Nine things to remember when using a demolition hammer
Getting started under your own power!
In an earlier blog, I talked about the best way to store your demolition hammer to keep it in the best possible condition. Now I want to tell you how to get the most out of this demolition hammer. What do you need to take into consideration? Below are nine issues that you need to pay attention to when you use a demolition hammer.
1. The VemaTEC hammer has an anti-release strike lock
The anti-release strike lock ensures that the hammer cannot be activated if the tip of the chisel is not pre-loaded. Activating the hammer with no counter-pressure on the chisel is extremely damaging and can result in the chisel being deformed or breakages to the chisel, the chisel chuck or housings on the demolition hammer.
The VemaTEC hammer will not operate if the tip is not pre-loaded and will stop once the material has been demolished and the load on the chisel disappears, even if you continue to depress the control.
For the technical wizards among us: In principle, the anti-release strike lock operates with in integrated bypass and a valve in the cylinder. The shut-off valve is a switching valve that deactivates the anti-release strike lock for specific applications.
2. Choose the right chisel for the job
In principle, there are two types of demolition with a hydraulic demolition hammer:
- Penetrating or cutting demolition: A conical, pyramid-shaped or wedge-shaped chisel is driven forcefully into the material. This method is most effective in soft, layered or plastic materials.
The sharper the edge of the chisel, the better the penetration of the hydraulic demolition hammer into the material. However, demolition work on hard materials will increase the rate of wear on the sharp edges of the chisel.
- Wave demolition: Transferring a powerful, mechanically stressful wave into material will demolish that material. Optimal energy transfer from chisel to material is achieved using a blunt chisel. This type of demolition is more effective in hard, brittle and highly abrasive materials. Generally speaking, a chisel with a small surface area is not suitable for this type of demolition work.
3. Work in the right direction
Move the tip of the chisel from the edge of the item to be demolished towards the centre. Never try to break off a block that is too large at once. If you have not broken a piece off within 30 seconds, then choose a smaller piece. This means that the item will have to be demolished in a greater number of smaller pieces. Larger pieces will not increase the work rate because each piece will take longer. If you operate the hydraulic demolition hammer for longer than 30 seconds at a time, this can cause damage.
4. Choose the right work angle
Always position the hydraulic demolition hammer so it is perpendicular to the surface of the material. If you operate the hydraulic demolition hammer at an angle, the chisel will slide off the surface of the material and cause blank strikes. Blank strikes can damage the hydraulic demolition hammer and the chisel will wear faster and may even break.
5. Do not drive the chisel into the ground
If you drive the chisel deep into the ground but do not move it backwards and forwards to make space in the hole, the rubble will jam the chisel. This will make the tip of the chisel red hot, which means that it will lose its hardness. A chisel that has overheated will wear faster and is no longer a reliable piece of equipment. You must therefore replace a chisel if it overheats.
Dust in the hammer hole will dampen the strike force and thus make the hydraulic demolition hammer less effective. When you are using the hydraulic demolition hammer, tilt it slightly to and fro to allow the dust to escape, but never at an angle greater than 5 degrees. If you tilt it at more than 5 degrees, this will break the chisel.
6. Do not use the hammer as a lever
Never use the chisel as a lever or crowbar, as this will break the chisel; this is never a smart idea.
If you use the chisel as a lever, it is most likely to break if the inside of a stone is hard, or if the ground is frozen. You should therefore always proceed carefully and stop as soon as you feel sudden resistance against the chisel.
7. Never use under water
The standard version of the hydraulic demolition hammer must never be used under water. If you use it under water, the space between the piston and the chisel will fill with water. This will generate a large pressure wave within the hammer, which will damage the seals. Corrosion, poor lubrication or water penetration will also cause further damage within the hydraulic demolition hammer.
A specially fitted underwater compressed air kit will allow you to use the hammer under water. Verhoeven will be happy to provide you with information about this.
8. Do not use the hammer to move material
The hydraulic demolition hammer is not designed to move material. If you use the hydraulic demolition hammer or the chisel to push material out of the way, this can cause damage.
9. Never use the hammer for lifting
The hydraulic demolition hammer is not designed to lift loads. Never use the chisel to lift anything. This is extremely dangerous and can damage both the hydraulic demolition hammer and the chisel.
Follow these operating instructions to get the most out of your hammer. You will then get the best possible strike force, even after 10 years or more.
Regular maintenance is also essential. The manufacturer of our VemaTEC hammer recommends that you lubricate it after every 2 hours of use, and that you check the nuts and the gas pressure in the upper housing after every 50 hours. Regular servicing by your VemaTEC hammer dealer will avoid any breakdowns. This will identify any damage to parts that is likely to cause problems at an early stage, maximising your strike force.
Source of photos: Everdigm Service Manual for EHB breaker
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