July 11, 2019


BRAUN Maschinenfabrik received the order to deliver a movable bridge wire saw, to dismantle 6 steam generators / heat exchangers in the Russian nuclear power plant Nowoworonesch, to VIP Systems. The end customer, ROSATOM, is the world's largest nuclear company. 

The planning of the movable bridge wire saw with integrated gantry crane began already 2017. The order intake was in May 2018. It was built from August to November. The first assembly and commissioning took place at the end of November in Vöcklabruck and took just under two weeks.

This project faced very difficult challenges, as all 6 heat exchangers are located in individual chambers which can only be entered through a normal door (see pictures on next page). Even a crane, for the assembling of the bridge wire saw and the removal of sawn components, is not available in the chambers. In the heat exchangers are tube bundles that carry radioactive water. Consequently, the tubes are radioactively contaminated inside. Moreover, wire sawing for several reasons is not the optimal method for dismantling the heat exchangers. On the one hand because the heat exchangers are made of steel, and on the other hand because it can come to wire clamps when cutting the pipes. Furthermore, wire saws carry away the contamination. In order to find a solution to all these problems, BRAUN had to completely rethink the concept of a usual bridge wire saw.

The first problem was solved by means of a modular construction. The key to this is the grid construction made of aluminum, so that the entire system can be disassembled into small parts (not heavier than 40 kg and not longer than 2.5 m) and manually transported. Furthermore, a gantry crane is integrated in the system. This is necessary for the removal of sawn parts. Thus, the second hurdle is overcome. Since the pipes are internally contaminated with radioactivity, the system had to be largely automated and remotely controlled via cameras. In addition, the bridge wire saw can be combined with the patented BRAUN cold cutting saw. The saw blade creates larger chips and is covered by a dust extraction hood. This also solves the problems with the contamination and wire sawing.

The patented BRAUN cold cutting saw is 10 times more efficient when cutting steel than a diamond wire saw. Therefore, when dismantling the heat exchangers, primarily the cold cutting saw is used. Only in the case that the diameter of the saw blade is too small to cut through certain components, wire sawing will be necessary.

The result is a worldwide unique, mobile, movable bridge wire saw that, with a height of 10.5 m and a width of 6.5 m, can dismantle large objects. The combination of cold cutting (with carbide or diamond saw blades), cut-off grinding (the BRAUN cold cutting saw can even be equipped with a cut-off wheel) and wire sawing makes it possible to dismantle any materials very effectively and efficiently, so that everything that comes under the "bridge" can be sawed and dismantled. In general, the BRAUN bridge wire saw is universally applicable and could, for example, also be used in the construction industry. Due to the modular construction method it is possible to adjust the bridge wire saw to objects of different sizes.

In 2019, the BRAUN bridge wire saw won prices like the internationally coveted Diamond Award.

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