Before building large objects or structures, we typically model them first, using software simulations to calculate how they’ll perform in the real world. This is true even for the gigantic old-school church bells that they cast in foundries.
But the simulations are only so accurate–and you don’t want to ship a 17-ton bell that’s nearly 10 feet in diameter, install it, and have the customer call you with “this isn’t the chime that I ordered!” Thus the Grassmayr Bell Foundry, a 400-plus-year-old going concern in Austria, will give newly-completed bells an inaugural test chiming. And it ain’t easy:
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“In the bell foundry in Innsbruck we tried to ring this large bell in the casting pit to check whether the bell rings as it was previously calculated on the computer in simulations,” they write. “When the bell is fully installed, it will be driven by 2 HEW chimes.”
– 15,684 Kg (34,577 pounds)
– Ø 287cm (9.4 feet)
– Max. wall thickness: 22.3cm (8.78″)
You might be wondering: What the heck is a “HEW chime?” HEW, short for Hereford Electic motor Works, is a German company that describes themselves thusly:
“Precise, durable, reliable – HEW is your partner for church tower technology. We produce, install and maintain chimes, tower clocks, bells, yokes and much more for you throughout Germany.”
Now that’s a heaven of a business.