Rock Breaker Maintenance

Rock breakers, also known as Hydraulic breakers, are powerful hammers; regardless of the design, their main task is primary and secondary breaking of rocks. The task puts a lot of strain on the equipment, which may require regular maintenance to keep it running at its best. Any lack of periodic maintenance will lead to major failures on base machines which may cause project derail, time and money loss.

Rock breakers are installed on Excavators, Backhoe loaders, Skid steer loaders, Pedestal booms, and specialist mining equipment including the ones used in underground mining operations.

Some of the common uses of Rock breakers:

  1. Rock breakers are beneficial in rock mining and can increase production. It saves much time by eliminating the need for blasting and clearing including the areas where blasting restrictions are applicable. The load on the primary crusher may be significantly reduced by using a rock breaker. As a result, it gives you the option of utilizing the crushers at its optimum operational parameters. The breaker is more of an ecological friendly procedure than blasting, which pollutes the environment
  2. Blasting may be used to bring down bed rock but the fragments may be too large, necessitating a further reduction. A Rock breaker can assist in resolving the problem by decreasing the oversize boulders to the required size.
  3. Rock breakers are an excellent choice for full-scale demolition. These are designed to work continuously for long intervals. It makes multi-shift operations simple to implement. Rock breakers are ideal for breaking rocks and concrete structures.

As Rock breakers are used as attachments for heavy equipment and are directly exposed for misuse, handling them with care is important.

There are some Do’s and Don’ts while handling a Rock breaker.

Things to do while operating a Rock breaker:

  • The Rock breaker should be positioned in a way that it is perpendicular to the material. Applied Pressure should be continuously adjusted by the operator so that the breaker follows the tool. All breakers must exert enough force against the tool to allow energy transfer, or the shock wave, to pass through.
  • The operating temperature for a Rock breaker should be -20℃ (-4℉) to 80℃ (176℉). If the temperature is lower than -20℃ (-4℉), the breaker tool to be preheated before any operation can begin, to avoid breaking the accumulator’s membrane and tool.
  • If the ambient temperature is lower than 0℃ (32℉), it is recommended that you preheat the breaker.
  • A safety screen is always recommended to protect the operator from flying debris. Keep the cabin windows and doors closed during operation.
  • It must be kept in mind while breaking large rocks, that the operator need to start from the edge and work towards the center. When working from the edges, breaking is more efficient. Take small stones and don’t spend more than 30 seconds at one point. This strategy will boost your production while reducing equipment wear and tear as well as premature failures.

Things to avoid while operating a Rock breaker:

  • Blank-firing always should be avoided. Blank-firing occurs when the tool is not preloaded against the piston or extends out of the chuck housing while the breaker is in operation.
  • Use the breaker only for the activities they are designed for. Do not use a Rock breaker to lift or move, while in operation. Other tools are available to accomplish those tasks.
  • While operating a breaker, make sure it doesn’t contact the carrier boom or hydraulic lines.
  • Never let the breaker work on the same spot for more than 30 seconds. Continuous breaking at one point leads to heat build-up on the tool. As a result, tool strength and wear resistance are reduced which will lead to failures.
  • Do not submerge the breaker in water to the point where the tool is submerged. The hydraulic system will be contaminated. It is recommended to use hydraulic hammers underwater or in tunnel after doing recommended modifications as well as supply of compressed air from external compressor for flushing.

Maintenance Tips:

  1. Visual Inspection- Regular Visual Inspection of the Rock breaker to identify the wear & tear parts as well as the loosen bolts & nuts. It will help in identifying if any particular component needs replacement or retightening. Visual Inspection should be done before starting the day operation
  2. Greasing- Regular greasing is a crucial maintenance tip for ensuring the smooth operation of the rock breaker since it lubricates the brushing area. Metal-to-metal contact might be avoided by using molybdenum based lubricant. For best results, grease the hydraulic hammer every two hours. Make sure you use the grease that the manufacturer recommends.
  3. Hydraulic Hoses- To avoid any failures, the excavator’s hydraulic hoses should be with suitable length and routed appropriately. It’s important to remember this since small hoses will cause problems with the attachment’s extension length. Longer hoses, on the other hand, might be ineffective & cause damage to end fittings.
  4. Routine Maintenance- This product is a precision made hydraulic machine. Therefore, great care and handling should be taken when handling any of the hydraulic components. Every 2 hours check the grease cartridge is not empty. Replace if necessary. Every 10 hours or at least once a week remove the tool retaining pin and the tool and check their condition. Every 50 hours or once a month check the tool shank and tool bushings for wear.
  5. Washing the Attachments- When working with attachments and removing it with carrier, dirt can become attached to it. Wash the outside of the product with a steam washer before sending it to the workshop. Dirt can cause difficulties in disassembly and assembly otherwise.
  6. Inspecting Right Nitrogen Pressure – The nitrogen charge pressure needs to be checked on a regular basis. It is dependent on the application and the outdoor working temperature. The amount of nitrogen needed to be filled differs subject to models. Also, it needs to be ensured that the filling is carried out in the early morning wherein the atmospheric temperature is normal.
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