“Sustainability” is the new buzzword that marketers attach to every product and service, but it does have a real meaning related to long-term efficiency and value.

Rampart Hydro’s demolition, surface cleaning, and water filtration services delivers sustainable benefits beyond our hydrocompetitors and traditional, mechanical impact methods.

Photo of Rampart Hydro Blaster in front of mountain

When a contractor can do more with less, everyone benefits: the customer, future generations of users, and, if it is public works project, both current and future taxpayers. For example, if you can give more–by, say, extending the useful life of an asset–with the same or less resource commitment then you’ve made a real contribution.

With only 50% of the water usage of our nearest competitors, our process is environmentally-friendly.

For infrastructure projects, many factors, like terrain and design, are outside of the control of contractors; however, they often may choose removal and rebuilding methods and techniques as well as certain specifications that affecting the asset’s operating life (and long-term value).

In that regard, one can assume that bridge repair, bridge rehabilitation, or road reconstruction has a single purpose: to cost-effectively extend the useful life of the public asset, where “useful life” means the number of years of safe operation.

So, what does that have to do with hydrodemolition?

The answer is “a lot!

Given the job’s location and terrain, when the quality of (1) design, (2) new materials and (3) reconstruction services are held constant, what matters is how the old or deteriorated materials and concrete are to be removed.

In particular, there are three major ways that hydrodemolition of reinforced concrete extends the life span of repaired or rehabilitated road or bridge or other structure:

  • The coincidental (and beneficial) removal of weak or delaminated concrete in adjacent areas during normal removal.
  • The reduction of collateral damage (to structurally-sound adjacent concrete and steel reinforcements due to bad strikes and vibrations).
  • The improved adhesion and bonding properties of the remaining, roughed aggregate structure.

In fact, these three benefits are hydrodemolition’s largest advantages over traditional, mechanical or impact methods that use jackhammers or rotomilling equipment and are detailed through our site; however, if you prefer to read about the benefits from an independent, industry group, we recommend ICRI Technical Guideline No. 310.3.

Coincidental & Beneficial Removal of Weakened, Adjacent Concrete

The above-mentioned ICRI guideline explains, with a proper bonding surface, failures usually occur in the substrate, rather than in the new surface or at the bond point. At ultra-high pressure, hydrodemolition is much more likely to eliminate those deeper weaknesses or delaminations that would go untouched by mechanical methods.

Illustration of Concrete Delamination

Weak concrete beneath the surface of the substrate is removed, and the repaired bridge, road or floor is sturdier and longer-lived.

Less Collateral Damage

Hydrodemolition is a non-impact method that–in some sense–differentiates between concrete and denser materials like rebar. Mechanical methods that use rotomillers and jackhammers are far less discerning and are much more likely to damage surrounding rebar and (otherwise) sound, adjacent concrete.

Drawings of damage caused by impact methods

Mouse-over the above illustration to see the potential damage of rotomilling, too.

Improved Bonding, Tensile Strength and Shear Transfer

Compare the concrete profiles below. The left is a typical profile from Rampart’s hydro-scarification process, where the exposed aggregate remains above the rest of the surface (sample shows 1/4″ amplitude). On the right is an profile from rotomilling where aggregate, cement, and sand are all sheared, leaving a relatively smooth surface.

Photo of substantial concrete profile after hydroscarification Photo of minimal concrete profile after rotomilling scarification

Notice the differences in height and (therefore) surface area. That difference directly translates into substantially improved bonding for new surfaces laid over hydrodemolished substrates compared to mechanical impact methods. Note: similar profiles exist for deeper removals, i.e., partial-depth removals, too.

Longer-lasting, less-expensive, environmentally-friendlier–those are a few of the reasons why hydrodemolition is the proper and sustainable way to prep concrete repairs for infrastructure projects, especially road and bridge repair and reconstruction.