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A tough bit for hard rock


Overall drilling efficiency is greatly influenced by bit penetration rates. Increasing this is mostly determined by impact energy and flushing efficiency.

Rockmore has targeted improvements in bit design so that the rock cuttings flush more effectively from the bit face, leading to better penetration rates and increased bit life.

The CrossFlow bit design incorporates new features in the bit face, particularly in the geometry and placement of flush holes, flush grooves and tungsten buttons. The intent is to remove broken rock chips from the face and up towards the hole annulus as quickly and effectively as possible.  

The flush holes are nearer the centreline of the bit than on conventional designs, helping the flushing medium, usually compressed air for quarry drilling, to push the cuttings away from the centre. Standard flush hole positions do not provide adequate flushing medium at the centre of the bit. This creates a dead zone where rock chips can remain, prohibiting good advancement.

The flush holes are in newly designed flushing grooves that promote maximum flow of rock cuttings away from the bit face. These V-shaped grooves are much wider at the bit edge than conventional designs.

Also, rock chip velocity is reduced at the wider section of the flush groove at the bit edge, leading to a reduction of steel erosion (‘body wash’) on the body of the bit, which will extend bit life greatly.

The CrossFlow’s tungsten carbide buttons are placed strategically to penetrate and break the rock as effectively as possible, thus improving penetration rates. The ideal contact mechanism is deep penetration of the carbide into fresh unbroken rock at each blow.

The design offering includes threaded button bits in 89-127mm sizes for top-hammer applications, while DTH button bits are currently in development.

By using the Rockmore CrossFlow bit design, drilling operators in quarries can reduce drilling consumable costs and increase their overall drilling efficiencies.

Five minutes with Pejman Eghdami, executive vice-president, Rockmore International

“Rockmore exports its drilling tools to the mining and construction sectors in more than 75 countries,” says Mr Eghdami.

“The construction segment includes quarries, civil and infrastructure projects, tunnelling and other related hard rock drilling applications. Latin America today has the highest demand for our products related to the construction sector.

“The main trend today in quarry drilling is the progression to larger blast hole diameters using heaver and larger drill rigs. The biggest challenge in the construction sector is the uncertainty and fragility of the economy. We expect demand for quarry drilling to increase slightly in North America, level off in Latin America, and possibly decline in Europe and Asia. Our revenue forecast for 2012 is a 15% increase over 2011.”

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