Fitting the bit to the job
By JEFF KEELINGConcrete Construction Demolition
Maximize concrete demolition efficiency by using the right bit.
Selecting the right tool for the job is the key to minimizing effort and maximizing efficiency in concrete demolition applications. Working with a remote-controlled demolition machine is one way to take safety and productivity to a next level, but tool selection is a major factor in getting the most from your machines.
The wrong tool selection, on the other hand, can slow down productivity or leave behind unsatisfactory results. Knowing the difference leads to huge advantages in an increasingly competitive field. Here are some tips for selecting the right tool to maximize breaking potential.
The moil point tool is the most common bit found on jobsites. The pencil-tip design focuses the entire force of the hammer and carrier in a 1/4-inch point, which limits vibrations, making it perfect for indoor applications and other situations where vibrations are unacceptable.
Good precision and control make it ideal for breaking hard concrete reinforced with rebar in applications such as walls, footings, floors, foundations or machine bases. However, it doesn’t provide the level of precision necessary for fine detail work.
The cone-shaped head can also get stuck as dust may lodge it in place. Avoid this by paying special attention to the running time of the hammer. Don’t run for more than 20 seconds in the same spot without noticeable results.
The moil point has several variations that offer further efficiency in certain situations. A pyramidal moil point, also known as a “nail head,” provides minor torsion and a wedge effect in four directions, making it a better dividing tool. The shape also keeps the nail head from getting stuck as much.
Operators often rely on the cone-shaped moil rather than a tool more appropriate for the job. Carefully consider all aspects of the job before automatically selecting this tool.
A chisel tool provides strong torsion and good penetration, resulting in the best splitting action. It’s ideal for trimming applications, including floors, walls and foundations, as well as demolishing reinforced columns, supports and blocks. Select a chisel for cleaning up between rebar on the edge of a slab to ensure an ideal bonding surface for pouring concrete. The chisel also offers the best precision for fine detail work.
The blunt tool’s flat face delivers a wider area of impact when breaking slab concrete, making it ideal for floors, steel beams encased in concrete, recycling and certain roadwork applications. What it lacks in precision, it makes up for in destructive power. Distributing energy across the entire face covers a significantly larger surface area than pointed tools and greatly increases overall efficiency. This tool produces heavy vibrations, which limits its use in applications like indoor and top-down demolition, and some road and bridge repair.
For maximum destructive power, the slab buster, or “elephant foot,” is the go-to tool. Shaped like a bell, it distributes energy over a surface area three times its size, doubling production of both slab and on-grade demolition. However, vibrations and very little precision can limit applications.
Jeff Keeling is the vice-president of sales and marketing for Brokk Inc.