Pneumatic power has a long history that started in the 19th century. Since air compressors and air-powered tools like handheld breakers are currently very popular, pneumatics will likely remain so for a long time. However, hydraulics is a potent substitute for pneumatics that is gaining popularity. Not only is hydraulics a viable alternative, but a close comparison of the two shows that, in some situations, handheld hydraulic equipment may be the better option for particular applications.
Features of Pneumatic Breakers
Because there are only one or two moving parts in pneumatic breakers, there are fewer parts to replace and less maintenance is required. In addition, the hydraulic oil continuously lubricates internal parts to reduce wear. Hydraulics operate in a closed-loop to keep moisture and contaminants out, so the operator need not be concerned. Furthermore, the system is simple to maintain clean thanks to the flat-face, no-spill couplings.
A typical hydraulic breaker strikes about as hard as a pneumatic breaker with a higher weight class. When compared to breakers powered by other sources, hydraulic breakers have the highest power-to-weight ratio. The fact that hydraulic oil is a potent energy transmitter also makes using hydraulic tools a tangible benefit. A hydraulic breaker combined with a 9-hp hydro-power pack provides further power at the tooltip than just a pneumatic breaker energized by a 20-hp diesel compressor engine. This is because hydraulics operate more effectively.
The way hydraulics work is as a closed circuit. The hydraulic oil tends to leave the battery charger, travels via a hose to the breaker, strokes the piston there, and then returns to the oil tank of the power pack. Like pneumatics, the air is delivered to a breaker through a hose.
For different pavement types, different breakers must be used. A reinforced concrete wearing course is rigid and capable of supporting heavier loads than asphalt, whereas asphalt is an adaptable wearing course. Technicians should first decide what applications the light- to heavy-duty breakers would be used before deciding which breaker best suits their needs.
Light-duty: Used for tamping and compaction and breaking brickwork, frozen soil, asphalt, and concrete. For indoor and outdoor demolition and renovation projects, contractors and rental properties prefer to use these breakers.
Medium-duty: Applications for building and maintaining roads typically use loads between 50 and 65 lbs. This range of tool sizes also works well in concrete, frozen ground, and brickwork.
Heavily loaded: Heavy-duty breakers are perfect for demanding foundation work, reinforced concrete, and heavy asphalt projects.
Compared to air compressors, energy-efficient power packs can be transported inside a van or truck. Still, similar air compressors should be towed behind and mounted on a vehicle. Power packs can be a manual process, wheeled or lifted into any required position once on the job. In contrast, compressors typically need mechanized assistance when moving from one location to another.
Because they oscillate less than many other tools on the market, hydraulic tools are popular with operators. Additionally, they don’t exhaust any air, making it much quieter to operate. In many cases, the operator won’t even require a power pack. Hydraulic instruments can be linked to various power sources, including excavators, trucks, tractors and skid steer loaders, giving a fleet of machines the most flexibility possible.
Before renting or buying handheld hydraulic breakers, customers should consider a few options and features.
A contractor might get roughly two same-sized entire hydraulic power packages and packages of breakers for the price of one compressor and pneumatic breakers. A few different versions of breakers are available: standard, vibration reduced (VR), and high back pressure (HBP).