Low disturbance and rapid removal of concrete walls

Posted by Ryan Leech at  RockZone Blog
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The Challenge:  Along a vital waterway managed by the USACE (United States Army Corps of Engineers) a customer needed to remove several sections of 4-ft thick x 8-ft high concrete walls.  Concrete was unreinforced with a compressive strength of 4000-psi ( 27.5 MPa). Vibrations needed to be kept to a minimum to ensure no disturbance to adjacent structures. Access was limited to an earthen bench about 25-ft away on the opposite side of  a cut. Hydraulic hammers would cause too much disturbance via vibrations and shock waves and were not permitted plus they did not have the capability to provided the desired profiled finished surface. How best to remove these ?

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The Solution:  In consultation with Rockwheel Americas a model D20 Rockwheel (95hp) rock and concrete drum cutter was selected to be installed on a CAT320EL excavator. The Rockwheel was in-stock and ready to go thanks to Rockwheel Americas extensive inventory and national rental fleet. We advised the excavator technician on setting hydraulic flow and pressure for optimal performance. It is always worth the time on the front-end to get the auxilliary hydraulics dialed in so drum speed (rpm) and torque suit the task while making sure multi-functionality on the excavator is not compromised. The Rockwheel installation was  "plug and play" thanks to clean hose routing that matches that of the excavator hydraulic lines. No case drain line required and no long hoses crossing the stick.

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Performance:  The customer was very pleased with the performance and expects to speed up the process as the operator becomes increasingly skilled with the Rockwheel. The high torque Rockwheel rotary drum cutter was the ideal solution.  Smooth and continuous concrete grinding was rapid and precise.  Moreover, after two 34-yd3 sections of the wall were removed the customer remarked: "teeth wear is virtually zero right now, tips look great after 2 monoliths".  High quality carbide conical teeth are always in-stock and can be overnighted anywhere in the country but we recommend keeping a few sets on the job at all times.  Clean up was easy thanks to a cutting by-product typically 2" or less in size.  Compare this to the blocky remains after hammering which are difficult to haul and dispose.

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The base of the cut was smooth and flat, ready for the next phase of the job.It's cliche but its all about "the right tool for the job". Excavator mounted rock and concrete grinders are one of the fastest growing attachments on the market. No longer a tool for mining and underground construction, these are a versatile attachments that should have a place in every serious contractors toolkit. Add one to your arsenal.    Rockwheel is the original rotary cutter...get only the best.