Feature – Searching for the big break

25 March 2020

Attachments from manufacturer Epiroc were provided for the demolition of a wastewater treatment plant in the United Kingdom.

IJ Lynn & Sons, a drainage and earthworks contractor in Northern Ireland, used Epiroc’s MG 1500 multi grapple and MB 1650 breaker for the works, which included the breaking down of water tanks.

MG 1500 moving demolition waste

Epiroc’s MG 1500 R multi grapple was recently supplied with an MB 1650 breaker for a wastewater plant demolition project

Ivan Lynn of IJ Lynn & Sons said: “We have been using the new breaker and grapple to demolish a wastewater treatment plant and then remove the waste from the site.

“I’ve been particularly impressed with the MG 1500 R – the rotation unit on the grab makes it so much faster and more flexible than our old grab.”

The MG 1500, which was supplied with the MG 1650 by dealer WAC McCandless (Engineers), was also used during the building’s dismantling to sort hardcore from other materials.

According to Epiroc, IJ Lynn’s decision to use the MG 1500 and MB 1650 on the project was based on the company’s previous experience with the brand’s Solid Body breakers. The contractor acquired the SB 152 model in 2017.

On the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, work is being carried out on a new section of the GC-2 motorway in the northwest of the island. The new section, from El Risco to Agaete, requires the construction of 8 km (five miles) of safe fast road on complicated terrain. For the difficult excavation work required, the subcontractor Perforaciones Trujillo is using Epiroc HB 4100 hydraulic hammers mounted on crawler excavators.

Manager Ignacio Trujillo and the director Juan Monagas said that Epiroc hammers represent the best option for the work, thanks to the saving in time and cost that they offer, as well as the total cost of ownership of the equipment.

The new stretch of motorway, which replaces the old GC-200 regional motorway, will include eight tunnels, two viaducts and three junctions. The tunnels alone total of almost 5.5 km (3.4 miles). The subcontractor faces a complex situation as the project is on a mountainous terrain with numerous ravines and cliffs. For locals, the new motorway is welcome, since the old route was dangerous and experienced constant landslides that often left the village of La Aldea cut off from the rest of the island.

Low operating costs

According to the Perforaciones Trujillo’s technical director, Jacinto González, the best feature of the Epiroc HB breaker is its performance which, in turn, allows high levels of productivity to be achieved. He also points out that its high availability and long service life allow for low operating costs.

The Epiroc HB range of hydraulic breakers offers nine models that are suitable for carrier machines from 22 to 140 t. The exclusive intelligent protection system (IPS) – which combines the well-known Epiroc AutoControl and StartSelect functions – automatically adapts the behaviour of the hammer to any working condition.

The IPS system allows the hammer to be positioned more quickly and accurately, thanks to the centring effect, as well as preventing the occurrence of blank firing that can cause damage to the tool. The uptime of the equipment is said to increases due to the IPS system does not require any type of intervention on behalf of an operator, meaning that there is no interruption of the work process.

Epiroc HB breakers also incorporate the Contilube II automatic greasing system, the PowerAdapt pressure control valve that offers maximum equipment protection, the Vibrosilenced Plus system that reduces noise and vibration levels, recovering energy to increase the efficiency of the equipment, and the DustProtector II protection system to prevent against the ingress of dust.

Green Attachments’ hydraulic breaker was in action when a Finnish demolition company, Purkupiha, tore down huge the Merihalli site in Hernesaari, Finland.

Green Attachments products at demolition site, Helsinki, Finland

Finnish demolition contractor Purkupiha turned to Green Attachments for a challenging job in the centre of Helsinki

Purkupiha has long history in demolition but still this was quite a challenge. The area of Merihalli is greater than that of four football pitches and is in the city centre of Helsinki.

It was built between 1970 and 1990 and it was very important to carry out the demolition in a certain order, said Santeri Karell from Purkupiha.

Another big issue was the transportation of material, with 90% of all material being recycled. All concrete was pulverised immediately on the job site, with a recycling rate of 95%, half of the metal was recycled, wood and plastic was delivered to power plant and burned, roof material was sent to recycling plant and used to asphalt production, and more than 100,000 t of material was handled in total.

Green said the fully hydraulically operated Red 025 breaker is very reliable and efficient hammer for demolition applications.

Movement of tool is achieved by the hydraulic oil pressure on the piston head and speeded up by the oil and gas load of the accumulator on the top of the piston.

Red breakers are said to be a reliable choice for demolition contractors due to minimum service and strength.

In April 2019, the well-known company Costruttori, which specialises in the construction of tunnels, was awarded the contract for the execution of the construction works for the road SS 652 “Fondovalle Sangro” and again chose Promove hammers for this job.

The overall development of the work is 5,739 m (18, 828 ft), with 2,465 m (8,087 ft) of tunnels and viaducts for a total development of 1.2 km (three-quarters of a mile).

Reduced stresses

In the construction of the tunnel, the Promove XP3100 breaker was used at the front, with an average progress of 1 m (3 ft 3 in) every four hours for 16 hours a day on material consisting mainly of pelitic units such as marl and clay.

During the demolition phase in the shell, the most delicate phase, when the breaker works in an almost vertical position, the hammer is heavily stressed but thanks to the combined gas and oil technology, the XP3100 Promove significantly reduces the stresses transmitted to the excavator and the impact force of the piston is not affected by the “unnatural” position of use of the hammer.

The Promove breaker for these special applications is set up with a compressed air system and dust cover on the tool to prevent dust and debris from entering the hammer, which would reach the piston and damage it irreparably.

Promove said that once again the choice of the its breaker has proven to be strategic for reliability and productivity, now distinctive characteristics of a leading company in the demolition equipment sector.

IMI hydraulic breakers from Idromeccanica

IMI hydraulic breakers from Idromeccanica serve a range of applications including concrete demolition

Idromeccanica’s range of IMI hydraulic breakers is suited to the newest machines up to 50 t equipped with pressurised oil plants. They are used for several applications such as standard excavations, foundations, demolition of concrete works, quarrying, tunnel excavation and for many other jobs as well as being able to work underwater according to the needs of customers.

For urban agglomerates, “silenced” versions are also available. Breakers can also be equipped with the automatic greasing device which is simply bolted onto the casing and works without an oil plant but only with the vibration of the breaker itself. Idromeccanica also manufactures top brackets or quick hitches to fit any machine.

At Idromeccanica there is a range of hydraulic plate compactors/pile drivers to suit machines up to 20 t. Compactors are usually used to compact excavation filling materials, consolidate slopes and prepare a solid base for road paving. Idromeccanica’s compactors are a two-in-one as they can also be used as pile drivers as the lower plate is bolted on and is therefore easily interchangeable. To complete primary and secondary demolition jobs, Idromeccanica offers a selection of hydraulic shears, crushers, selection grabs and buckets. Customers can also find replacement parts for the most well-known brands of breakers besides being able to manufacture any part upon drawings or samples.

Production model

United Kingdom-based design engineer Webster Technologies is set to introduce a hydraulic breaker which it says combines high performance and reduced environmental impact.

Webster Technologies Rockhit prototype hydraulic breaker

Webster Technologies prepares for a breakthrough with its Rockhit product

Funding from the UK government innovation agency together with significant self-funding has enabled the company to translate the idea through a working prototype to a production model ready for launch in its home country.

“Hydraulic breakers are a very important tool on job sites,” said business development manager Belinda Naylor.

“They’re a real work horse but very noisy. High productivity is paramount in helping achieve project budgets that are constantly under pressure – you only need to look at the financial challenges associated with delivering huge infrastructure projects like Hinkley Point and HS2.

“The Rockhit has more than three times the energy of a conventional breaker and doesn’t need to hit as frequently so the noise is much more tolerable. It also uses less fuel and does not need to be constantly greased.”

  • · Article first published in the March 2020 issue of Demolition & Recycling International
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