The world is upside down. High acceleration provides the thrills.

Take a deep breath, get in, fasten the seat belt and away you go.
The carriage slowly jolts its way up to the top, and then plunges down to the bottom on the other side. The speedy ride commences. Up. Down. Left. Right. Hang in there. Higher. Faster. Into the loop. Upside down. Palpitations. Thrills. After a minute or so it’s all over and the carriage is back at the start. The body is full of adrenalin. Laughing and screaming fill the air. Passengers deboard on one side of the carriages – quiet and shaken to the bone. Those hungry for thrills get in on the other side. Take a deep breath.

The first roller coasters entered service in the 17th century in St. Petersburg and Moscow as winter amusements. Water and snow were poured over U-shaped wooden frames up to 25 metres in height, which then froze overnight. These “Russian mountains” thrilled the Russian population as well as Napoleon’s soldiers, who became acquainted with these amusements at the start of the 19th century and copied them in France. The French used small carriages with wheels to also be fast in summer.

Every passenger had to queue for at least 15 minutes and listen to the screaming of other passengers. This raised the pulse, as well as thrill and anticipation levels. It was for this reason waiting areas with long waiting times were planned.

The Promenades Aériennes in the Jardin Beaujon in Paris represented one such French amusement at the beginning of the 19th century.

The fastest roller coaster in the world, as you would expect, is at the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Formula Rossa accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 2.9s and from 0 to the top speed of 240 km/h in 4.9 seconds, almost on Formula 1 level. The track is 2,070 m long and the highest point is 52 m. The maximum acceleration is 4.8 g.

The Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in Jackson, New Jersey (USA) is home to the highest steel roller coaster, at a height of 139 m. From the ground to its highest point, the Kingda Ka is higher than the pyramids of Gizeh and guarantees thrills at dizzying heights. It accelerates from 0 to 206 km/h in 3.5 seconds.

At 2,479 metres, the Steel Dragon 2000 is the longest steel roller coasterin the world and wows visitors to the Nagashima Spa Land in Kuwana (Japan). It was built in 2000, the Year of the Dragon, and reaches a top speed of 153 km/h. With a height of 97 m, it is at number 6 of the highest roller coasters.

It is the acceleration impacting upon the body which makes a roller coaster ride an exhilarating experience. Newton’s second law enables the acceleration of a body to be calculated using the ratio of forces acting upon it to its mass. Acceleration of up to 6 g can be experienced momentarily during a roller coaster ride, six times the body weight.

Gravitational force.
Gravitational force can accelerate a carriage by so much that acceleration is as high as a body in free fall. The consequence is that the gravitational force is compensated and people are no longer able to feel their own weight. The state of weightlessness is reached.

Centrifugal force.
Centrifugal force is caused by the inertia of the body, and always occurs when the direction changes. Passengers feel centrifugal force pulling them downwards, and outwards round bends. The force is greater the higher the speed and the sharper the bend. On downward sections, passengers feel heavier because centrifugal force and gravitation act in the same direction. At the highest point of a loop, the centrifugal force must be equal to a passenger’s weight for he/she to be pressed into the seat.

Airtime is the sense of “taking off”, usually felt by those in the last carriage.
Negative g forces act directly after a bump, when the last carriage is being pulled downwards by those in front of it. Passengers start the motion in a trajectory
parabola, are only held in by the safety bar and experience for a brief moment
the feeling of weightlessness.

The world turned upside down when the adrenalin addicts of Paris experienced the first 360° loop in a Paris track in 1846. At a height of 50 metres, the Chinese Lewa Happy World leisure park currently has the highest looping. 52 and 55 metre loops are in the planning phase.

High-tech roller coasters nowadays are designed exclusively by engineers at their computers, with complex formulae performing the computations. Once the bends, ascents and bumps have been simulated, a roller coaster is assembled from steel and built. Precision and safety are the most important factors in designing these fast goose-bump experiences.

“At a height of 30 m and with a wave-shaped descent, the Promenades Aériennes were a popular attraction in 1820.”

Heavy workload for chain drives in water roller coasters.

If a roller coaster passes through water basins, artificial lakes or waterfalls, the chain drives used for the roller coaster system experience heavy loading because the components and lubrication points are continually exposed to the rinsing effect of water. For the chain lubricants used, this means they should have the best corrosion protection properties, and have very high adhesion and load-bearing capabilities. They should also be able to withstand shock loads. This is the only way to guarantee safe operation of the systems and long service life of the components.

Berusynth CU 250
In leisure parks in Asia, park operators were won over by the quality of the Berusynth CU 250 chain lubricant in direct comparisons with competitive products. When applied to the conveyor equipment of a water roller coaster, one of the two drive chains was greased with the fully synthetic Berusynth CU 250 Spray, the other with a special, added mineral oil product. Differences as regards performance were noticeable after just two days. The side treated with Berusynth CU 250 only exhibited the slightest traces of corrosion on the rollers of the chain links and on the pinion. The opposite side on the other hand showed considerable traces of rust. Berusynth CU 250 features impressive polar properties which lend it an excellent adhesion effect – even at lubrication points exposed to the rinse effect of water.

Write to us if you would like to learn more about our chain lubricants.

Product knowledge.

Application Manager
Special Lubricants
Yifan Sun