Implosions and the use of explosives makes up a very small piece of the demolition industry. While blowing up buildings is one of the first things those outside the industry think of when they hear the word 'demolition', excavators and other equipment is utilized much more often. Even when explosives are used, they typically are employed after a number of other steps.All that said, there are times when an implosion is the safest and most efficient way to demolish a structure. Here are five common steps that are taken in those rare instances.
Step 1: Safety
Like any method of demolition, implosions require an attention and prioritization of safety. Before any activity can begin on the site, a number of precautions must be taken to protect both the personnel involved in the demolition, and the surrounding community. This can include actions like fencing off the site, building scaffolding, covering the structure to prevent falling rubble, ensuring personal protection measures are used, and employing a security company or local police to protect the site.
Step 2: Preparatory Dismantling
In many situations, parts of a structure are too close to other buildings, or to public property. This presents a danger and risk that can be controlled by dismantling parts of the building. This helps to control the fall of the building when explosives are detonated. Other modifications may be needed, especially on ground floors or basement levels, to control vibrations. In many cases, a structure's height may be shortened by dismantling the roof or top floor, as well.
Step 3: Installing Explosives
One central location within the structure will be identified as the "core of the collapse". Explosives are then installed in order to force the structure to fall towards that core. Placement isn't the only concern for the explosives, however. The timing of detonation must be carefully planned so walls fall in the proper sequence. This can be further controlled by installing steel cables to the walls.
Step 4: Implosion
Finally, after completion and inspection of the first three steps, which make up a number of smaller tasks, the building is ready for demolition. Timing is critically important and explosives are detonated at intervals separated by much less than a second. When done correctly, the highest point of the rubble heap will typically occur at the core of collapse.
Step 5: Debris and Recycling
Once the implosion is complete and rubble has settled, debris can be handled in a similar fashion to other demolition methods. Heavy equipment like excavators and skid-steer loaders are typically employed to load debris into trucks. For recycling purposes, some materials must be segregated and sorted. Additional recycling tasks can either be handled off-site at a recycling facility, or, in the case of concrete crushing and other recycling chores, can be done on-site if the demolition contractor has the capabilities.At Demolition Technologies, we have the experience and knowledge to handle any type of demolition project. Contact us to learn more about our capabilities.