Atlas Copco Breaker Cracks Down On Tough Underwater Project

PDIST using an Atlas Copco LH 390 hydraulic breaker underwater for drilling rocks.

Thu August 24, 2023
Atlas Copco

Rock breaking projects on land are tough, but nothing Atlas Copco handheld breakers can't handle. Fracturing rocks underwater, on the other hand... now there's a challenge of a much higher order. Just ask Pina Dalgıçlık İnşaat San and Trade (PDIST), a specialist underwater contractor based in Bakırköy, one of the oldest districts in Istanbul, Turkey.

The company is currently using Atlas Copco's robust LH 390 pneumatic breaker for an intensive eight-month underwater electrical infrastructure project, as part of a wider effort to energize cruise liners and cargo ships across Turkey and Malta.

The "Malta Medium Voltage Underwater Cable Laying" project will enable vessels to plug into shoreside electricity to charge onboard systems while berthed at port, swapping out the need for fuel-dependency in place of clean electric.

Coupled with Atlas Copco's LP 18-40PE Hydraulic Power Pack, the LH 390 handheld hydraulic breaker is being used to crush rocks beneath the water's surface in order to prepare the area for underwater electric cables. On land, the LP 18-40PE Hydraulic Power Pack transmits power to drive the submerged LH 390 breaker unit, which is tasked with the demanding job of fragmenting rocks and dislodging them from the ground to forge a clear path for the cables, which will transmit electricity to allotted on-land charging ports.

One of Atlas Copco's hydraulic breakers and the LP 18-40PE hydraulic power pack.

Tough, By Design

While such a demanding application may land other air units in troubled waters, Atlas Copco's LH 390 hydraulic unit has proven itself to be tough enough to take such a challenge in its stride. As one of the most powerful handheld breakers in the world, the titan LH 390 is designed to break anything, anywhere.

Weighing 73 lbs. and offering 125 bar of pressure, its high pressure-to-weight ratio also means users can achieve optimal performance without compromising on portability, the manufacturer said.

The LH 390 handheld breaker is coated with premium water resistant, anti-corrosion and anti-rust paint, meaning it can be plunged in saline ocean water and remerge unscathed. Before use, the machine's robust design and high-quality components also are rigorously tested at Atlas Copco's in-house testing facility, ensuring it is suitable to weather any storm.

Vibro-Reduction Technology

The PDIST team is required to physically dive underwater to power their tools, which is why it is important to not only have a breaker unit that is tough enough to crack rocks underwater, but also easy to maneuver and work with. Fortunately, Atlas Copco's LH 390 handheld breaker's slim design and lightweight design offers a smooth user experience.

"Mobility is one factor that is really critical to this operation," said Serdar Yaygili, PDIST general manager. "We are routinely diving into the water to remove rocks and debris from the seabed, then swimming back up to the surface again — all while operating and carrying our handheld breaker.

"The LH 390's high power to weight ratio means we can get plenty done in a short space of time, improving our team's productivity and enabling us to ‘crack' on with our project with ease — pun intended."

The LH 390's vibration reduction technology and low noise also means that PDIST can work comfortably for a full workday, without risking injury.

Once finalized, the project is predicted to reduce the emissions of visiting cruise liners and cargo ships significantly supporting the region's electric and net zero transformation. PDIST is spending two months completing rock breaking work in Bandirma, Turkey, and another six months in Malta.

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