Impact crushers have broad appeal across various sectors and for good reasons. Our panel of experts provides insight as to why this is, plus information on the dynamic market for impact crushers in Canada, their applications and advantages, customization and options, as well as what to consider when buying an impact crusher.
The impact crusher market in Canada has become stronger as a broader range of applications and product choices generate higher demand across all regions, explained Julie Andras, global marketing & communications, McCloskey International. "This popularity has grown its roots for a number of reasons," she said. "The mobility and versatility of a tracked HSI (horizontal shaft impactor) have been a large factor, making them very portable with respect to setup and repositioning. Compared to wheeled units, the new breed of track mobile impactors is compact and can fit many configurations when in circuit with other machines. These machines provide high production and can be taken to a site for a few days, weeks, months, or years depending on the need."
Craig Rutherford, technical sales manager, Wirtgen America, commented: "Statistically speaking, the track-mounted machines account for approximately 60 percent of the Canadian impactor market as a whole, and growing. In recent years, we have seen an increase in demand for track mobility in order to lower the costs associated with plant mobilization, to lessen the amount of set up time required to start manufacturing product, and to increase productivity."
Norbert Dieplinger, international business development manager, SBM Mineral Processing GmbH, pointed out that the regional differences in machine type are usually due to the different natural rock/stone deposits, but it's not just the feed material which drives preference; final products, regulations and requests have to be considered.
Their yearly production of tracked crushers reflects market demand. "We manufacture 80 percent impact, 15 percent jaw crushers and other types, but less than 1 percent are cone crushers. Looking at tracked vs. wheeled, the ratio is 99 percent to 1 percent. In the past couple of years, the trend is clearly towards tracked units and the reasons are manifold, like easier financing, highest utilization, easy transport [and] fast set up at low cost," Dieplinger said.
Applications and advantages
Daryl Todd, president of Frontline Machinery, a Keestrack dealer in Chilliwack, B.C., explained that impact crushers are used by demolition contractors, civil construction, road builders and aggregate producers.
"Impact crushers work particularly well in concrete and asphalt recycling, and are also very effective in a quarry for aggregate," added Paul King, Ontario sales manager for McCloskey International. "The crusher suits the applications as it does not squeeze material to break it, but rather hits it hard as it enters the chamber and throws it against a wall to assist in fracturing it."
King noted that impact crushers are increasingly used for asphalt recycling which is on the rise across the country as government specifications begin to turn to more sustainable methods of maintaining their infrastructure. "Site work was traditionally dotted with jaw crushers and cones, in primary, secondary and even tertiary crushing combinations. Delivering a 3-inch minus end product with little or no reduction ratio was the standard for asphalt recycling. Once impact crushers appeared on the rip rap scene, reduction dropped to 1 inch and more options for end recycled product became available."
"Horizontal Impactors are the most versatile crushing machines as they handle larger reduction ratios than other types of crushers and can handle some smaller uncrushables, such as rebar, reasonably well. They can work as a primary crusher depending on the feed material size or be put in after a jaw or in a circuit with a screener to crush the oversize," Andras added.
The advantages of an impact crusher are better product in terms of shape and gradation curve, and lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), which includes purchase price, service and maintenance cost, operating cost, higher utilization and a higher price for the final products, Dieplinger said. "If the calculation is done correctly, there is seldom a way to beat an impact crusher."
He added: "Tracked impactors are used as primary or secondary crushers and portable skid-mounted impactors are usually used in secondary and tertiary crushing applications."
According to McCloskey dealer Craig Kergen of Tyalta Industries Inc., the applications have shifted considerably in Western Canada, particularly over the past five years. "Municipalities and government are taking a new view on the tipping of material into their waste management and recycling facilities. Clean recycled concrete is enjoying lower or waived fees, and new programs are being engaged to educate people on how to avoid contamination prior to dropping off product." The resulting material is now considered of such high quality that engineering specs for gravel used in roadbuilding are changing across jobsites. Recycled material, for example 3-inch minus for road spec, is now on the rise as it allows more flexibility and offers an alternative where prices are rising for aggregate. Looking forward, Kergen believes that rather than the crushing company paying a fee to drop material, the tables will turn and the same companies will be paid for good quality, clean recycled concrete, and a cost will turn to a profit opportunity.
Currently, SBM mobile impact crushers are used in B.C. to crush blasted granite and dolomite; in Alberta and Saskatchewan to crush river gravel, reinforced concrete and asphalt; and in Ontario for recycling applications, among others, Dieplinger said.
King noted that impactors are becoming an integral part of roadbuilding in Ontario, both for infrastructure projects like the Highway 407 construction project, and rehabilitation of roads around the province to remedy them after a particularly heavy frost and use of salt over the past winter.