Blast cleaning NT Service DIABAS raw stone silo system

Blast cleaning NT Service DIABAS raw stone silo system

Today, blasting technology is not only used for the construction of tunnels, bridges and roads, but also for the demolition and cleaning of silos. NT Service GmbH is a company that specializes in the fault clearance and cleaning of silos. The company relies on the use of blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology. This article will focus on a specific application of NT Service GmbH. The aim of the silo cleaning / blasting work was to loosen raw material build-up in a diabase bulk storage facility and to ensure a regular flow of material.

Blasting technology for silo cleaning

In silo systems, blockages can occur time and again, which hinder the flow of material. This can have various causes. One cause may be that the material adheres too strongly to the walls and floor of the silo. Contamination or clumping can also prevent the material from flowing. Various techniques are used to clear these blockages. In the past, hammers or chisels were often used to loosen the material. However, this was very time-consuming and strenuous. There was also a high risk of injury for the workers. Today, more and more companies are using blasting technology for silo cleaning.

Blasting technology for silo cleaning involves injecting a small amount of explosive into the silo. The explosive loosens the blockage by destroying the connection between the material and the silo wall or silo floor. The force of the explosion also loosens impurities and clumps. The material can then flow freely again. The use of blasting technology considerably reduces the amount of cleaning required. Where previously a tenfold workload was necessary, today silo systems can be emptied and cleared highly efficiently using intelligent blasting technology.

Fig. 1 – Blasting technician Matthias Natusch and Rico Thiedemann during the placement of the explosive charge

Blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology

The use of blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology makes it possible to clean and demolish silo systems that are difficult to access. Rope access technology is used to get workers to the site safely and efficiently. Special ropes and belts are used to secure the workers. Rope access technology is also used to bring the blasting material into the silo. This allows the workers to place the blasting material precisely where it is needed.

The combination of blasting technology and rope access technology is very efficient. The workers can work in a targeted manner and clear the blockages quickly. In addition, blasting technology in combination with rope access technology is much safer than conventional methods of silo cleaning.

Fig. 2 – Security post with ready-to-use rapid rescue system

Blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology – Occupational health and safety

The use of blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology is not without risks. Blasting technology is generally a dangerous job that should only be carried out by specially trained specialists. In the case of NT Service GmbH, the teams are excellently trained and have excellent qualifications. The managing director of NT Service GmbH is also personally present at every operation as a safety expert and expert assessor as well as blasting technician.

An important aspect of blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology is occupational health and safety. The safety of the workers is the highest priority here. Extensive precautions must be taken to ensure safe working. This includes, for example, the creation of a safety concept in which all risks and dangers are identified and appropriate measures are taken. All those involved must also be instructed in the safety precautions and adhere to them.

When working with rope access technology, workers must wear special safety equipment. This includes helmets, safety belts and ropes. Workers must also be trained regularly to comply with safety regulations. Another important aspect is regular maintenance and inspection of the equipment in order to identify possible defects at an early stage.

Extensive safety measures must also be taken when using blasting technology. For example, the explosives must be stored and transported properly. The workers must also wear special protective clothing to protect themselves from injuries caused by the explosion. The planning and execution of the blasting work must be carried out by specially trained specialists.

Fig. 3 – Abseiling process second belayer

Effective explosives and their detonators – What role do they play in blasting technology?

Over the last few years, blasting technology has developed into a highly efficient method for the suppression and cleaning of silo systems. The blasting agents and their detonators play a decisive role in this. They can only develop their full potential if they are optimally adapted to the respective conditions. The following section explains which blasting agents and detonators are available and what role they play in blasting technology.


There are various types of explosives that achieve different effects depending on their intended use and material. The best-known explosives are

  • Dynamite: Dynamite is an explosive mixture of nitroglycerine, diatomaceous earth and other substances. It has been used as an explosive for over 150 years and is still one of the most important explosives today.
  • Blasting gelatine: Blasting gelatine is a high-explosive explosive made from nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose. It is particularly effective and is often used for larger blasting operations.
  • Ammonium nitrate-based explosive: This explosive is made from ammonium nitrate and fuels such as diesel or kerosene. It is particularly cost-effective and is often used on construction sites.
  • Emulsion explosives: Emulsion explosives are a mixture of water, oil and explosives. They are particularly safe and are often used in tunnel construction or mining.


There are also different types of detonators, which have different functions depending on the intended use and explosive. The best-known detonators are

  • Electric detonators: Electric detonators are ignited via an electric wire and are particularly reliable. They are often used for larger explosions.
  • Pyrotechnic detonators: Pyrotechnic detonators are ignited via a pyrotechnic reaction and are particularly fast. They are often used for smaller explosions or for detonating explosives in ammunition.
  • Non-electric detonators: Non-electric detonators are ignited by heat or friction and are particularly safe. They are often used in sensitive or hard-to-reach areas.


Blasting technology in conjunction with rope access technology is a highly efficient method for unblocking and cleaning silo systems. With the help of these techniques, blockages can be cleared quickly and safely. NT Service GmbH focuses on the safety of the workers during its operations and has taken extensive precautions to ensure safe working conditions. Nevertheless, working with explosives and rope access technology remains dangerous work that should only be carried out by specially trained specialists. A comprehensive safety concept and regular training and maintenance are essential.

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