When most people think of demolition, the image of a building imploding through the use of explosives may come to mind. However, only 1% of demolition work is actually done through those techniques.
Several more modern and popular solutions are significantly easier to control and pose less of a hazard, a major option being hydrodemolition. This works by using a highly targeted hydroblast of pressurised water to cut through concrete, a concept that appears to defy logic, but works incredibly well. The key benefits of hydroblasting include the following.
Blasting through concrete using water is, surprisingly, one of the most effective methods for cutting highly accurate lines. Depending on the equipment used, settings can be controlled very precisely to get the desired result, and only a defined area will be affected.
Removes weakened concrete
Although hydroblast equipment will not damage concrete outside of the specified area, it does remove any weak or loose concrete in the direct firing line, which most demolition methods would fail to address. This leaves behind a rough but extremely strong surface.
No chemicals required
Water is the only material required for hydrodemolition, and it is not necessary to use any potentially toxic or abrasive chemicals at any point in the process.
Since no chemicals are used, there are no fumes or pollution directly caused by hydroblasting. The water mixes with the concrete to form a slurry, but this can be processed to extract and recycle the water.
Since there is very little effect on the surrounding area when using hydrodemolition, it can be used in a relatively small, indoor space as well as externally without much clean-up.
Training is quick and simple
It only takes one day to be trained on the basics of hydroblasting, and up to three days for using more advanced tools. Experience helps to improve efficiency, but the basic training does not require significant investment.
The process can be automated
In order to make training and execution even simpler, a lot of hydrodemolition is handled by robotics which feature relatively straightforward controls. This means the required water pressure, flow and other factors can be automatically calculated rather than relying on the judgement of an operator.
Low safety risk
Since the concrete being demolished is broken down into very small pieces and water is the only other material involved, safety risks when conducting hydroblasting are relatively low. Although specific precautions are still needed, most alternative methods are significantly more dangerous.