A Breakdown of Concrete Demolition Equipment
When most people think of demolition, they might picture wrecking balls and TNT. While these may make great movie scenes, not all demolition is as cinematic. Concrete demolition uses a variety of specialized power equipment to get the job done.
Types of Concrete Demolition Equipment
Demolition robots are remote-controlled machines used in the concrete demolition process. They provide a quicker, easier, and safer way for breaking up concrete. But, with such a specialized tool comes a hefty price tag. These robots can range in price anywhere from $165,000 to $220,000 and up.
In some projects, demolition robots simply aren’t enough. The complexity of certain structures requires additional aid. Excavator attachments are external tools that attach to the head of the machine. They function as a specialized extension to access harder-to-reach areas. There are various different kinds of attachments, each with its own purpose.
Hydraulic breakers are primarily used to reduce shock loads and vibrations. With a large hammer built in the center, hydraulic breakers function much like jackhammers. They are able to powerfully strike the concrete while keeping less stress on the machine. Some have monobloc designs that protect against linkage strain due to repetitive use. Most breakers are fit onto skid-steers, excavators, backhoes, and track loaders for transportation.
Many say concrete crushers resemble a large mouth with jagged teeth. And in some ways, they function rather similarly. These demolition tools have a very powerful set of jaws that can break down dense concrete structures. Concrete crushers focus on the separation between the concrete and the steel bars. They are used for both primary and secondary demolitions.
Multi-Jaw Demolition Tool
Multi-Jaw demolition tools are modified concrete crushes. Instead of having a top and bottom set of “teeth”, they have 3. One set sits at the top and the other two are on the bottom. The extra set allows the machines to demolish more concrete, quicker.
In some projects, the goal is not so much to crush concrete, but rather to cut it instead. Cutting concrete is a more precise process than demolishing. Concrete cutters are attachments that can cut through both steel and concrete. Cutters of this type are used in primary and secondary demolitions sites. The attachment can rotate 360 degrees to reach any angle. For tougher projects, they can come with hydraulic cylinders which used pressurized fluid to generate more force.
Rotary Drum Cutters
Rotary drum cutters are similar to concrete cutters in that they both aid in the cutting process. But the method in which they cut concrete differs. While concrete cutters function like scissors, rotary drum cutters act more like a pizza cutter. They have a set of wheels with sharp metal spikes that spin at thousands of RPMs. The speed and power of these tools help to cut through dense slabs.
After concrete demolition comes concrete removal. Often the burden of cleaning the concrete falls on the demolishing company. Moving large, heavy chunks of concrete can be both difficult and costly. To efficiently clear the demolition debris, most companies use a specialized set of tools.
One of the more challenging aspects of removal is dealing with the weight of the concrete debris. Multi Grapples are likened to giant versions of the claws in the arcade claw games. To use them, they attach to demolition robots or other construction equipment. This way they can be steered and directed to the area of clean up.
Skid loaders are another essential tool for concrete removal. They act much like large, driveable shovels. When choosing the right skid loader for your project, consider the estimated weight of the rubble. Skid loaders come in different sized frames, each equipped to handle only a certain amount of weight. Many models range from small, holding up to 1,750 lbs, to large, holding up to 2,200 lbs.
Additional Costs to Removing Concrete
In addition to the costs associated with the concrete removal machines, there are added expenses to account for. Aside from the actual machine price, the maintenance of the machinery, as well as the labor, are to be considered. Machine upkeep like cleaning and tuning must be kept up to date for safety purposes. In terms of human labor, ensuring that payments are up to labor and union standards is important.
Other Methods of Concrete Demolition
The Traditional Ball and Chain Method
While there have been major advances in machine technology, some projects still use traditional tools. The ball and chain method has stood this test of time. The process is simple. A roughly 14,000-pound wrecking ball is swung from a crane to tear down a large structure. This method is often used in conjunction with other more modern processes.
For smaller projects, jackhammers are a useful aid. These handheld tools are both far less powerful and expensive than demolition robots. For this reason, jackhammers are an excellent, price-conscious tool for smaller needs. Additionally, because they’re smaller, they’re used in areas when large machinery would be a hindrance. This is why often jackhammers are used to break up roads in trafficked areas.
In a push for a more sustainable practice, many job sites have been recycling concrete. The crushed debris, known as recycled aggregate, can be used again in other projects. Oftentimes they are used as the base for new roads, parking lots, and driveways. Additionally, if any project needs a sort of filler, these little crumbles are perfect for the job.
Recycling concrete reduces both waste and landfill costs. It helps avoid adding excess materials to waste sites. Additionally, it helps save money in purchasing new materials. Because recycled concrete comes at a lower cost, the overall expenses of the project are reduced.
Any major construction project will require some sort of concrete demolition and/or removal. To exude max efficiency, having the right tools and equipment is key. Demolition robots, concrete cutters, excavation attachments, and removal tools are just a few of the necessary machines to consider using. However, because these tools can run a hefty price tag, renting can be a better option. A-Core concrete specialists have been at the forefront of concrete work in Utah since 1974. We offer experts advice, equipment rentals, and concrete removal and demolition services ready to aid you in any project. If you’re ready to work with the best in the business, call us today.