19 June, 2019

New oil-free hydraulics leads to environmentally friendly breaker for civil engineering (Aug 2011)

01 September, 2011

Peterstow Aquapower has developed and tested a new oil-free breaker designed for use in areas such as the repair and maintenance of roads, railways and utility services. The breaker operates using ordinary tap water, eliminating the risk of potential contamination or pollution from oil leakage or misting. This is said to make the product particularly valuable in areas which are protected, environmentally sensitive or where the field of operation is underwater. Peterstow’s breaker is also claimed to create minimal airborne dust and no noxious fumes.

Many hydraulic systems require the use of oil, or an emulsion of oil and water, as the working fluid and lubricant. Almost all breakers start to leak eventually and, even when they don’t, hose changes and general use inevitably result in some oil spillages. This requires reports and inspections as well as the actual clean-up process, which can be very expensive and time consuming. Peterstow’s closedâ€loop water hydraulic technology and modular power packs solve this problem by creating an oil-free system.
More efficient transfer of power to the breaker
The closed-loop design also ensures a more efficient transfer of power to the breaker, reducing energy usage. Peterstow’s power packs are turned on only when needed, unlike air compressors on pneumatic breakers which need to run continuously. Tests have shown Peterstow breaker use the same energy per day as many existing systems use per hour.  The hydraulic system also means no electricity running through the breaker itself, eliminating the risk of electrocution.
The technology represents the life’s work of UK entrepreneurs Douglas and Alan Barrows. Douglas says: “There are many areas where existing breaking systems just aren’t adequate. Using oil breakers in protected areas or underwater is not really an option as oil leaks and emissions can be catastrophic. Even in ordinary situations, oil leaks and spillages are almost inevitable sooner or later and are very costly to resolve. Peterstow’s breaker uses a clever piece of new technology to offer an alternative which is both more efficient than existing systems and non-polluting”.
The absence of oil and the special properties of water demand very high levels of precision engineering and exacting manufacturing standards. These are met by Peterstow’s world class manufacturing plant in Ngwenya, Swaziland. The UK arm of the business manufactures plastic injection mould tooling and plastic mouldings and carries out R&D to facilitate the conversion of certain components from metal to plastic to reduce weight, cost and machining time.

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