A hospital in Houston required its existing fire suppression system water tank removed. The steel tank was 9’ tall by 25’ in diameter, with a layer of concrete encased on the inside of the tank, on a 12’ high concrete platform, in the basement of the hospital.
A project of this type outdoors or in an industrial plant would typically use acetylene cutting torches or standard blades. But these methods would produce flames and smoke in the case of the former, and showers of sparks in the latter. Due to the risks involved these methods could not be used in a hospital environment. Instead, ceramic alloy concrete cutting blades were used which are designed to minimize or eliminate sparks.
Operators also had to be strategically plan in cutting and removing the roof and wall so that the structure would not fall in itself. This was a particularly difficult task to achieve in such tight quarters from the inside of the tank.
ATI operators first used a saw to cut an access hole to the interior of the tank. Once inside the tank they began the long process of removing the concrete wall and ceiling. Operators proceeded around the circumference with electric hammers, making sure the pieces were small enough to haul through the access hole and up out of the basement. On ladders the team carefully removed the concrete on the ceiling.
Once the concrete was removed from the ceiling and tank wall, the process of sawing the steel began with specialized ceramic blades to reduce or eliminate sparks. The tank roof was shored up with wooden braces since its structural integrity was compromised. With only a few feet of clearance, the ATI team carefully cut the roof section into removable sections.
A combination of the right tools and expertise made for another job completed safely and professionally.