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2020 / 2021 Edition

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AR Demolition innovate with explosives at Croft Quarry

AR Demolition use innovative explosives technology at Croft Quarry

Company successfully dismantles fixed screening plant with cutting-edge explosives technology

SPECIALIST contractors AR Demolition have used military-grade hypersonic ‘kick and cut’ charges to bring down a large screen house at Aggregate Industries’ Croft Quarry, in Leicestershire.

Continuing their track record for utilizing pioneering technologies, Richard Dolman, chief executive officer of AR Demolition, believes the project is the first time such a detonation system has been used in the UK demolition sector and without the normal pre-weakening activity usually required to tear down a structure.

East Midlands-based AR Demolition have been working at Croft Quarry since the start of the year after being contracted to carry out decommissioning by AI. 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.

Mr Dolman believes the cutting-edge ‘kicking and cutting’ technique will revolutionize safety in the demolition sector whilst minimizing danger to on-site personnel. Designed by Wiltshire-based Alford Technologies, the innovative denotation technology brings together two forms of explosive charge.

Mr 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.

‘Alford Technologies have been working on these theories for a long time but, until now, there has been typical reticence in our industry to adopt new technologies. So, I’m pleased to have been able to put the ideas into practice and find new ways of increasing safety in our sector. It was our first opportunity to test the technology and we have learned lessons along the way. We’re now looking forward to using the method on future projects.’

The new working relationship with Alford Technologies, based in Trowbridge, is the latest demonstration of AR Demolition’s mission to bring pioneering change to the sector.

Roland Alford, managing director of Alford Technologies, said: ‘We are proud to have worked alongside such an innovative contractor to have brought this technology into practical, commercial usage. And we look forward to working with AR Demolition on future projects.

‘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.’

Watch a short video of the demolition blast below:

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