An operator maneuvers a hydro-demolition robot at Discovery Parks, Campbell River. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.

An operator maneuvers a hydro-demolition robot at Discovery Parks, Campbell River. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

Watching a hydro-demolition process is like marvelling at what water can do at an extremely high pressure.

B.C. based cleaning firm, Walco Industries, brought along a couple of specialized robots to demonstrate the efficiency of hydro-blasting at the old Elk falls mill based inside Discovery Park in Campbell River.

For hydro-demolition, robots use high volumes of water at extremely high pressure – anywhere between 15,000 psi to 40,000 psi – to break apart concrete while still preserving the structural integrity of the remaining concrete.

At the site of demolition, a 20 by 20 feet wall structure was brought down by robots by making two vertical incisions in the wall, using 60 gallons of water per minute at 20,000 psi.

The water for the procedure came from hydrants on site where it was filtered before going through high pressure pumps. After being used on the concrete it is collected, pumped to a settling pond or moved by vacuum truck, and filtered/treated until clean.

Hydro-demolition is 10 times more faster than traditional methods that require jack hammers and environmentally safe as it reduces noise and dust pollution.

Moreover these methods would end up creating micro fractures in the structures during the process while at the same time leaving the operator with fatigue and hand-arm vibration syndrome, said Richard Lawson, project coordinator for Walco Industries.

The use of robotics eliminates these undesirable effects, he said.

Micro-fractures are avoided through a process called concrete scarification– a form of surface preparation where a concrete surface is ‘roughened’ up in order to provide an appropriate surface for fresh concrete to adhere to.

This technology is used on bridge decks, dams, water treatment facilities, piers docks and nuclear power plants among others.

“Hydro-demolition was a natural direction for the company as it is a highly efficient way to update any aging infrastructure. It is not just quicker but also cuts down on noise, dust and worker fatigue which allows for working in areas where noise is an issue and also where dust could be problematic,” said Lawson.

There are only two firms in Western Canada that has this technology and Walco industries is one of them. The firm is the only operator on Vancouver Island that has specialized robotics to carry out hydro-blasting, said Lawson.

ALSO IN NEWS : Petition opposed to supportive housing unit on Dogwood circulating

ALSO IN NEWS: Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

(BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro planned power outages to darken downtown Smithers for most of day Sunday, Jan 17

Replacement of poles will affect approximately 250 customers in downtown core from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Smithers Local Health Area reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 3 - 9. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 25 in Smithers LHA Jan. 3 – 9

Northern Health reported 49 new daily cases for 497 active, 44 hospitalized, 13 in critical care

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

Most Read