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Chip Kogelmann

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Precision rock removal with Alpine Rockwheel

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

May 31, 2016 4:57:16 PM

An interesting project is underway in the State of Indiana in the USA.  The contractor is using an Alpine D30 Rockwheel installed on a CAT336 excavator to precisely remove 4-ft of hard limestone shelf rock in order to place 96-ft long concrete box culverts in a river tributary.  The job required rapid and precise rock removal as well as a smooth, flat finished surface.  The D30 rock grinder was the ideal tool for this job.  Hydraulic hammers were not an option because of the rough irregular surface they create and inability to cut accurately within inches to get the final grade right.  A further benefit was the generation of ground rock which can be reused onsite rather than hauled away.  Alpine Rockwheels are the go-to tool for rapid and precise rock cutting.  See video:  https://youtu.be/a1PdLC_feac 

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Topics: Excavation, Rockwheel

Alpine D20 RockWheel for Rock Trenching: When is a RockWheel the best call?

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Jun 12, 2015 3:08:27 PM

With regard to trenching in rock, a frequent question I get from customers and equipment dealers is "When do I use a RockWheel vs. a hammer or ripper bucket?"  The answer is somewhat simple, the RockWheel is the best option when the ground is too hard to rip with a bucket yet not so hard that a heavy hammer is required.  There is a wide range of rock strength that falls within this RockWheel Zone as the figure below illustrates.

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Of course we live in a world of nuances and gradients where the choice isnt always so easy so here are a few other pointers on when a RockWheel should be the tool of choice for a rock trenching job:

  • If the hammer is just punching holes in the rock, a RockWheel is a better option.
  • If noise and seismic disturbance (e.g. in residential area or near sensitive structures) is an issue, the quieter, smooth cutting RockWheel is a better option.
  • If you want to create reusable fill (2" and smaller rock cuttings) and not bring in a crusher, a RockWheel is a better option
  • If a flat trench bottom is required, the RockWheel is a good choice.  Even if you option to break out the rock with a hammer, the RockWheel can be used to trim the walls and trench bottom.
  • If the rock is highly fractured, the RockWheel is an excellent choice because the many teeth on the drums will act as multiple rippers and excavator very rapidly.
  • If a slot cut it desired, not the "V" trench one gets with a hammer, a RockWheel is an excellent choice.

An Alpine D20 RockWheel was rencently employed for sewer line trenching in upstate, NY.  The very hard shale was not rippable with the CAT 345 bucket with Tiger Teeth and becasue it was in a residential zone with concerns about noise, a hammer was problematic. Alpine installed a D20 RockWheel on a new LinkBelt 250X4 (Tier 4).  The LinkBelt was easily programmed to allow three speed & torque settings for the RockWheel and the customer made rapid headway in the trenching job.  When the rock was softer he went for faster drum RPMs and when  harder rock was encountered, they went for lower RPMs but more torque in seconds.  The result was a trench cut to the excact cross section without any overbreak or extra width at the top as is often the case when trenching with a hammer.  Moreover, the milled rock made for perfect pipe bedding and backfill, saving the cost of bringing in this material.

 

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Here are a few photos:IMG_7800

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Topics: Cutter Heads

Soil mixing equipment to address in situ soil remediation challenges

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Apr 7, 2015 11:28:44 AM

Every individual worksite comes with its own set of complications.IMG_1965

One challenge that can increase the complexity of your project is the presence of pollution or contaminants. When a site is known to be contaminated, it may be required to go through a process of remediation by law.

Remediation is the act of restoring soil to a safe, stable, and consistent state that is ecologically friendly. This can often be an expensive and time consuming process that adds difficulty to your project depending on the type of contaminant in the soil and the proliferation of contamination.

These factors influence the severity of contamination and can help you determine the best course of action to remediate the soil so that development can proceed.

Alpine provides a wide variety of soil remediation equipment that is designed to simplify the neutralization of contaminants. Our soil remediation equipment comes with options and customizations that provide you with the ability to select exactly the tools you need to complete the job.

If your project is a small one and you do not anticipate the need for your own soil remediation equipment, we also offer rentals. Whether you are looking to rent or buy, Alpine has the solution to your soil remediation needs.

One standard set of soil remediation equipment Alpine provides are powerful rock and concrete cutting tools that have been repurposed for soil mixing, remediation, and stabilization. These powerful tools are extremely useful for soil mixing which can help neutralize even some of the most volatile organic compounds.

These soil remediation mixing tools eliminate wasted time and make the process of soil mixing more efficient.

One of the best features of our soil remediation equipment is its level of customizability. Whatever your situation calls for, Alpine provides a variety of options and customizations to meet your needs. From transverse mixers and axial mixers, to drum lacing and mixing paddle layout, Alpine has it all.

Our company also has equipment for specific problems, such as container mixing or work in lined ponds or work areas where puncturing could be an issue. If puncturing needs to be avoided, soil remediation equipment can be paired with depth limiters and bumpers to ensure that puncturing does not occur.

Another special circumstance could call for the use of wet amendments. We provide soil remediation equipment with additive injection piping that is suitable for both wet and dry amendments.

The use of Alpine soil remediation equipment can greatly reduce your project cost by keeping soil remediation on-site. By removing the need for transportation, your project can proceed efficiently and cost effectively.

The majority of Alpine equipment can simply be attached to standard excavators, backhoes, and skid steer loaders which prevents the need to purchase any other special equipment. If your worksite is contaminated, contact Alpine today to find the right soil remediation equipment to take care of your contamination in situ.

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Topics: Soil Mixing, Soil Remediation

Alpine Rockwheels Used in Secant Shaft Construction

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Jan 16, 2015 11:46:40 AM

secantwall

For larger diameter shafts through unstable soils, the use of interlocking hard / soft CFA (continuous flight auger) piles is a highly cost effective method of shaft sinking.  Alpine’s RockWheel rock & concrete grinders are often an important tool in these projects. 

 

Constructing a shaft typically involves five main stages:

 1)      Piles are drilled to required depth to form a continuous wall for the shaft. Piles are formed by drilling to the required depth using a hollow stem continuous flight auger. After reaching the designed depth, a concrete is then pumped through the hollow stem. While the concrete is being pumped, the auger is withdrawn at a controlled rate, removing the soil and forming a shaft of concrete.  Overlapping concrete columns form the supporting shaft wall. 

2)      A ring of reinforced concrete is constructed around the top of the shaft to support the shaft wall.

3)      Once the outer frame is in place, the main shaft is excavated  out with the material lifted to the surface.

Secant Wall scaling with Alpine cutterhead

4)      Shaft excavation is stopped at specific depths to construct reinforced concrete or steel support rings.  For water proofing or installation of support rings, the shaft wall must be ground smooth.  Alpine’s excavator mounted rock and concrete grinders are an ideal tool for rapid and precise concrete grinding.  The Alpine grinders can be installed in  place of the bucket on the excavator being used to dig out the shaft.

 5)      Excavation is then completed to the required depth and a steel reinforced concrete slab is constructed at the base of the shaft.

 Alpine has a wide range of RockWheel sizes allowing the grinding attachment to be utilized on excavators of any size from 1.5-ton minis to 50+ ton heavy excavators.

 

 

 

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Topics: Concrete Grinding

Soil mixing equipment addresses in situ soil remediation challenges

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Dec 8, 2014 10:32:00 AM

Every individual worksite comes with its own set of complications.

IMG_1965

One challenge that can increase the complexity of your project is the presence of pollution or contaminants. When a site is known to be contaminated, it may be required to go through a process of remediation by law.

Remediation is the act of restoring soil to a safe, stable, and consistent state that is ecologically friendly. This can often be an expensive and time consuming process that adds difficulty to your project depending on the type of contaminant in the soil and the proliferation of contamination.

These factors influence the severity of contamination and can help you determine the best course of action to remediate the soil so that development can proceed.

Alpine provides a wide variety of soil remediation equipment that is designed to simplify the neutralization of contaminants. Our soil remediation equipment comes with options and customizations that provide you with the ability to select exactly the tools you need to complete the job.TM-D_mixer_ext_web

If your project is a small one and you do not anticipate the need for your own soil remediation equipment, we also offer rentals. Whether you are looking to rent or buy, Alpine has the solution to your soil remediation needs.

One standard set of soil remediation equipment Alpine provides are powerful rock and concrete cutting tools that have been repurposed for soil mixing, remediation, and stabilization. These powerful tools are extremely useful for soil mixing which can help neutralize even some of the most volatile organic compounds.

These soil remediation mixing tools eliminate wasted time and make the process of soil mixing more efficient.

One of the best features of our soil remediation equipment is its level of customizability. Whatever your situation calls for, Alpine provides a variety of options and customizations to meet your needs. From transverse mixers and axial mixers, to drum lacing and mixing paddle layout, Alpine has it all.

Our company also has equipment for specific problems, such as container mixing or work in lined ponds or work areas where puncturing could be an issue. If puncturing needs to be avoided, soil remediation equipment can be paired with depth limiters and bumpers to ensure that puncturing does not occur.

Another special circumstance could call for the use of wet amendments. We provide soil remediation equipment with additive injection piping that is suitable for both wet and dry amendments.

The use of Alpine soil remediation equipment can greatly reduce your project cost by keeping soil remediation on-site. By removing the need for transportation, your project can proceed efficiently and cost effectively.

The majority of Alpine equipment can simply be attached to standard excavators, backhoes, and skid steer loaders which prevents the need to purchase any other special equipment. If your worksite is contaminated, contact Alpine today to find the right soil remediation equipment to take care of your contamination in situ.

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Topics: Soil Mixing, Soil Remediation

How to Boost Rock Trenching Precision and Efficiency with a Transverse Cutter Head

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Dec 4, 2014 10:30:00 AM

boost-rock-trenching-efficiencyTrenching and rock excavation projects are always tall tasks. The inherent uncertainty and variability of rock strength (measured in psi or MPa) and quality (degree and spacing of fractures) makes bidding these projects a challenge and predicting production rates even more so.

These projects involve a substantial amount of preparation and diligent attention until completion. Project managers have to constantly monitor progress because each situation is different and provides its own unique set of challenges.

In addition to making sure the project is completed as efficiently as possible, project managers are also worried about the inherent dangers that accompany trenching.

If you’re looking to improve your process for digging precise trenches for utility lines, here are a couple reasons Alpine’s cutterheads and RockWheels can provide a more precise and efficient solution.

Cutterheads Increase EfficiencyAlpine_trenching_hiprod

Alpine cutterheads have higher production rates than hammers in most applications. In general, hammers afford operators less control which can create unstable trench walls and unintended overbreak resulting in more costly excavation. This excess material often needs to be transported off site to be crushed even further, not to mention needing more backfill for the overbreak, which is a costly practice that quickly adds extra expenses to your project.

Transverse cutter heads equip you with superior control creating narrower, safer trench walls. Cutter heads can also eliminate up to 50% of excavation volume by cutting only the needed trench width, where a hammer needs a "V" shaped opening (see diagram). Cutterheads have the ability to grind crush rock to a consistent enough size that it is able to be used as fill matter on site. This creates an increased level of efficiency that can pay huge dividends for your trenching project.    

Transverse Cutter Heads Have Unmatched Precision

Transverse cutter heads provide you with surgical precision maximizing your control of the project. If you’re digging a utility line, a transverse cutter head will allow you to safely work around any existing utilities. This precision cut is controlled enough to leave the surrounding rock mass intact, unlike the shock force of a hydraulic hammer which can cause force fractures in the surrounding rock.

One great aspect of cutterheads is that precision does not come at the expense of power. Cutterheads are fully capable of cutting through several layers of hard surfaces including rock, pavement, and concrete. The additional precision helps your company limit expensive backfill and surface patching costs. The ability to provide sufficient power while greatly increasing precision makes transverse cutterheads a great solution for your trenching needs.

Here is a video of the Alpine TC-E transverse cutter head in action digging a precise trench in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

 

As you can see, transverse cutter heads are extremely efficient and can help you dig your desired trench exactly the way you want while crushing rock, concrete, and pavement to a size that allows it to be used as fill matter. Transverse cutter heads also provide an unrivaled level of precision in their cuts that can gently grind to a matter of inches instead of crushing with brute force like a hydraulic hammer.

Thanks to these benefits cutter heads provide a compelling alternative to hydraulic hammers. When in the process of digging a precise trench for a utility line, a transverse cutter head could prove to be just the tool you need to make your project successful.

download-rock-and-concrete-grinding-brochure

 

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Topics: Cutter Heads, Trenching

Trimming Caisson Walls with Alpine Rockwheel Concrete Grinding Attachments

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Jul 11, 2014 12:57:00 PM

CIMG0948Caisson walls are composed of vertically drilled, intersecting reinforced concrete piles constructed for ground support during excavation and construction activities, especially in urban areas where work is being done close to existing structures. 

The resulting vertical face is a series of rounded humps which often must be ground smooth for the next phase of the job.  

Alpine’s hydraulic rotary concrete grinding attachment (RockWheel series) is an ideal tool for rapid and precise concrete trimming. 

The continuous milling action of the carbide tipped cutting drums leaves a smooth surface and cuts with minimal vibrations so the remaining concrete is not damaged.

caisson-pregrinding

Optional depth control guides allow for milling the concrete to a set depth which removes variability in the finished product.  

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Additionally, a water spray system can be added to minimize dust and cool the cutting teeth which extends longevity.  Available in a range of sizes to suit any excavator (or skid steers and backhoes) there is an Alpine RockWheel suitable for your job. 

Find out everything you need to know about rock grinding with a cutterhead

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Topics: Construction

3 Reasons to Scale Loose Debris with a RockWheel

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Jun 2, 2014 7:30:00 AM

scale-loose-debris-rockwheel-cutterheadMass rock excavation projects are tall tasks that present many technical areas of difficulty and call for a certain level of professionalism. Different conditions dictate best practices at construction sites. Depending on how hard the surface is, and what elements are present in the soil, there are a variety of different directions crews can take to achieve the same results.

Sometimes the situation makes a more precise tool necessary, while other times there is no choice but to use large, powerful options. The different methods available all have different ramifications that change the way the job is handled.

Think About the Loose Debris Created

One such consequence that companies must take into account is the amount of loose debris that an excavator creates. This loose debris must be taken care of to ensure that the excavated area is completely safe for thoroughfare and additional work.

This finishing step in an excavation project is called scaling and normally follows a drill or blast project that creates a large amount of debris. This article will explore why RockWheels are the ideal solution for scaling after a drill or blast project.

Gain a Greater Sense of Stability and Safety

The underground mine scaling-RockWheel has proven its technical superiority to many customers who rely on RockWheel to keep their mine walls safe and stable after drill and blast operations.

Safety is a primary concern during these dangerous projects, and the RockWheel has proved itself to create the most stable and safe environment during scaling.

1. Advantage in Overall Utilitylimestone_scaling_web1

One of the biggest assets of a RockWheel is their utility.

The Rockwheel has a major advantage over a scaling claw or hammer simply because of the area of the cutterhead that physically interfaces with the rock.

Scaling claws and hammers simply do not have the same type of cutting width that RockWheels provide.

Rockwheels come in different sizes to best serve the conditions you are operating in on site.

Scaling jobs on hard rock like the Limestone we have here in Central Pennsylvania call for the larger and most powerful RockWheels.

These powerful RockWheels offer up to 4 feet of cutting width, which will greatly increase the speed of the scaling process compared to the rate of a single scaling claw.

2. Cross-Compatibility

Rockwheels are attachments that can be used on standard equipment, such as excavators, and although specialized scaling machines are somewhat common in the industry, they aren’t necessary.

We have years of experience outfitting scaling equipment with cutterheads and rockwheels.

We can help you finish the job without investing in specialized scaling machines, so the potential to use existing equipment is an advantage.

3. High Level of Efficiency

The last reason that a RockWheel is exactly what you need for your scaling needs is its high level of efficiency. The spinning rotary drums with teeth are an ideal system for scaling after drill and blast because the force of the teeth on the rock never exceeds 45o.

By limiting the pick interface to 45o and below, loose material is chipped off along fractures created by the blasting. The angular interface of the picks on the wall create very minimal over-breaking.

Minimal over-breaking means a clean, stable wall that leaves a scaling job well done.

If you are involved in a project that relies upon drilling or blasting, consider a RockWheel and see how it performs in scaling. 

Find out everything you need to know about rock grinding with a cutterhead

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Topics: Rock Scaling, Rockwheel

PSU+Alpine Soil Mixing Research Collaboration continues

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

May 22, 2014 1:25:22 PM

Alpine's partnership with researchers at the Pennsylvania State University continues into 2014 as we continue to improve our soil mixer designs.  Using numerical modeling and particle tracing we're simulating the complex interaction between fluid-solid mixtures and mixing tools in order to evaluate torque demand, mixing quality, and drum geometry. The results of these analyses will help Alpine continue to offer the most efficient soil mixing and soil remediation equipment in the world!

This animations illustrates the complex interactions between particles in a soil substrate and our TM series soil mixing attachments. 

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Topics: Soil Mixing

Does a Cutterhead Spin Towards the Excavator, or Away from it?

Posted by Chip Kogelmann

Apr 10, 2014 12:11:00 PM

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Cutterheads can have varying rates of production depending on the hardness of rock you are dealing with, but are especially efficient in soft to medium rock.utterheads are a useful product that can produce a significant impact on a variety of applications within the mining sector including rock mining, quarrying, scaling, shaft sinking, trenching, tunneling and many more. These tough tools are designed to handle a wide variety of rock and concrete making them a great solution in just about any situation.

In these situations the cutterheads make quick work of the material, providing more precision and control while also improving the process of removing the excavated material.

The benefits a cutterhead can provide make it an appealing option to any company that does excavating or tunneling work regularly.

With the appeal cutterheads generate also come a lot of questions about how cutterheads work and what the best ways to use them are.

One question we receive frequently about cutterheads is, what direction does the cutterhead spin?

The cutterhead can be operated in both directions, depending on the application.

Which direction is better?

The majority of the time, the standard practice is to run the cutterhead spinning away from the operator. In the industry, 95% of projects will have the cutterhead spinning away from the operator, sending cut material down and away from the excavator.

This limits the amount of debris being directed towards the excavator and the operator.

By having the cutterhead spin away from the operator, the equipment also endures less wear-and-tear which will improve the life of the equipment and decrease the amount of maintenance and up-keep necessary to keep the project moving forward.

By preventing unnecessary stoppages you can keep your project’s expenses from rising over budget and finish the job to your customer’s highest level of satisfaction.

Cutterheads provide a superior level of reliability compared to hydraulic hammers and other methods of excavation.

With the right cutterhead your next project could be the most efficient and productive project you’ve ever completed.

If you are interested in finding more information on the properties of cutterheads and the best practices associated with using them, we suggest you check out and download our free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Rock Grinding.

This eBook is the one-stop overview for everything you need to know about cutterheads.

If you have any specific questions about your next project or would like more details about a cutterhead you’re interested in, contact one of our highly qualified Alpine team members to get help today.

Find out everything you need to know about rock grinding with a cutterhead

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Topics: Cutter Heads

About this blog

This blog is a resource for research, how-to's, and general news regarding rock grinders, transverse cutter heads, roadheaders, and alternatives to hydraulic hammers. 

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