Sunday, March 3, 2024

Demolisher – part I – What are its functions, uses and new technologies applied

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If we have ever faced heavy tasks such as, for example, breaking the cement in our patio to plant grass, removing old tiles to install a new floor, or making a channel in a wall to hide the laying of cables or pipes, we will have A hammer, chisel or pick is proven to be by far the least suitable tools.

Today we have much more powerful machines that perform these and a wide variety of other jobs quickly, comfortably and safely. Some were already presented in previous articles, such as the hammer drill and the rotary hammer. Although these two terms can be confusing and used interchangeably (we explain the differences here), the concept of Demolition Hammer (Or simply “demolition Man«), The tool that this article is about, is very different because it basically does not refer to a drill.

Operation of a demolition hammer

A demolition Man it is a non-rotating derivative of the rotary hammer. While the latter has multiple modes and functions for drilling and breaking materials, the Demolisher offers a single designated operating mode for chipping and breaking those materials. when you don’t need to drill holes.

Most modern wreckers use technology electropneumatic, where an electric motor inside the tool moves a piston compressing an air cavity, creating an impact on a chisel attached to the tool. The movement of the chisel generates a hammering effect on the surface to be broken.

So what Demolishers lack in versatility, they make up for with their extraordinary hitting ability, being 35% more powerful than Demolishers. rotary hammers. This is due to the fewer parts they contain and sometimes a longer piston stroke, making them a faster and more efficient means of demolishing cement, asphalt, clay, stone, brick or masonry. .

Demolition Hammer Technologies

The first demolitioners were of the pneumatic type and arose in the 19th century to meet the needs of mining, quarrying, excavation and tunnel construction. From then to the present, technology has advanced to place various types of demolition hammers on the market, from models mounted on large machines to portable ones, all of which we present in the following graph.

Demolition Hammer Table I

Of all these types of wreckers, it is clear that the one that best suits the needs and budget of most professional users (e.g. general builders, floor and cladding installers, plumbers, electricians, gasmen, and even DIY enthusiasts) is the electric demolition hammer.

In addition to offering a diversity of designs, the electric models allow the option between wired or wireless battery-powered versions, covering all user requirements in terms of power, weight, number of strokes per minute, energy consumption. and noise and vibration levels.

Parts and accessories of an electric demolition hammer

In the figure below we see an example of a wired demolition hammer, showing its main parts.

Demolition Hammer

Demolition Hammer

  1. Dust protection
  2. Lock bush
  3. Chisel lock
  4. Additional “D” handle
  5. ON / OFF switch locking device
  6. ON / OFF switch
  7. “D” handle

The tools used in a demolition hammer are essentially the same cutting tools as rotary hammers and with the same chucks and inserts. Manufacturers typically include at least one type of chisel in the demolition hammer case, usually the pointed chisel. However, depending on his needs, the user can purchase and use other chisels.

The technical characteristics of this type of demolition vary according to the manufacturer, but a typical tool will have approximately the following ranges:

Demolition hammer II table

Demolition hammer II table

How to use a demolition hammer

The use of a heavy, vibrating, noisy and high destructive power tool such as a Demolition Hammer It requires a series of measures that we must abide by to guarantee not only our safety, but also the efficiency of the work and the maximum use and durability of the tool. Let’s look at some of the most important ones.

Safety precautions

  • Gloves make it easier to grip the tool, as its weight and the constant tapping motion can make our hands slide off the handles.
  • A helmet protects the head from possible falling debris, especially when walls are demolished.
  • Steel-toed work boots keep feet protected in case the tool is dropped or debris slides down our bodies.
  • Safety glasses keep the eyes protected from airborne particles, and a dust mask prevents them from entering the lungs.

Correct choice of chisel

  • The wreckers They generally use SDS inserts, which allow them to be slid in a simple way without having to tighten the chuck. If our demolition does not have that socket, a hexagonal chisel will be suitable.
  • The choice of chisels can drastically affect their efficiency when working with a particular material. For example:
    • Wide-bladed chisels are better able to tear off large chunks of masonry, for example when a wall is being demolished.
    • Narrow-bladed chisels, meanwhile, can chip smaller sections.
    • Electricians, for example, use small chisels to cut gutters in concrete, while pointed chisels can easily split rocks.
    • Before using a chisel we must carefully evaluate the work area to achieve the best results in the shortest possible time.

Planning the angle of attack

  • In general, a 90 degree angle of attack can effectively break through many materials. This also prevents slippage, because the demolition hammer frequently causes the chisel to jump inadvertently.
  • When working on a floor it is a good idea to start from the edge, as this can better control debris.
  • To demolish walls, it is preferable to start in the middle and work your way down, so as to let the wall collapse under its own weight.
  • For better breaking power we must apply firm pressure to the tool, since the mere fact of holding it in our hands does not guarantee the required power. For this, it is convenient to use short impacts, from 10 to 20 seconds, and then choose a new angle of attack.
  • When the tool heats up, let the chisel cool down to avoid premature damage to the tool.

New trends for electric demolition hammers

One of the biggest challenges manufacturers of electric demolition is to equate its power with that of its pneumatic pairs. In recent years, however, electric demolition devices have appeared on the market equipped with new brushless motors that not only highlight a power very close to or equal to that of the pneumatic wrecks, but are also capable of offering up to 50% longer uptime, with increased speed and tool life.

For its part, the inconvenience of vibration and the generation of dust, with its harmful effects on the health of the operator, is being addressed through the design of various active vibration control mechanisms, together with dust extraction systems that many manufacturers already have incorporated their models. This is complemented by the good grip of the tool, which is another factor that is being refined through the design of ergonomic handles made of rubber and other synthetic materials.

Traditionally, wireless models have always been less powerful and less durable than wired ones. However, with lithium battery technology in full swing, it is very possible that this situation will be reversed in the short term.

In the next article we will detail a series of considerations that we must take into account when we are planning to acquire or rent a Demolition Hammer, which will allow us to make a choice capable of satisfying our budget and requirements.

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