Making light work
By Lindsay Gale04 September 2013
UK contractor Brown & Mason is using a 4,750 (10,450 lb) Rammer 5011 breaker during the demolition of the National Gas Turbine Establishment in Farnborough, which for 50 years was at the forefront of aircraft jet engine development. The strength of its airhouse, with heavily reinforced concrete walls up to 6 m (20 ft) thick, allowed it to be used to test Concorde’s engines at 3,200 km/hour (2,000 mph). V-bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were also tested on the site, as was every gas turbine installed in Royal Navy Warships. The facility closed in 2000 and is now being cleared to make way for a new business park.
Covering an area of approximately 45 hectares, the NGTE facility will produce around one million tons of arisings - including half a million tons of concrete – during the 12 month project duration. The majority of that concrete will be broken out by the Rammer hammer, which is mounted on a demolition specification Komatsu PC450 excavator. The steel will be removed from the site for recycling and reuse while the half million tonnes of concrete will be crushed, processed and retained on site for use in the construction of the new business park.
According the Brown & Mason’s Nick Brown: “Industrial demolition is where we excel. There are lots of companies out there that can demolish a house or an office block. But there are very few that can do what we do.” With its expertise in industrial demolition, the company’s equipment fleet is suitably robust, a fact highlighted by its purchase of a new Rammer 5011 hydraulic hammer, one of the first of its kind in the UK. The new model benefits from a new operating principle that allows the 5011 to be purpose-matched to individual applications and materials using a simple working mode selector located on the breaker. Brown & Mason is utilising a high energy mode to provide a lower blow frequency for optimum breaking power in the site’s heavily reinforced concrete. “We have tried other brands of hydraulic hammer but Rammer is the only one tough and powerful enough to withstand the type of contracts in which we’re involved,” Brown explains. “All of our equipment has to be exceptionally robust, durable and reliable. On a programme like this, we can’t afford breakdowns and delays. That is why we stuck with the Rammer brand.”