Brokk advises on bit selection to maximise efficiencyPublished 27/12, 2021 at 12:23
Minimising effort and maximizing efficiency on any job requires the right tool. For concrete demolition contractors determining which machine provides the optimal power to weight ratio for the task at hand should be the first consideration.
Many options are available, but remote controlled demolition machines are proving successful for innovative contractors. These machines provide the power, versatility and efficiency to master a number of applications, especially in congested urban areas such as indoor and top-down demolition.
The important decisions don’t stop with the carrier though. Bit selection also has a significant impact on demolition efficiency. Identifying the right bit for the task at hand can increase efficiency, while a mismatch can slow down productivity or leave behind unsatisfactory results. Knowing the difference gives savvy contractors a huge advantage in an increasingly competitive field. A toolbox full of bits isn’t necessary for every concrete demolition contractor though, as it all depends on application.
Every contractor’s friend – moil point
The most common bit found on jobsites is the moil point. It’s shaped like a pencil and is ideal for breaking hard concrete reinforced with rebar. It is an optimal choice for situations where vibrations are unacceptable. The moil point is the everyday workhorse of concrete demolition, providing high efficiency and reliability, leading to it being the standard bit for most new breakers, providing good levels of control. Operators can demolish around rebar with precision and efficiency for applications such as walls, footings, floors foundations or machine bases. However, it does not provide the level of precision necessary for fine detail work. A lack of knowledge often leaves operators stuck with the traditional cone-shaped moil, but there are several variations of the moil point that offer further efficiency in certain situations. A pyramidal moil point provides minor torsion and a wedge effect in four directions, making it more efficient as a dividing tool than a conical moil. This is especially true for larger diameter tools.
A chisel tool looks similar to a flat head screwdriver and is available in standard and wide widths. The chisel provides strong torsion and good penetration, resulting in the best splitting action. It is ideal for trimming applications, including floors, walls and foundations, as well as demolishing reinforced columns, supports and blocks. For example, the chisel can be used to clean up between rebar on the edge of a slab to ensure an ideal bonding surface for pouring concrete. This tool also offers the best precision for fine detail work, allowing operators to remove a little concrete at a time, such as shaving down high points or blowouts from slurry walls.
This tool features a flat face with more surface area to deliver a wider area of impact when breaking slab concrete. The blunt tool is ideal for floors, recycling steel beams encased in concrete and certain roadwork applications. The blunt tool makes up for a lack in precision with greatly increased destructive power. Energy is distributed across the whole face of the tool, covering a significantly larger surface area than moil and chisel bits for maximum breaking efficiency. Working with a blunt tool produces additional vibrations. This limits its use in certain situations like indoor and top-down demolition and some road and bridge repair applications.
When a project calls for maximum destructive power, the slab buster, or ‘elephant foot’, is the ideal choice. Like the blunt tool, it uses a wider surface area and can double production of both slab and on grade demolition. The slab buster is shaped like a bell and distributes energy over a surface area three times its size. The slab buster also creates powerful vibrations and provides very little precision, so it is not ideal for every situation.
What’s in your toolbox?
Brokk believes that when it comes to increasing efficiency in concrete demolition, a little forethought and the right tool for the job can go a long way. Expertly selecting a bit based on project needs can speed up production, leaving crews free to move on to the next job that much sooner.