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AFL's History in Motion Control

Vibration protection with AFL is much more than a product. It is a proven engineered system backed by almost 100 years of experience. 

Why is motion control important?

Prior to becoming AFL, we operated as Alcoa Conductor Accessories, and since the 1950's, we have been at the forefront of wind-induced motion technology and research. Outlines below are some of AFL's older historical highlights within the motion control industry:

  • In 1925, Alcoa Research Laboratories erected a 305 m (1000ft.) outdoor test span.
  • In 1927, a stranded conductor's first aeolian vibration fatigue failure was reported, and many conductors and tower members have failed since.
  • In 1931, Alcoa purchased the original Stockbridge damper patent (No. 1,675,391 dated July 3, 1928).

As part of its commitment to the industry and research, AFL’s Accessories division constructed its Research Laboratory at its plant in Massena, N.Y. This site was home to motion control test equipment such as 10 indoor test spans, a 60mph wind tunnel, and a 300-acre outdoor facility with spans up to 1200’ long. It was during this time the Accessories division also undertook a large field recording endeavor to measure conductor motion throughout the country. With the use of field vibration recorders, measurements were taken to further test and validate motion control products and their applications.

AFL's Conductor Accessories division has since been dedicated to using this depth of knowledge and experience to provide the most cost-efficient motion control systems tailored to the needs of our customers. With almost 100 years of research and experience, AFL has helped the industry to understand the theory of vibration and its control, develop improved damping systems, and prepare guidelines for determining the level of protection required for adequate vibration control. We continue to push the boundaries of wind-induced vibration research in order to provide exceptional motion control products.

Some tried and true motion control solutions include AFL’s 3300 series Speed-Grip® spacers, SVD series Spiral Vibration Dampers, and 1700/1700AA series Stockbridge dampers. Training and installation support is available to parties who are interested in learning more about AFL’s products.