Structural Beam Removal Using Hydrodemolition

Removing concrete from structural beams (while also saving the rebar) can take a lot of time, and time was of the essence.

There were two choices they could make.

Chipping: Old Labor-Intensive Method of the past

They had used chipping many times before. If they chipped away at the concrete the old fashioned way it could take up to three weeks. (Three LONG weeks when you’re a company that likes to finish ON TIME or early!) Also, with chipping there would be possible microcracking…not good since they wanted to retain the structural integrity and keep the rebar intact.   Unfortunately, chipping was known to bend the rebar. It also used 6-10 workers to get the job done.

Hydrodemolition:  Safer and More Efficient

If they used hydrodemolition there would be no microcracking and the rebar would be saved & uniformly exposed. There would be only two guys on the job and it would also take only ONE week to complete! The choice was made! They would use hydrodemolition using Aggregate Technologies Hydro’s bot!

The Hydro-Bot In Action:

ATI mobilized equipment to the site, set up, and began the hydrodemolition of the structural beams. The hydrodemolition process was started by blasting from the top of the beams to remove approximately 1′ through the beams. They then moved our Hydro-Bot to under the beams and by utilizing our tower sections, we were able to access the sides of the beams and underneath the beams to do complete removal of the concrete from the selected areas. All rebar was exposed while cleaning it at the same time. Both beams were completed within 1 week, a third of the time it would have taken using chipping. More time was saved by not having to straighten rebar that might have been bent or damaged from chipping.

Our hydrodemolition service with Hydro-Bot saved the client valuable time.

Chipping vs Hydrodemolition Method

(old-fashioned way)
(new way)
Estimated time 3 weeks 1 week
Causes Vibrations? Yes Minimal
Causes Microfractures? Yes No
Clean-cut/uniform lines? No Yes
Process cleans rebar as it’s cut? No Yes
Workers to complete project 6-10 2


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