One look, and even a layperson would see the cracks and unevenness in the runway at the airport in Prague. Repairs will not do the job here. The old runway made of 28 cm of hard concrete must be torn up and taken away before a new asphalt surface can be put down.
The runway is currently being removed using conventional methods. An excavator equipped with a hydraulic hammer tears up the concrete runway. Pieces of concrete in a wide range of sizes must then be loaded onto lorries by two power shovels, then transported to an intermediate dumping area outside of the airport area. The pieces are then run through a crusher a number of times to reduce them to the right material size for recycling. The disadvantages of this procedure are clearly evident. A number of machines and work steps, costing time and money, are required.
An alternative method demanding substantially lower logistic effort came from the proposal of the Czech company FREKO to simply mill up the hard concrete. The milled material can be recycled immediately, and the solution causes less noise and emissions, making it significantly friendlier to the environment.
The Czech company FREKO contacted the machine manufacturer Wirtgen who, in cooperation with their system partner and tool manufacturer BETEK, accepted the challenge. A W2200 specially equipped for the milling work at this site was sent to the job and supervised by engineers from Wirtgen and BETEK. A number of tests were made with various shearer and bit types. The BETEK concrete bit W1 13 turned out to be the best bit. Its long tungsten carbide tip ensured acceptably quiet machine operation, while at the same time enabling high machine feed and long bit service life.
The construction site at the airport in Prague confirmed once again that there are areas of use for modern, powerful milling machines which are outside the scope of standard asphalt milling. This is where machine owners can open up new markets and areas of activity.
The close cooperation between user, machine manufacturer and tool manufacturer in this application was the guarantee for the successful use of a Wirtgen road milling machine. As in many other previous cases, the system partnership between the companies Wirtgen and BETEK proved its special value. The midsize businesses always assess the process as a whole, then develop solutions which function quickly and unconventionally - to the benefit of the user.