KEMROC Chain Cutter Accelerates Trenching Through Gypsum Deposits

Published: 23/11, 2020

While excavating a 3.3-ft (1m) wide trench for a new wastewater drainage system in Germany, contractor Leonhard Weiss had to work through deposits of gypsum up to 15 ft (4.6m) deep. Under these conditions, the estimated performance for excavating the trench with a conventional, double-head drum cutter attachment on a hydraulic excavator seemed unsuited for the job. Fortunately, a KEMROC EK140_1000 chain cutter helped maintain progress while reducing excavation and fill material costs, allowing the project to be completed on time and within budget.

The KEMROC EK140_1000 is a drum cutter with a chain fitted with cutting tools that runs between the two drums at each side of the cutter head. The chain cuts the material away from the space between the two cutter drums. With a conventional drum cutter, this can only be achieved by slewing the drum cutter with the excavator while it is cutting or the material is removed at a later stage with a different excavator attachment.

Alternatively, the chain cutter can excavate a trench without the need for slewing while producing a profile with straight, vertical side walls to an exact width. Excavating trenches to an exact width, without over-break, saves time and money since no energy or time is wasted in breaking unwanted material, cleaning extra material out of the trench or backfilling a trench that is larger than necessary.

Leonhard Weiss site manager Martin Fuchs reports that the simplified operating procedure, requiring no slewing of the excavator, gave workers a noticeable time advantage. At a section of the trench where the gypsum was deepest, the crew advanced more than 16 ft (5m) per day—20% faster than would have been achieved with a traditional drum cutter.

Leonhard Weiss continued to use the chain cutter to slice through gypsum deposits to create new sewer trenches along several side streets.

“So far we have been carrying out our work with the fine results we had expected,” Fuchs says.

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