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Demolition firm AR Demolition has used “military grade” explosives to bring down structures at a Leicestershire quarry.
The firm used hypersonic “kick and cut” charges to bring
down a large screen house at Croft Quarry.
Richard Dolman, CEO of AR Demolition, said he believed the
project is the first time such charges have been used in the demolition
industry, without the normal pre-weakening activity usually needed to bring a
Designed by Wiltshire experts Alford Technologies, the
kicking and cutting technique brings together two forms of explosive charge.
Roland Alford, managing director and son of the company’s
founder and chairman Dr Sidney Alford, said: “We used our Dioplex charges to
make a hypersonic blade which cuts through steel like butter, eliminating the
need to burn and weaken steel beams.
“When combined with the Wallhammer kicking charge to remove
the columns, the speed of these military grade munitions means they are
relatively easy to control.
“Without the need to use human beings on weakening work,
safety is greatly increased. If necessary, the charges can be placed by robots
thereby removing the human element completely.”
Dolman said: ““No one has used this technology in UK
demolition before. It was a project which has taken considerable forethought
and planning and we are delighted with the results.
“It’s a major stepping stone for us and, in my view, a huge
moment for our industry. The fact that you can bring down buildings by severing
steel without pre-weakening is a landmark moment.
“Alford Technologies have been working on these theories for
a long time but, until now, there has been typical reticence in our industry to
adopt new technologies.
“So I’m pleased to have been able to put the ideas into
practice and find new ways of increasing safety in our sector.”
AR Demolition, which is based in Carlton near Market
Bosworth, has been working at Croft Quarry since the start of the year after
being contracted to complete decommissioning demolition by site owners
The explosives work was part of a joint project to demolish
the 1,200-tonne screen house as well as 150 metres of conveyor belts at the
bottom of the quarry pit.