Completely rubber free runways using ultra-high-pressure water technology
Dubai Airport handles 250,000 take-offs and landings every year. This corresponds to about 700 aircraft movements per day. This results in several layers of rubber and soot deposits on the wide runways every day, which can significantly impair the safety of flight operations due to the loss of friction. For example, when the runway is wet, aquaplaning occurs and aircraft could slide off the runway. Effective, large-scale and reliable cleaning is therefore essential for smooth flight operations.
The ARC is a high-tech system that uses pure water power to remove rubber and soot deposits and markings from asphalt and or concrete surfaces. It is also possible to roughen the road surfaces. For this purpose, the ARC does not need any chemicals or abrasive additives but works with high-pressure water pumps that have a capacity of up to 3,000 bar and reach nozzle speeds of over 400 km/h, driven by a 540 kW (734 hp) diesel engine. In this way, the ARC not only ensures an environmentally friendly and resource-saving cleaning method, but also a gentle surface treatment with working widths of 1,000 mm up to 3,400 mm.
The management from Dubai Airport, which has had the ARC 3000® in operation since March 2021, is correspondingly enthusiastic: "The ARC works enormously precise and for four hours without interruption - we have never seen such a result before."
Because especially in Dubai, where temperatures above 45° C are easily reached during the summer months. The rubber deposits become as viscous as chewing gum due to the enormous heat and literally stick to the surface, making them very difficult to remove. In addition, the high-capacity utilisation of Dubai Airport allows only short cleaning times. This requires a cleaning system with a very high performance that removes the deposits quickly and reliably. The ARC 3000® with a working width of 3,000 mm, a tank capacity of 37 m³ and a residue-free dirt removal even at ambient temperatures of up to +55°C, easily meet these requirements.
Furthermore, the use of the ARC convinces the management of Dubai Airport through a considerable reduction in operating costs. "Until now, we could only deal with the dirt deposits on the runways with very expensive, aggressive and environmentally harmful chemicals and with up to four additional sweepers. By using the ARC, the costs for the additional sweepers are eliminated, the cleaning is environmentally and resource friendly as no chemicals are used, only pure hydroelectric power, and the costs for the maintenance and upkeep of the machine are much lower."
Due to the extremely high nozzle speeds of over 400 km/h, the water droplets hit the surface with so much energy that all coatings can be completely removed. Unlike a constant, slow water jet, however, there is no volume of water that fills cracks or cavities and could lead to chipping or severe damage to the road surfaces. Thus, the running performance of the ARC 3000® achieves 100% rubber removal with up to 2,800 m² of treated surface per hour. With a rubber removal of up to 90%, even hourly outputs of 4,300 m² are achieved.
Not only is the handling of the cleaning work less complicated, but the ARC is also easy to operate. The entire system is controlled directly from the operator's cab via a 12'' flat screen with touch screen, whereby each of the four cleaning units can be individually activated, parameterised or deactivated while the machine is running.
Separate monitors allow the cleaning result to be checked at any time and the pressure of the water nozzles to be increased/decreased as required during operation.
The intelligent control technology ensures that the surface to be treated is not damaged and switches off the high-pressure system as soon as the driver steps on the clutch or brake. In addition, it is equipped with an early warning system with traffic light function, which gives the driver clear instructions for action in his national language in the event of an error message. When the warning level reaches red, the entire machine is automatically deactivated.
A powerful, maintenance-free suction fan with a hardened impeller ensures an extremely high air speed and a large air volume (over 15,000 m3/h) so that no undissolved substances remain on the surface to be cleaned. At the same time, the noise level in the driver's cab is comparatively low at approx. 70.1 dB/A.
Opening and closing the tailgate as well as tilting and emptying the dirt container are also conveniently done via radio remote control. The ARC has an integrated high-pressure cleaner so that the emptied container can be cleaned on site immediately.
All ARC models are compact and can be mounted optionally and on 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-axle trucks. "With this new system, we have been able to take a giant step forward in our work processes. Each cleaning site is ready for use again within 10 seconds, without any standing water or other residues on our runways," Dubai Airport management proudly declares. “And the environment is protected as well.”