Cookies help us deliver our services. By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies. We do not store any personal details. Learn more.

Media / Application stories / Atlas Copco HB 4100 breaker used for underwater demolition in Italy

Atlas Copco HB 4100 breaker used for underwater demolition in Italy


Since last August an Atlas Copco HB 4100 hydraulic breaker has been deployed for underwater demolition near Giglio Island, Tuscany, Italy. The work is the first phase of a major maritime engineering operation in which Atlas Copco is closely collaborating with Sales SpA, a well known Italian construction company specializing in infrastructure and maritime projects.

HB 4100 under water
For underwater demolition of granite rocks at a depth of ten meters, Sales SpA is using an Atlas Copco HB 4100 breaker, with a machine weight of 4,150 kg, attached to a Liebherr 984 tracked excavator mounted on a floating pontoon. Working “blind” in the cabin of the excavator, the operator relies exclusively on a GPS tracking system and instructions from the divers.
One single blow with a flooded stroke chamber would damage the breaker. Therefore, to enable the HB 4100 to operate effectively underwater it is partnered with an Atlas Copco XAHS186 compressor. The compressor prevents water from entering the machine by blowing in compressed air. Channels for compressed air are standard on Atlas Copco hydraulic breakers, enabling them to be used underwater. A safety system immediately stops the stroke of the hammer if, for any reason, the compressor stops injecting compressed air.

HB 4100
Gordon Hambach, Product Line Manager Hydraulic Breakers, points out that Atlas Copco has extensive experience of dredging, excavation and underwater demolition in harbours, rivers, and canals. “We are working on projects of this type with a number of companies around the world and can offer a customized package comprising breaker and compressor, depending on water depth and breaker size. Customers are always welcome to discuss their specific needs with our specialist sales and technical personnel located at our Customer Centers throughout the world.
Atlas Copco showcased the new HB 4100 last spring at the Paris trade fair. Compared to the previous model, the HB 4100 has been upgraded to offer considerably more power with greater energy efficiency and reliability. The breaker also has all the advanced functions that customers have come to expect from attachments in Atlas Copco’s range of heavy hydraulic breakers, such as VibroSilencing, the PowerAdapt system, which turns off the breaker in the event of hydraulic overloading, AutoControl, which adjusts stroke frequency and impact energy to the hardness of the rock, and the automatic lubrication system ContiLubeTM II series.


Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2012, Atlas Copco had about 39800 employees and revenues of BSEK 90,5 (BEUR 10,5 ).

Atlas Copco Construction Tools is a division within Atlas Copco´s Construction Technique business area. It develops, manufactures and markets hydraulic, pneumatic, and petrol-driven equipment for demolition, recycling, compaction, rock drilling and concrete applications. Products are marketed and sold under several brands through a worldwide sales and service organisation. The division is headquartered in Essen, Germany, and has production units in Europe, Africa and Asia.

In 2013 Atlas Copco, ranked as one of the most innovative, sustainable and ethical companies in the world, celebrates 140 years of profitable growth. At the beginning the company made products for railways, but the core of Atlas Copco’s business dates back to the early years of the 20th century when the first compressors, tools and rock drills were manufactured. Today, the Atlas Copco Group has world-leading positions in these areas and many others. Atlas Copco supports customers in 180 countries with own operations in 90 countries. Read the story about a company that believes ‘there is always a better way’ on Atlas Copco History