Serious London cutting from Dymatec

Published 10/10 at 15:58

Two of the UK’s biggest players in the diamond drilling and concrete have recently removed a 4,000m3 slab of concrete from a building in London. This took 14 months, involved 10,000t of concrete and 1,000 diamond blades and cores.

A serious job for two serious players

The Grosvenor Place demolition project was located a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace in London. The project involved the removal of a basement slab of a five storey building in one of the most prestigious addresses in the capital so as to allow for additional below ground construction to convert a property into a brand new private hospital. 

This was no easy task, especially given the thickness of the concrete, and the need to retain the majority of the slab to support the building.  Undertaking this significant challenge saw two of the UK’s leading players in the diamond drilling and concrete cutting industries, Dymatec and London Diamond Drilling, combine forces.  Dymatec, a supplier and manufacturer of diamond consumables, was retained as the exclusive supplier to the contractor London Diamond Drilling, advising on, and providing, all the blades and cores needed to complete the works., 

 

Extremely hard concrete

The project plan was to remove an 8m wide section around the entire perimeter of the basement slab. The perimeter had to be removed in sections to allow for the construction of steel structural support needed to hold up the main facade, which was to remain intact. 8m of concrete at a time was removed, with the concrete slab varying in thickness from 1m to 3.5m, with a significant quantity of 32mm rebar throughout. 

As well as being a significant quantity to remove, 4,000m3 in total, the concrete was also extremely hard as it was packed with dense black flint. This meant that only the fastest diamond cores and blades would be able to power through it.  To tackle this tough, unrelenting concrete, Dymatec recommended the SDF P20 diamond blade and supplied over 70 of these blades in varying sizes during the project. This powerful high performing blade, manufactured solely by Dymatec, was the only solution to combat the challenging concrete. 

The plan was to tracksaw the entire perimeter up to 1.1m deep, and cross cuts into sections. However, this was only possible where the concrete was shallow enough. Anything deeper than 1m had to be stitch drilled. To facilitate this process, Dymatec supplied over 900 Turbo S cores. Once the perimeter of the concrete slab had been removed, the slab was peppered with 212mm diameter holes so it could be broken up using an 8” hydraulic burster. Only when this was complete could a team come in and break up the slab using Brokk 500 and 260. 

 

A 14 month project

During the 14 months it took to cut and drill the basement slab, Dymatec was on site at least once a week, collecting used cores and blades, returning them to its UK headquarters to retip and repair, before delivering new and refurbished consumables back to the project. In addition, Dymatec’s sales manager David Hibbert visited the project once every two weeks, to ensure the products were performing as they should.  To ensure the works stayed on programme, and that tracksawing stayed ahead of the steelworks team, London Diamond Drilling was on site between 6 to 7 days every week during this demanding project.

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