An operator maneuvers a hydro-demolition robot at Discovery Parks, Campbell River. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

Watching a hydro-demolition process is like marvelling at what water can do at an extremely high pressure.

B.C. based cleaning firm, Walco Industries, brought along a couple of specialized robots to demonstrate the efficiency of hydro-blasting at the old Elk falls mill based inside Discovery Park in Campbell River.

For hydro-demolition, robots use high volumes of water at extremely high pressure – anywhere between 15,000 psi to 40,000 psi – to break apart concrete while still preserving the structural integrity of the remaining concrete.

At the site of demolition, a 20 by 20 feet wall structure was brought down by robots by making two vertical incisions in the wall, using 60 gallons of water per minute at 20,000 psi.

The water for the procedure came from hydrants on site where it was filtered before going through high pressure pumps. After being used on the concrete it is collected, pumped to a settling pond or moved by vacuum truck, and filtered/treated until clean.

Hydro-demolition is 10 times more faster than traditional methods that require jack hammers and environmentally safe as it reduces noise and dust pollution.

Moreover these methods would end up creating micro fractures in the structures during the process while at the same time leaving the operator with fatigue and hand-arm vibration syndrome, said Richard Lawson, project coordinator for Walco Industries.

The use of robotics eliminates these undesirable effects, he said.

Micro-fractures are avoided through a process called concrete scarification– a form of surface preparation where a concrete surface is ‘roughened’ up in order to provide an appropriate surface for fresh concrete to adhere to.

This technology is used on bridge decks, dams, water treatment facilities, piers docks and nuclear power plants among others.

“Hydro-demolition was a natural direction for the company as it is a highly efficient way to update any aging infrastructure. It is not just quicker but also cuts down on noise, dust and worker fatigue which allows for working in areas where noise is an issue and also where dust could be problematic,” said Lawson.

There are only two firms in Western Canada that has this technology and Walco industries is one of them. The firm is the only operator on Vancouver Island that has specialized robotics to carry out hydro-blasting, said Lawson.

ALSO IN NEWS : Petition opposed to supportive housing unit on Dogwood circulating

ALSO IN NEWS: Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane Janzen comes out swinging on the Chilliwack campaign trail

”I’m in this to provide Chilliwack with the strong representation that’s been missing for eight years’

Chilliwack man pleads guilty to violent assault of elderly man in Abbotsford

Victim, 85, attacked while waiting at bus stop in November 2019

Staff shortages plague Mission Institution following recovery from COVID-19 outbreak

Guards at 60% of workforce; inmates suffer daily with lockdown, mental health issues

Long-term planning for jewel known as Vedder Greenway starts with survey

It’s the most popular trail system in Chilliwack with a half million local and LM users each year

Westbound Highway 1 stall in Langley blocking left lane

Congestion starting at 264th Street, crews on scene

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Most Read