Best known for its range of rock wheels and slot cutters, attachment specialist Webster Equipment claims its latest breaker will be three times more productive than conventional hammers.
Webster Equipment director Ian Webster tells CN he has spent more than 15 years refining the design of the breaker that will attach to mini excavators. The company is currently trialing a 600 kg unit that fits on 8-tonne to 12-tonne excavators and delivers 4,500 joules of impact energy.
“To get that from a traditional breaker, the unit would weigh between 1,800 kg and two tonnes,” Mr Webster says. “It works out that we are getting seven joules of impact energy per kg – roughly three times the output of a conventional design.”
Design cuts noise and vibration levels
At one or two blows per second, the impact rate is much lower than a traditional design. But Mr Webster says productivity is much higher, as larger sections of material can be broken using his design.
Shock loadings passing back into the excavator’s structure and hydraulic system are said to be much lower than with a standard breaker design and the hydraulic oil does not get as hot.
“You can stand a glass of water on our breaker when it’s running”
Ian Webster, Webster Equipment
“Noise and vibration levels are also lower than with the traditional design,” he says. “You can stand a glass of water on our breaker when it’s running.”
While not divulging exactly how the system operates, he says gravity contributes to less than 10 per cent of the breakers energy, allowing it to be used horizontally or even when facing upwards.
Only a single acting feed is required and according to Mr Webster the breaker will operate with the excavator on tick-over so fuel consumption will be reduced, although this has yet to be quantified.
To reduce ‘blank firing’, the system will not prime the weight if the breaker’s tool is not pressed against a rock or other solid object. According to Mr Webster, the technology could also be applied to dipper-mounted crushers and piling rigs.
Four models by the end of the year
The design does not use the finely engineered clearances used in the traditional system, therefore the requirements are expected to be less demanding. These factors are predicted to lead to a reduction in maintenance costs for the excavator.
“The site manager reported considerable noise reduction and operators said it was more powerful”
Danny Hayes, Bramley Homes
One company that trialed the breaker is Bramley Homes, which used the tool for breaking out reinforced concrete. Bramley director Danny Hayes says: “The site manager reported considerable noise reduction and operators said the unit was much more powerful than the comparable breaker being used.”
Further demonstrations are being arranged for interested parties and the company expects to have production versions in four sizes (to suit mini, 7-tonne/backhoe loader, 12-tonne and 20-tonne excavators) available by the end of the year.