Questions and Answers about

Concrete and rock demolition using BETONAMIT® chemical agent explosive

Do small chiselling works with a few minutes of effort in a convential way; ideally with a drill hammer. We also recommend you, using it with less than 8". Chemical agent explosives pay off mainly when there are major demolitions. Wherever large demolition machines such as excavators or other large machinery are not available and a vibration-free, silent demolition is desired or required.

Maintaining the correct amount of water is very important when using BETONAMIT® so that the chemical agent explosive can generate the maximum pressure. No matter if it is demolished concrete, rock or other detonations. The optimal mixing ratio is 34 oz. of water to 11 lbs of BETONAMIT®. The water content can be increased up to 40 oz./11 lbs in order to achieve even better flowability, especially in very deep boreholes, or to facilitate the mixing process.

Heat accelerates the reaction of the chemical agent explosive. It is therefore very important not to use warm water, especially at hot temperatures. To give it enough time to set before expansion, never use water above 68°F. If the pressure in the borehole builds up too quickly, this can lead to a blowout (volcanic spurt out of the material).

Demolitions with BETONAMIT® are permit-free. There are also no special requirements such as explosive licenses or registrations as with blasting operations with explosives. BETONAMIT® is a very safe product, but the safety regulations for blasting work with swelling chemical agent must be complied with. It is therefore important that you have read and understood the instructions for use and the safety regulations completely before you start to demolish.

BETONAMIT® is not toxic and also not a dangerous good. However, as concrete, BETONAMIT® has a very high pH value and reacts strongly with moisture. For this reason, the chemical agent explosive should never get into the eyes. If this should happen, rinse eyes with plenty of water for several minutes and clean them thoroughly. We strongly recommend that you see an ophthalmologist for control after such an incident.

The effective force of the chemical agent increases with the borehole diameter. We often get inquiries as to whether the 1" detonation doesn’t work. Our product is optimized for the blasting of concrete and rock with borehole diameters between 1¼" and 1½". However, we have a buffer zone on both sides, where the explosive cement still works perfectly with larger and smaller borehole diameters. When using smaller diameters, however, it can take a few hours longer for the concrete demolition, the rock detonation or, above all, the demolition of reinforced concrete. For larger projects such as rock excavation, borehole diameters of around 1¾" are often used to use drill carriages. The product has been tested with a diameter up to 2", but we kindly ask you to contact us in advance.

Every demolition technique is definitely justified. Usually the most effective solution is the combination (e.g. pneumatic pick + chemical agent explosive). Some granites are so hard that working with the breaker alone means fighting every inch, or cause the chisels of the pneumatic pick to be worn out very quickly. However, if the rock or rocky ground is already broken, torn and loosened with BETONAMIT®, further work with the pneumatic pick is faster and facilitated.

When detonating during the colder seasons, the following should be noted. BETONAMIT® works, even if the blasting may be delayed, perfectly up to 32°F. However, if the temperatures drop below zero, the blasting process is slowed down massively; this, in no way means that the blastholes were filled in for nothing and the project failed. The swelling pressure continues the process as soon as the temperatures rise again. Thus, the blasting will still take place, albeit a little later.

Caution is advised as the heat accelerates the reaction and the detonation, when blasting around 95°F. Therefore, we recommend using colder water in order to slow down the reaction and the build-up of pressure. If you are not sure, it is important to comply with the safety regulations and never look directly into the boreholes filled with chemical agent explosive. So that in the very rare case of a blowout, no material can get into the eyes. These dangers can be easily prevented by planning the wells to be filled early in the morning.

The number of holes required varies from the object to be blasted and above all from the desired amount to crushing. The cracking always takes place in the direction of the least resistance. Since the drill holes are always the weak points, the cracks form back and forth from hole to hole. Thus, when arranging the boreholes, you can already specify how large the fragments should be after the detonation.

There are huge differences in the quality of the various chemical agent explosives on the market. The most important one is of course the formula and the quality of the raw materials. Another factor is diligence in production. Our batches are thoroughly tested in specially developed pressure testing systems. With these requirements, we are able to gain a product that develops more than twice the explosive force of competitors and is noticeably more extensive. Our products meet the requirements of the new European chemicals regulation according to REACH and GHS. Another, and very important point is our support; we are always available and to assist our customers in all areas with their detonation work as best as possible, until the project is completed.

BETONAMIT® clearly brings the most effective benefits when demolishing non-reinforced concrete and rocks. After the detonation, the fragments can usually be removed with very little effort. Reworking with a drill hammer or pneumatic hammer is hardly necessary anymore. When noise, dust and vibrations are a problem or larger demolition machines cannot be used, you should consider using BETONAMIT®. We are also always happy to develop new, project-related solutions and application techniques.

We operate a widespread online shop in Europe, where our explosives can be ordered at any time. Due to our central distribution warehouse in Austria, we are able to deliver very quickly and flexibly within the EU. Since our headquarters and production facility are in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are logistically well covered anyway. Through our countless sales outlets in the builders merchants businesses, and other trading partners, BETONAMIT® is available in many places. We work every day to optimize our sales. Regardless of whether you are a large corporation or a private customer, you can always contact us directly with your questions.

The easiest way to calculate consumption for planned demolition projects is to determine the number of holes based on the desired degree of crushing, then take the approximate average of the necessary borehole depth and calculate the corresponding factor of the borehole diameter used.

Material consumption = sum of all depths of the required boreholes times the factor of the borehole diameter used.

Borehole diameter Material consumption
1 ¼" 1.0 lbs / Feet
1 ½" 1.4 lbs / Feet

Yes, a pre-demolition of reinforced concrete definitely makes sense since a demolition of reinforced concrete with a pointed hammer is extremely difficult. If a reinforced concrete slab or reinforced concrete in general is filled with BETONAMIT®, cracks form over the entire object, just as with non-reinforced concrete, and are only held together by the reinforcing bars. Subsequent chiselling with the pneumatic hammer or drill hammer is very simple and quick.

BETONAMIT® was developed by KUBATEC in Liechtenstein in the 1970s and was the first product of its kind on the European market. The swelling effect of burnt lime was already used by the Egyptians thousands of years ago to split rocks and for targeted demolition. In the past decades we have built up enormous know-how to optimize and control this chemical process and to use it for safe blasting. The calcium oxide (quicklime) reacts in a very simple way by adding water to calcium hydroxide, while it multiplies the volume. This almost unstoppable volume increase is used for the safe demolition of concrete and rock demolition. The following other names are common for BETONAMIT®: swelling pressure medium, swelling explosives, swelling agents, expansion cement, expansion agents, cold explosives, cold explosives, chemical agent explosives.