Concrete smasher

Raytheon has developed a rapid concrete breaking tool that could be used by search and rescue teams in disaster situations.

The Controlled Impact Rescue Tool, or CIRT, uses multiple blank ammunition cartridges to drive a specially designed impact head that applies a concentrated shock load into the concrete.

Shock waves travelling through the concrete create an opening allowing rescue workers to remove the concrete more quickly than using other techniques, such as drilling, chipping or sawing.

‘This approach decreased by 50 per cent the time it takes to reach a victim trapped by concrete, increasing the probability of a successful rescue,’ said Guy DuBois, vice president of Raytheon’s Operational Technologies and Solutions business.

Developed under the rapid technology application program of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, a CIRT was recently compared to the current industry standards for safety, speed and ease of use.

Within thirteen minutes, the CIRT successfully penetrated a thick concrete wall and created a hole large enough for a potential victim to escape. The other methods that were tested took more twenty nine minutes or more to accomplish the goal.