British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Site adds the fearsome MAX200 magdrill to their HMT fleet

Posted by Adam Smith on

Holemaker Technology are delighted to have been chosen once again to support the ongoing construction and modernisation work of the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research station.

10 months on and with the first phase successfully completed the performance of HMT’s bespoke solution is clear as the project’s construction partners expand their existing fleet of HMT tools and consumables to include the fearsome HMT MAX200 heavy duty magnet drill to meet the demands of the next phase of construction

With a large quantity of 135mm diameter holes to be created in situ, the Carbidemax range of XL Cutters was specified alongside the powerful 3.8KW MAX200 magnet drill. These works are located away from the wave and splash zone so an electric motor was chosen over other hydraulic options

This huge, 7-10 year, £200m project began in 2016 with a 2 year planning and preparation program before officially commencing in late 2018 with the deconstruction and replacement of the 27 year old Biscoe Wharf.

Successfully excavating, cutting, drilling and removing the wharf’s old steel frame required selecting tools and equipment that could withstand and operate in some the harshest conditions in the world.

Antarctica boasts the driest, coldest and windiest climate on the planet and with much of the drilling work required also occurring within the tidal splash zone of the nearby ocean conventional magnet drills would have been unsuitable for the task. This upgrade follows the phase 1 2018 works where HMT were consequently tasked with designing, custom building, live testing and supplying a system capable of handling the job.

HMT drilling in antarctica

A system using switched permanent magnets and a compact hydraulic motor with a remote engine driven power source was developed and tested. Capable of broaching holes up to 4" diameter and 4" deep on flat and curved surfaces as standard this equipment was quickly adopted as the go-to option for the project and shipped the 11,000km to Antarctica.

shipping cargo to antarctica.

This new challenge will see work continue on construction of the new 74 metre long Rothera Wharf where over 1,000 tonnes of UK fabricated steel are being placed, drilled, tapped and reamed with HMT tools

Intended as a berth for the 129m long polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough, the new dock will serve as a multi-faceted arrival and departure point servicing the whole scientific community at Rothera.

Research ship


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