South / Regional Reports

Bronze Statue Ignites Fans Thanks To Contractor's Skill

July 28, 2004
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Over the past decade, professional installers have successfully maneuvered thousands of feet of Gastite flexible gas piping through some pretty tight spots on a variety of residential and commercial projects.

But few, if any, could match the engineering challenge that confronted mechanical contractor Ralph Scott in the form of a bronze, flame-spewing statue at the entrance to Doak Campbell Stadium on the campus of Florida State University.

"Unconquered" depicts a Seminole warrior wearing battle regalia, rearing back upon his horse, and holding aloft a flaming spear that exhorts fans. An actual flame envelops one end of a 12-1/2-foot bronze-plated spear.

Scott's task was to supply the fuel needed to create the fire element. The chosen fuel was natural gas and the means of delivering it was Gastite corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST).

Personnel at Scott's contracting firm, Scott-Burnett Inc., threaded 80 feet of 3/8-in. CSST through an equivalent amount of aluminum conduit placed inside the statue by the foundry that forged its stainless steel armature and the 150 pieces of molded bronze covering it. The fire element and its gas line were part of the design from the beginning.

To maintain proper, lifelike proportions between the rider, his mount, and spear without creating engineering problems, the spaces inside the armature had to be extremely tight. The cramped conditions subjected the gas chase to a number of bends and curves at constricted radiuses, Scott said.

All the twists and turns make flexible gas piping the only practical choice for building the gas chase, Scott said.

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Publication date: 08/02/2004

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