A real breakthrough

09 March 2016

Atlas Copco’s Rtex has reduced energy consumption of up to 50%

Atlas Copco’s Rtex has reduced energy consumption of up to 50%

With the Bauma show closing in on the construction world, companies are primed to launch new equipment, and such manufacturers are striving to build hydraulic breakers that can break quickly, smoothly and quietly.

One company who has launched equipment in this sector is Atlas Copco.

Its new handheld pneumatic breaker Rtex has reduced energy consumption of up to 50% compared to its previous models, whilst being 25% lighter.

The company has taken to new operating principles – constant pressure control, improved energy transfer within the breaker and the new Rhex power chisel – helping the Rtex achieve high efficiency. The Rtex has the breaking capacity of a 30+ kg breaker, using only half as much compressed air.

Olof Östensson, engineer at Atlas Copco, said, “In a conventional breaker, air is discharged each time the acting piston moves up or down. In the Rtex we discharge the air only once – on the piston´s return stroke.

“Then the constant pressure from a chamber on the top of the Rtex pushes the piston down. The pressure on top of the acting piston is constant and therefore does not generate vibrations as on conventional breakers, so there is no need for vibration damping.

“To achieve this, we moved the valve from the top of the breaker to the bottom – our new up-side-down concept.”

Another company who has launched a range of new breakers is US-based Caterpillar.

The company has ten new E-Series hammers - designed for use with mini excavators, skid-steer loaders and backhoe loaders - are available in both silenced and side-plate versions. Four sizes - H35, H45, H55 and H65 - are offered in two mounting configurations.

Silenced hammers, identified with "s" in the model designation, use an enclosed housing to suppress noise, a key feature in sensitive work environments and in small-machine applications in which the hammer is in close proximity to the operator. Non-silenced, side plate models are available for all four sizes.

Flat-top models allow versatility for installation on Caterpillar and equipment made by other manufacturers. Pin-on models are available for the H55E and H65E in applications that require a dedicated, hammer-equipped Cat machine.

Several features assure convenient installation, comfortable operation and long hammer life, explained the company. It said the hammers are designed and engineered to match auxiliary flows and pressures of the Cat machine. Plus, hydraulic ports are positioned for convenient installation. As soon as the hammer is plugged in, it is ready to perform.

Suspension system on the silenced models include buffers at the top and bottom to absorb reflective forces and isolate them from the machine. A suspension jack helps to dampen vibration and sound.

To protect the hammer from internal stress, an automatic shut-off can be activated. This instantly stops the piston when the hammer breaks through material which in turn protects the hammer from blank-firing.

These new E-Series hammers include 47% fewer parts than did their D-Series predecessors. This allows for quicker and easier servicing. When it comes to daily maintenance, a single grease point is conveniently located and easily accessed. Tool changes are accomplished with common hand tools.

Meanwhile, Sandvik has introduced four new Rammer branded breakers – three new small units and the 5011 heavy duty hammer.

The new small breakers are the 255, 355 and 455 that plug a gap in the company’s line up and are intended for carriers from 1.2 tonnes to 5.2 tonnes.

A key feature is the constant blow energy operating principle, which Sandvik said maximised productivity and profitability.

UK-based demolition company AR Demolition used a new 5011 for to clear the site of the former Northampton Chronicle newspaper offices in the English Midlands. The hammer was mounted on a Volvo EC460L hydraulic excavator, delivering a high power/low impact rate for the application of concrete breaking.

AR Demolition managing director Richard Dolman described the site as a “potential nightmare” in terms of the challenge of clearing heavily-concreted areas.

He said, “We are clearing the site in advance of the construction of a new store for a major supermarket chain and we cannot afford delays. So we chose a breaker that was as reliable as it is powerful.”

Sandvik also markets breakers under the Bretec brand, which is designed to be a mid-level range.

The latest additions to the C-series range are the M17C and L20C, which incorporate a number of new features and updates over the M17 and L20 models they replace.

Designed for carriers in the 15 tonne to 23 tonnes, and 20 tonnes to 29 tonnes weight classes, the M17C and L20C models boast operating weights of 1.2 tonnes and 1.6 tonnes respectively. Impact rates range from 280 to 760 blows per minute on the M17C, and from 390 to 700 blows per minute on the L20C.

Minimising the number of moving parts in the latest compact breaker models is another major trend – fewer moving parts should mean less maintenance and break-downs.

Atlas Copco also offers the MB and HB range of breakers, which include an advanced energy recovery system that captures piston recoil energy to increase performance without additional hydraulic input.

The two series also features the company’s Integrated StartSelect valve, which allows the operator to adjust the hydraulic breaker start-up behaviour according to the operating condition in a few simple steps. Meanwhile, the built-in PowerAdapt overload protection valve shuts off the breaker when operating pressure is not in line with specifications, protecting it from breakdowns.

Last year, the company also released its HB 4100 hydraulic breaker, which is a 4.1 tonne unit for 40 tonne to 70 tonnes carriers. It features a Vibrosilenced system that is designed to protect operators against noise and vibrations.

Its equipment has also proved popular within the rental market, with businesses such as German fleet sales and hire company M&V Veit Baumaschinen. It has bought 15 new SB series hydraulic breakers to add to its existing models.

Volvo Construction Equipment has added seven models to its HB range intended for use on carriers from 1 to 10 tonnes, and, in fact, offers a full line of hydraulic breakers – 18 models in total – for all applicable machines, ranging from 1.5 tonne compact excavators, skid steer loaders and backhoe loaders up to the 70 tonne EC700 excavators.

Jonas Staaf, director of attachments for Volvo CE in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) sales region, said, “Very few breaker manufacturers can claim that they are truly unique. Of course, there are some variations in features and specifications. Volvo breakers, for example, come with a good level of standard features, such as anti-blank firing, auto-lubrication, low noise hosing and variable speed. But at a high level most breakers are quite similar.

“At Volvo we have focused on building a productive and reliable beaker with good uptime that can also be considered cost effective globally.”

To ensure high reliability, Volvo breakers are subjected to thorough testing and must pass all Volvo quality requirements. This includes field testing of more than 30 breakers over several years to safeguard durability, as well as extensive testing in a laboratory environment to verify hydraulic compatibility with the machine to which it is attached.

Doosan Construction Equipment offers five hydraulic breakers – the DXB100H, DXB130H, DXB170H, DXB190H and DXB260H. These are for use on Doosan wheeled and crawler excavators from 14 to 38 tonnes.

All Bobcat-branded breakers feature a frame with a cylindrical design, providing improved access to jobs in confined areas. All breakers have silenced housing as standard.

At the larger end of the breaker scale, the latest unit from Dehaco’s Ibex range is for excavators weighing up to 46 tonnes.

A key feature is the advanced hydraulic circuit on the range, which provides increased flow to the valve and piston, resulting in faster cycle times, increased penetration and more productivity than previous models.

Dutch supplier Hydraram offers 14 breakers in its FX range intended for use on carriers from 0.8 to 100 tonnes, with tool weights from 100 kg for the FX-10 to 7,000 kg for the FX-800.

The company’s stated philosophy is to offer a complete breaker with all options at a low cost. As a result Hydraram breakers come as standard with a sound and vibration proofed housing, air connection for underwater operation and a connection for centralised lubrication. The range features only a few moving parts to provide increased reliability as well as easier and simplified maintenance.

These developments show that while hydraulic breakers have been around for 50 years or more, there is plenty of development going on into new models that are simpler to maintain, more reliable in operation, and in some cases have better performance through the capture of waste energy.

Chicago Pneumatic has unveiled its Red Hawk range of motor drills and breakers, with three options available. The company said the new range was suitable for roads, railways and drilling applications, providing users with a range of rugged and reliable breakers.

Gus Armbruster, manager for handheld tools at Chicago Pneumatic, said, “The Red Hawk range introduces new compact and portable solutions to CP’s portfolio of handheld pneumatic equipment, which are suitable for applications where users change location frequently.

“Equipped with a petrol-powered engine, instead of a conventional hose or power cable, the Red Hawk range provides users with the versatility and manoeuvrability ideal for busy or remote locations.”

The Red Hawk Road is the most powerful breaker in the new range, claiming to offer high impact energy and weighing 22 kg.

The range also includes the Red Hawk Drill, offering a combined drill and breaker, for light service applications such as rock splitting, fencing work and digging into hard or frozen ground.

An up and comer in the breakers sector is Impulse.

The company launched its range of products in 2012 and has since operated in Australia, South Africa, China, Italy and France. Impulse breakers use a monolith concept in their layout, and use just one tool brush instead of two.

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