Our parent company Screwpile Engineering Pty Ltd through its trading arm Screwpile Australia introduced screwpile and screw-anchor technology to the Australian Market in 1994. Since then it has successfully installed in excess of 4.5 million steel screw-in piles to the Australian construction, mining, marine industries for all types of structural load carrying applications.
Fifteen years of extensive in-house R&D has resulted in the development of the fastest, most reliable, cost effective piling and anchoring system in the world today. A system that provides multiple advantages over conventional methods. Screwpiles have the capacity to resist large loads being manufactured up to 1.0m in diameter and installed to depths of over 30m. The technology behind Screwpiles is centered around rigid steel components so that deflections are kept to an absolute minimum.
Birth of the wombat
This design criteria for screwpiles meant that nobody ever contemplated introducing composite materials into their development until inventor Steve Lewenhoff started to experiment with hi-resilient hi-strength materials. He discovered something very unique. Composite helix’s expand as they are wound into the ground. During this process the helix compresses and compacts the soil around it, acting like a clamp underground, thereby producing greater holding capacities when compared with its steel cousin. He noticed that after multiple installations in the same area the soil level had dropped significantly. That’s when he knew he was on to something theoretically quite different.
Small screw-in type anchors had been around for a while. However they were never successfully introduced into the market as they were not cost effective to produce and did not work particularly well in shallow ground. As CEO and Director of a number companies involved in ground breaking technologies, inventor Steve Lewenhoff, recognized the potential markets for a very strong light weight, reusable & easy to use, cost effective ground anchor. In a previous life he owned and operated a plastics engineering company that specialized in prototype development. The current WOMBAT products are a result of his expertise and over 3 years of designing & developing different helix configurations using different composite materials. Skeptics initially did not believe or want to recognize there was a significant difference in holding capacities between the same size of anchor of a steel v’s composite helix until they witnessed it with their own eyes. Intellectual Property Patents were applied for around the world and the products were launched internationally.
The WOMBAT ground anchor is now recognized as the world’s strongest reusable shallow ground anchor and has won numerous invention & development awards throughout Australia, including the ABC’s “New Inventors”, BIAWA 2007 “Most Innovative Product Award” and has just been awarded the BIAWA 2009 “Most Innovative Product Award” through its combined use with our new “Octopus” Temporary Boat Mooring System.
What is a Wombat?
WOMBAT is manufactured by Rapid Anchor Pty Ltd. Some people mistake the WOMBAT for a propeller but it’s a strong fully engineered ground anchor. WOMBAT is a re-usable lightweight shallow ground anchor, manufactured using a coated mild steel or stainless steel shaft and a composite material helix. As WOMBAT is wound into the ground the helix pitch continually expands clamping into the ground giving it greater strength in shallow grounds.
It’s the World’s Strongest re-usable shallow ground anchor. Research is now underway in to how this technology can be used for compression piling as it has significant cost advantages for the industry.
With WOMBAT you can anchor almost anything to the ground quickly, either for temporarily or semi-permanently applications. WOMBAT has the unique ability to resist forces up to almost 1000 times its own weight.
WOMBATS are manufactured from coated carbon or stainless steel shafts and have composite helix’s which are keyed to the shaft during manufacture.
The steel shaft is used to enable the composite helix to be wound into the ground effectively.
Depending on the model selected either heavy duty hollow carbon or solid stainless steel is used in shaft manufacture. Hot-dip galvanized carbon steel models are available.
WOMBATS Patented Composite Helical Technology provides an incredibly tough, durable and resilient holding element.
> Carbon Steel, specially formed heavy wall 16mm hollow square section (SHS) typically 600mm long.
> Carbon Steel, solid square 20mm merchant bar (SMB) in 600mm, 800mm, 1200mm lengths.
> Stainless Steel, solid square 20mm merchant bar (SMB) in 600mm, 800mm, 1200mm lengths.
•Coatings: Anti-corrosive electroplating or galvanizing for carbon steels. Stainless steels are polished.
•Helix:composite complete with embossed cut-down diameters for differing soils
•Weight:From as little as 400g to 4.5kgs
•Strength:Holds up to 1200kg depending on model selection, soil condition and installation technique.
So how does it work?
As the composite helix is wound into the ground the helix "pitch" begins to expand. As it expands the pitch angle of soil entry and exit increases. This process forces additional soil through and around the vortex. As more soil is forced through the greater the pitch of the helical blades. The helix is manufactured from one of the world most resilient materials. This resilience tries to resist the increase in helical pitch angle. This action effectively compresses anything that passes through it. Due to soil mechanics it is so effective that it actually displaces compressed material to around the entire anchor. This action cannot be achieved by using steel helix’s. That’s why WOMBAT has such incredible holding power even a depths of 600mm in sand. That’s why WOMBAT is the world’s strongest shallow ground anchor.
How to Install
There are two methods: Use the detachable T-Bar comes with WOMBAT Kits and simply screwed into the ground and back out when you have finished with it. Or, use a high-powered drill and the WOMBAT Hex-drive socket & power adaptor that are sold separately. There is no need for big hammers or sledges and removal is just as easy as installation. The underside of the helix has 2 embossed circle lines along with soil descriptions. If you are using the WOMBAT is sand you don’t need to do anything. If the ground you are installing it into is stiff clay trim the helix down to the first line from the edge. If installation into road-base type material is required trim the helix to the smallest circle. Trimming is easy using a hacksaw, a small angle grinder, a cutter or snips. (Caution: Be careful of hot or melted plastic it may stick to your skin and burn. Always use the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as goggles, gloves & footwear to avoid injury.)
WOMBAT was developed to maximize its expansive technology and is primarily intended for use in sandy conditions. It can be installed in soft firm or stiff clays as well as hard ground such as road-base. dense to very hard soil types by cutting down the helix size using a hacksaw or cutting tool and following the cut lines engraved on the helix underside.
Invented in Australia, this ingenious device is as tough as the Australian marsupial “The Wombat” cheerfully known as the “Bulldozer of the Bush”. It is common knowledge that once a WOMBAT burrows underground there’s no getting him out unless he want too! That’s why we called our anchor the WOMBAT! Using the WOMBAT will change the you way you tie or anchor objects to the ground, above or below the waterline. This lightweight reusable handy range products has so many uses. We recently receive an email from a New Zealand farmer who used it as a ground anchoring point during an emergency calving berth in the middle of a paddock. Now that’s got to be a first! Good on you Ralph.