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Media / Application stories / High-speed pile driving in South Africa with HB 2000 hydraulic breakers

High-speed pile driving in South Africa with HB 2000 hydraulic breakers

2013-06-10

It has been said that the levels of solar radiation in South Africa are the best in the world, and the country has a rapidly emerging solar energy industry with a number of project sites in the Northern Cape. Geopile Africa is currently installing piles at sites for solar projects in the region using the Duktus piling system in combination with Atlas Copco HB 2000 hydraulic breakers. The high power and blow frequency of the HB 2000 are major advantages for pile-driving operations of this type.

“These solar field sites are generally very large, in some cases 3 km long x 1.25 km wide,” explains Jared Prowse, who is in charge of Geopile Africa's operations and projects. “But for us this is not a problem because our piling rigs are extremely flexible and mobile Volvo hydraulic excavators equipped with powerful Atlas Copco hydraulic  breakers.”

400 blows per minute
The Duktus piling system concentrates 4,000 Joules of energy per blow of the hydraulic breaker down onto the pile-driving shoe, and with the breaker delivering at a rate of 400 blows per minute this enables piles to be driven easily and rapidly through harder abrasive layers of material in the upper soils.

“So far our average pile production rate is 5 minutes per pile and with 4 piling rigs on site we can install up to 400 Duktus piles per day,” says Jared Prowse. “That is the production rate that I have been aiming for because these projects require us to install over 50,000 piles in a working period of just over 6 months. My aim is to complete all of these works safely and ahead of schedule for my clients.”

HB 2000 – powerful and user friendly

Atlas Copco´s HB 2000 hydraulic breaker has a service weight of 2,000 kg. The VibroSilenced System protects operators against noise and vibrations, AutoControl adapts the blow frequency and impact energy to the rock hardness, and the attachment is equipped with the ContiLube ™ II integrated automatic lubrication system.

The breaker is also equipped with the PowerAdapt system which shuts down the breaker if the oil pressure is too high – a useful feature when the hydraulic breaker is used on different carrier units.

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Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2012, Atlas Copco had about 39800 employees and revenues of BSEK 90,5 (BEUR 10,5 ).

Atlas Copco Construction Tools is a division within Atlas Copco´s Construction Technique business area. It develops, manufactures and markets hydraulic, pneumatic, and petrol-driven equipment for demolition, recycling, compaction, rock drilling and concrete applications. Products are marketed and sold under several brands through a worldwide sales and service organisation. The division is headquartered in Essen, Germany, and has production units in Europe, Africa and Asia.

In 2013 Atlas Copco, ranked as one of the most innovative, sustainable and ethical companies in the world, celebrates 140 years of profitable growth. At the beginning the company made products for railways, but the core of Atlas Copco’s business dates back to the early years of the 20th century when the first compressors, tools and rock drills were manufactured. Today, the Atlas Copco Group has world-leading positions in these areas and many others. Atlas Copco supports customers in 180 countries with own operations in 90 countries. Read the story about a company that believes ‘there is always a better way’ on www.atlascopco.com/history