AR Demoliton has used military-grade hypersonic “kick and cut” charges for the first time to cut down a large steel screen house at Croft Quarry.
Richard Dolman, CEO of AR Demolition, believes 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 structure down.
He believes the techniques can now revolutionise safety in the industry while minimising danger to on-site personnel.
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.”
AR Demolition was contracted to complete decommissioning demolition by site owners Aggregate Industries.
The explosives work was part of a joint project to demolish the 1,200-tonne screen house as well as 150m of conveyor belts at the bottom of the quarry pit.
Designed by Wiltshire experts Alford Technologies, the kicking and cutting technique brings together two forms of explosive charge.
The new relationship with Alford Technologies, based in Trowbridge, is the latest manifestation of AR Demolition’s mission to bring pioneering change to the sector.
Roland Alford, managing director and son of the firm’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.”