How SMETS technology uses water for rubber removal, demarking and retexturing
Ultra-high-pressure technology is the best method for road treatments and demarking applications
Demarking and re-texturing road surfaces using ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) technology has been SMETS Technology’s specialty since 2009, although the company’s owners have been in the business since 1975. SMETS Technology has quickly developed its portfolio and its client base, having now more than 120 customers around the world. SMETS Technology is specialized in two fields: Contracting and Manufacturing. While manufacturing complete units for rubber removal, demarcation or surface retexturing according to the customer’s needs, we are also doing rubber removal and demarcation services on our own. We thus combine the know-how of a manufacturer and an operator.
Our core products are the “MRT”, a road marking removal vehicle that has various tank volumes, as well as the “ARC”, an airport runway cleaner, used for rubber removal or re-texturing (roughing) of road surfaces. All our units work solely with water power, without any chemicals. The available working widths for machines are 1m (3.3ft), 1.6m (5.2ft), 2m (6.6ft), 2.4m (7.9ft), 3m (9.8 ft) and 3.4m (11.2 ft).
In many cases, asphalt road surfaces become smooth over the course of their lifetime, thanks to temperatures and heavy traffic. The pores get stuffed, which can lead to aquaplaning when it rains. Closed surface pores can be cleared with our technology, without damaging the structure of the surface.
Nozzles that rotate at speeds above 400km/h (249mph) remove the micro-texture (bitumen/tar), leaving the surface with a very good friction value. Our biggest unit, the ARC 3400, can operate with working widths from 0.8-3.4m (2.6-11.2ft) and can treat a whole lane (up to 3.4m/11.2ft) in one sitting. Additionally, this system has a demarking device on each side of the vehicle, with a maximum working width of 0.36m (1.2ft).
The devices can be installed at the rear of the vehicle (up to three devices installed at intervals of 0.8m/2.6ft) and between the axles on each side. These demarking devices can be raised from the road surface automatically within seconds. The vehicle is then ready for normal driving on public roads – unlike on some competitors’ models, where cleaning devices must be dismantled from the vehicle to prepare the truck for regular driving. Another big advantage of our systems is their efficiency in operation. Different high-pressure pumps are matched with each model and size. Flow rates vary from 19-88 l/min (5-22 US gal/min), while working pressures from 1,000-3,000 bar are available. This results in the lowest water consumption of all available systems world-wide.
We want our systems to be easy to use. While two weeks’ worth of training is provided as part of the before and after sales package, the simplicity of the operation system – which, for the operator, involves use of a simple color 12inch touchscreen display in the cab – means that most of the training can be performed on the job.
The main displays on the screen are shown in local languages. Warning messages (for example, regarding oil temperature, water level, booster pressure and oil pressures) are shown on the monitor in a yellow frame. If the operator ignores the warning, it will turn red and the system automatically shuts off. If the operator presses the yellow pre-warning window, a protocol opens, giving clear advice on what to check, control and/or change.
Our systems can be delivered with several optional extras, such as a permanent magnet device, a washing vacuum device with a working width of 2.4m (7.9ft) and a sweeping device with a working width of 2.8m (9.2ft). The company developed the software in-house; it is this research and development capability that has enabled SMETS Technology to develop quality products so quickly. Other system features that are important for owners and investors include some of the lowest aftersales costs and water consumption per treated square meter of all road treatment systems available.
Drops not jets
The system also offers very high nozzle speeds, resulting in drops rather than aggressive jets that might damage the treated surfaces. Unlike jets, the drops do not have the volume to fill cracks or holes, which would cause extreme damage. The vacuum blowers used by Smets equipment can go more than 15 years without wear and maintenance, in contrast to standard vacuum pumps, which involve a lot of repairs and spare parts. Smets’ blowers create a very high flow rate of up to 16,800m3/h (593,286ft3/h). Smets offers a four-year warranty for the superstructure (not including the UHP pump).
With our partners we produce unique nozzles (flat or round) in hardened steel or ceramic with at least 50 working hours, resulting in the lowest after-sales costs world-wide.