Epic demolition work for Epiroc in Germany

A demolition firm in Germany has made good use of hydraulic breakers from Epiroc.
Materials / November 30, 2023 1 minute Read
By Mike Woof
Hydraulic breakers from Epiroc have been used to carry out a bridge demolition project within a tight time schedule in Germany

A German demolition firm has employed 10 breakers from Epiroc so as to demolish an Autobahn bridge speedily and efficiently within a very tight time frame.

Using the 10 breakers mounted on crawler excavators the contractor, Mexner, was able to dismantle the A60/A63 north bridge in a single night closure.

Using 10 Volvo excavators, Mexner dismantled the Mainz South motorway interchange. Critical to completing the demolition in the shortest possible time was the reliability and power of the equipment employed.

The high volume of traffic using the motorway interchange, approximately 180,000 vehicles/day, posed a challenge for the project. This meant that it was necessary to complete the demolition of the bridge as quickly as possible. To minimise traffic disturbance, the demolition work was restricted to overnight working and there were also stipulations that there could be no damage to other carriageways.

The north bridge of the interchange had been built around 60 years ago and was no longer able to meet transport needs. Local demolition company Mexner is based in Bischofsheim and was awarded the contract by the German road firm Autobahn. Mexner had experience of working in the area as the company had previously demolished the south bridge of the Mainz South interchange in 2017, which has now been rebuilt. As a result of this earlier work, the company knew that the north bridge would also contain a high quantity of prestressed steel reinforcement. As a result, the firm was aware that it would require a large number of machines to handle the work within the overnight closure period.

After the demolition company had filled a drop bed to protect the roadways under the bridge, 10 excavators equipped with hydraulic hammers set to work on Friday evening and successfully completed the demolition of the bridge within the tightly scheduled time window. Work on the new bridge is now underway.

For the demolition of the North Bridge, the demolition company relied exclusively on hydraulic breakers from premium supplier Epiroc, whose regional distributor is Bischoff in Frankfurt am Main. From the HB 3100 to the HB 5800, all hammer sizes were in use. Managing director Thomas Mexner commented,"We have deconstructed many highway bridges in the past. When faced with such high concrete grades with strong reinforcement, the hydraulic breakers from Epiroc are ideally suited," Mexner says, explaining his choice of the combination of high performance and low operating costs that characterise the Epiroc hydraulic breakers.

Epiroc's heavyweight hydraulic breakers, the HB series, are specifically designed and engineered for primary demolition of massive reinforced concrete structures such as highways, primary rock excavation, and secondary crushing on construction sites and in quarries. The patented Intelligent Protection System (IPS) ensures accurate positioning and provides maximum idle protection by automatically adjusting the start-up and shut-down behavior during operation. This allows efficiency with minimum risk, even under difficult conditions. Overall performance is optimised by the integrated AutoControl system by automatically adjusting and matching impact energy and impact rate during operation.

So solid crew

Epiroc has now been using the Solid Body concept for its hydraulic breakers for 30 years. The firm was a pioneer of the lightweight Solid Body design, which offers various benefits compared to conventional hydraulic breakers with impact mechanism and separate casing.

The Solid Body concept uses a patented internal component design that integrates the percussion mechanism and the guide system into a single piece. This eliminates the weakest components of conventional breakers and ensures durability. Due to maintenance-free high-pressure accumulators, the firm’s SB breakers are said to offer extraordinary blow frequencies from 550-2,300bpm.

The Solid Body concept is slimmer compared to conventional hydraulic breakers of the same size, giving it a more compact design for better visibility and handling, allowing a smaller excavator, helping reduce carrier fuel consumption. Fewer parts also reduces maintenance requirements and helps boost reliability.

Solid Body hydraulic breakers are a reliable choice for demolishing light concrete structures and asphalt pavements. They are suitable for performing earthworks, post driving or scaling in underground operations. There are nine models in the range weighing from 55kg up to 1.06tonnes and the units are designed for carriers in weight classes up to 24tonnes.

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