Resurgence of Top Hammer Drilling
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Resurgence of Top Hammer Drilling

In the 60's and 70's many quarries were littered with drilling tools scrap.  This was in the shape of bent and broken extension rods, extracted after being stuck in the hole or blasted out.  At this time the majority of holes drilled by Top Hmmer were between 89-115 mm.  The small 38 mm dia. extension rods were soon exchanged for the DTH (Down the hole) method, using tubes, hammers and bits.  The rest of Europe and Scandinavia, however, continued with Top Hammer drilling, mainly due to the smaller drill hole diameters of 64 - 92 mm.  Today Top Hammer is still king in Europe and DTH still dominates the UK as the preferred method of drilling.

The Top Hammer drills manufactured by Sandvik today are far removed from the drills associated with the rigs of the 60's and 70's.  Today over 450 Sandvik DP (Panteras) are operating worldwide with Sandvik GT60 drilling tools.  Germany alone has over 70 units operating

We definitely see a new interest in Top Hammer drilling in the UK.  Sales of these rigs are slowly increasing with Drilling Contractors adding drills to there fleet.  With the reduction in bench heights and smaller hole dia. the power and faster penetration rates of a Top Hammer drill can be fully utilised.  Hole quality is now very good, fuel consumption is low (an ever important factor when considering our "Carbon Footprint") and of course you save significantly in fuel costs.

Sandvik offer the DX (Ranger) for Construction and small to medium size quarries.  Sandvik DX has the unique rotating top structure for unbeatable drilling coverage and extra stability in rough terrain and the DP (Pantera) for high production quarry applications.   

Some key changes and advantages of Sandvik Top Hammer drilling machines

  • RockPilotTM drilling system. Adapts automatically feed and percussion pressures to varying rock conditions on the basis of instantaneous penetration speed and rotation torque.
  • - Greatly improved drill steel life, gives straighter holes, less jammed drill steels => more production
  • High versatility. The same DP (Pantera) rig can drill 92, 96, 102, 115, 127, 140 and 152 mm holes.
  • The "Carbon Footprint". Typically a DTH drill will use 50-60 litres per hr. A Top Hammer drill will use nearly half at only 25-35 litres per hour.
  • Straight holes and long service life with Ø60 mm Sandvik GT60 extension rods
  • Fast penetration rates with Sandvik HL1000 and HL1560 rock drills
For further information, please contact:
Mark Haywood
Sandvik Mining and Construction Limited
Tel. 02476 476 300