy stuff in those buildings before they tore them down that I KNOW had to have been leaking for quite some time. I want to know what they're doing with all the old core sand.

Welcome
01-12-2012, 08:40 PM
>>>I'm by no means a geyologist, but I've seen some crazy stuff in those buildings before they tore them down that I KNOW had to have been leaking for quite some time.<<<

You don't suppose they somehow hooked on to that old locomotive that was buried somewhere between the Foundry and the Studebaker National Museum???:eek::rolleyes:

BobPalma
01-12-2012, 08:50 PM
It was a long time ago, bit I remember having to go down pretty far to reach virginity, too.

Somehow, Jeff, I just knew you could relate to that. <GGG> BP

studegary
01-13-2012, 01:39 PM
If they are going to do any modern, small dimension, manufacturing there, like making chips, they will need to dig down to the bed rock for footings.
I remember them doing this at IBM East Fishkill and they could still pick up vibrations from trucks on I-84 that is about 1/2 mile away.

Welcome
01-13-2012, 02:07 PM
>>>I remember them doing this at IBM East Fishkill and they could still pick up vibrations from trucks on I-84 that is about 1/2 mile away.

Itíll sure be interesting to see if a nano tech company does set up operations next to South Bendís brand new state-of-the-art CITY BUS garage & maintenance facility with its fleet of busses coming & going all the time!!!:rolleyes:
http://tinyurl.com/7nvq2zp

PlainBrownR2
01-13-2012, 05:00 PM
Now for the question and the technological factoid for the day....

If they need a stable foundation to manufacture chips, I wonder if not only are they putting in a much more solid foundation, but a detector that will temporarily shut down any sensitive manufacturing should an earthquake strike, or essentially a large seismometer device? Here's why...

Any lab that has a particle accelerator, such as CERN's has a very precise and very sensitive beam that is emitting particles. If an earthquake is detected like around 3.0 or maybe a little less, a failsafe will trip, shutting down the beam. The reason being is the beam not only needs to be precise when smashing matter, but it is also aligned around a ring of magnets in the particle accelerator. If it is bounced or jiggled, and this radioactive material is operating at full tilt as it always is, well, anybody working in the accelerator could potenially become their own "nightlight" so to speak. So a device is installed to shut the beam and the accelerator down if an earthquake is detected, thereby turning the particle accelerator into one large seismometer. If there is any processes occurring at this site that require a very delicate assembly, surely one of these might be going in, along with a cushioned foundation.

t1003nl
01-13-2012, 05:01 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. I knew I was asking the right crowd for the straight story!

556063
01-13-2012, 11:21 PM
There is no reachable by excavation bedrock in the South Bend area. The rock shelf starts about 60 miles south (Peru/Logansport) and wraps up in a northwest arc to the area just south of Chicago. I have stood in excavations almost 100 feet deep (and very, very wide because of the risk of collapse) in this area. No one has come close to hitting rock. We are sitting on what debris and soil was pushed down from Canada by the glaciers. Sand, clay, and gravel. Crushed Limestone is expensive here because it has to travel in from at least 60 miles.

If there was an earthquake like the 9.0 New Madrid quake in the early 1800's, it's said most buildings would be swallowed up in a perculating quicksand like soup. How far down, I'm not sure anyone knows. But, that means some quakes which would transmit through rock wouldn't be felt here. If it's big enough though.....

The crews will know when they hit undisturbed soil by it's change in texture and color. Our area is blessed with ample underground water because of this condition.

PlainBrownR2
01-14-2012, 01:44 AM
Mmmm, gotta love glacial till. One item that needs to be pointed out is the glacial till in this part of region is not uniform since Chicago's skyscrapers are buried in dolomite, which required excavating a considerable amount to get there, as well as raising the whole city upwards. If they didn't the whole city would be built on soft swampland. So, it depends on how much or how little work they want to do to remove the glacial till to get there :p. It can be done in this part of the country, but it depends on how thick the glacial till is, and how much time, effort, and money you want to expend removing it.

There seems to be a little confusion on earthquakes in this regard. There's building a structure, then there's BUILDING a structure. The latter requires some more attention to foundation detail, because of the sensitive of the devices it's going to house. We all know that a 9.0 earthquake can bring a building down. What very few people know is that there are buildings, structures, and devices that need additional engineering because the building is housing some very geologically sensitive equipment inside.

Particle Acclererators fit into this category. Here we have a device with a somewhat radioactive laser beam(in laymans terms), and if an individual comes in contact with the beam, they can get irradiated, hurt, and/or killed. The beam, is aimed down a tube or a ring, which is guided to a very precise point using magnets, where it then collides with opposing particles, and thus getting scientific results. Now, this beam needs to be on not just stable ground but SUPER stable ground. If that doesn't happen, the beam can get misaligned, and if left unchecked, can damage some very expensive equipment, or any humans it comes in contact with. So they have to build the emitter and ring or tube on stable ground, which around here is difficult to come by because of the glacial till. They will do a couple things to counteract this:

Build the accelerator by driving the foundation into bedrock(There is one of the older accelerators around Chicago that is done in this fashion)

If getting to the bedrock is too deep or too costly, isolate the building by putting it on "shocks" to buffer it from the Earth itself, and "floating" the building instead. This is like how the suspension system works on our Studebakers.(The newer ones are done in this fashion)

In either case, there is still the hazard of a misaligned beam. The accelerator structure is essentially a giant seismometer. They're so sensitive to the beam moving on such a large device, that they can detect earthquakes at any one time around globe. The Earth behaves like a strumming bowstring, and the accelerator is the glass full of water on the guitar. However, there is a point at which it can become a problem, so they will install a failsafe to shut down the accelerator if the earthquake gets too large. The earthquake could be 7.5, the accelerator could break apart, and the building could fall on it, but it will be shut off to prevent catastrophic damage. Usually anything over 2.5 and the failsafe activates, it's THAT sensitive, as well as the beam being THAT precise.

Now if you've gotten to this point, my semi question is this:
Since the nanotech facility will be building components that are geogically sensitive, are they going to install directly into the bedrock, or isolate the building, and will they be installing anything to shut down the process if there is a sizable 3.0 earthquake detected? If this is going to be a problem, they would want something in there to keep from losing any product still in assembly. :p

556063
01-14-2012, 05:52 PM
Not that it had anything to do with the Studebaker Brothers choosing to locate in South Bend, (unless it has something to do with the availability of good hardwood for wagon building), I had to find some information on depth to bedrock in the area. After much searching, I came up with this geological map that says the entire county is covered with at least 150, and in many cases more than 300 foot of overburden to bedrock. That bedrock is also mostly black shale, not the white limestone other parts of Indiana are famous for.

http://www.in.gov/dnr/water/files/St_Joseph_County_BED_AQSYS_map.pdf

One other little tidbit of geological trivia International Meet attendees might want to look out for when in town this year. West of South Bend, on the US 20/31 Bypass, there is a sign that marks the location of the North/South Continental Divide. (The small hill just south of the SR23 exit.) If you spill water north of it, it drains to the Great Lakes. If you spill water south of it, it drains to the Mississippi. The Studebaker Corridor is North of the Divide. I live on the South Side of the Divide. Since everything is so flat around here, who would have ever guessed that?

The foundry is the last building in the Corridor south of Sample Street. Visitors that were here in 2007 will be stunned at how barren the Corridor has become in just five years.

PlainBrownR2
01-15-2012, 12:24 AM
Not that it had anything to do with the Studebaker Brothers choosing to locate in South Bend, (unless it has something to do with the availability of good hardwood for wagon building), I had to find some information on depth to bedrock in the area. After much searching, I came up with this geological map that says the entire county is covered with at least 150, and in many cases more than 300 foot of overburden to bedrock. That bedrock is also mostly black shale, not the white limestone other parts of Indiana are famous for.


Yep, just east of me contains limestone deposits. Many of our attendees coming East down I-80 to the International Meet will pass over a big hole in the ground just west of the Indiana state line. That's Thornton Quarry, which mines huge deposits of limestone and dolomite. Now what does the shale, dolomite, and the limestone have in common? They were both made in water. The limestone in particular, came from vast Silurian reefs that were around the Chicago area. Shale is made in still, stagnant water, or along continental shelfs(beaches) Chicago, as well as the entire region around it, was south of the equator, and under a shallow ocean 443 million years ago. Now there is everybody's geologic factoid for the day :p.
(As a minor note, shale can also possess oil deposits, lol)

556063
01-15-2012, 06:08 AM
May have to start another thread if we get too far into geology, but just as Studebaker had a buy Indiana Made products marketing campaign, Countrywide Co-Op (formerly the Farm Bureau) markets their fuels as made from mostly Indiana Oil. Yes, there is oil around here. Most of it's from Southern Indiana. But, there was a producing well less than a mile from my house when we first moved here 20 years ago. I can remember wells in Miami County (Peru) too, as a child.

Most of the drilling activity stopped cold around here when the price dropped through the floor in the 80's. The oil is also light and can't be used to make heavier products, from what I've been told.

The oil production near me has stopped but there is still signage and natural gas is still produced from the well. I have no idea how deep it is or anything else about it.

556063
01-15-2012, 07:18 AM
I had never taken the time to research the well by my house. I knew it was probably being used to heat and fuel a Convent/Retirement Home/Two Year Community College just down the road from me. Looks like that has changed now, and the producer is looking to sell the gas to someone else now.

Here's a link to the website. If you click on the Donaldson Gas Field tab, it will tell the story about the 230 foot deep well "in my backyard", and link you to a YouTube video of gas being burned from the wellhead:

http://www.youngoilcompany.com/index.html

I'm done posting in this thread.

acandilas
01-17-2012, 02:08 PM
From going around the most often than anyone in this groups(whatever). Its looks like they are on schedule to finish by Feb of 2012. I don't know why I'm saying this, since most on this list will never see of what I have saw and photograph(not quick, for cell) (real ones and that cover petty much 99% of the entire site) of the demo of the foundry and engireering that I did. They are currently laying topsoil and still turning over dirt that they have to. They already hauled any contaminated soil, it seemed like they are done with the removed, more topsoil is coming in than contaminated soil going out. Taking it form someone who been going around there since only couple week after they started.

For those who are curious of the so-called massive dirt pile it's have soemthing to do with the contrator the city had in the back of the plant 2. If anyone ever took some time out of their day to look closer than others normally do. You have saw that contrator haul all that dirt form the back to the front plus some debis that the last demp company forgot or overlook.

Welcome
01-17-2012, 02:42 PM
From going around the most often than anyone in this groups(whatever). Its looks like they are on schedule to finish by Feb of 2012. I don't know why I'm saying this, since most on this list will never see of what I have saw and photograph(not quick, for cell) (real ones and that cover petty much 99% of the entire site) of the demo of the foundry and engireering that I did. <<<

Well Al, I do need to pass by the site of where the Studebaker Foundry once stood 2 more times today ...but only if that's OK with you???:rolleyes: I promise NOT to take any photographs ...with a real camera, cell phone or even my Kodak Brownie!;)