Cutterheads for Safe and Effective Scaling on Bridges and Dams

Posted by Ryan Leech at  RockZone Blog
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Cutterheads are used primarily for trenching, tunneling, and scaling applications. In scaling, the use of a cutterhead offers both a safe and effective method of scaling large structures like man-made bridges and dams. Through the use of a transverse cutter head, areas that are normally tough to access like bridge abutments and structural areas of dams can be rehabilitated effectively. Let's take a look at some of the cutter heads uses.

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More specifically, cutterheads use an impact angle placed between the tops of the bits on a cutter, or what we often refer to as “picks.” It is truly amazing how precise and delicate such a forceful piece of machinery can be.

The cutterhead has a very smooth action that is entirely free of any significant vibration, and has a relatively low amount of noise, especially for such a powerful machine. In application, the cutter head scales a surface, but its bits manage not to destroy or create additional structural problems, such as micro-cracks in the concrete.

Beyond the scaling of large structural masses, the cutterhead can, and is used for scaling debris after blasts. For instance, most often, an attachment is used to knock out chunks of concrete after any drilling and blasting is performed, which is just another example of how versatile a cutter head can be in terms of scaling objects of all sizes.


The performance of a cutter head is most synonymous with large structural operations, for instance, a municipal dam, or an interstate bridge. These are the jobs that a cutter head thrives on. In the process, the cutter head will operate at a relatively low speed, somewhere between 60 and 120 rpm. However, the machine's high amount of torque gives it incredible precision and effectiveness. Many cutter heads also have a big drum, which allows them to cover a large surface area when scaling a tall structure.D15 demo web2


Using a cutter head for scaling, it is especially crucial to keep the machine's maintenance up. Things like greasing the drum once or twice a day is critical to the performance of the machine when meeting the rigors of a scaling job. Drum greasing, along with daily gear oil, bolt, and hydraulic system checks will ensure that the cutter head is able to consistently scale and perform on the most challenging bridges and dams.