In Down-The-Hole (DTH) drilling high velocity exhaust air is used to flush the rock cutting up past the DTH hammer and back to the surface. This becomes a highly abrasive environment which can dramatically shorten life of the exterior hammer casing.
Through an intensive R&D effort LaserBond has designed, proven a game-changing DTH hammer, targeted at hard metalliferous drilling. It lasted three times longer as totally objective and independent tests proved, reducing total drilling costs by 7.5%.
When drilling in particularly abrasive rock formations, the actual cutting erodes the outer casing to the point of destruction. This wear can represent up to 20% of a mine’s total drilling costs.
LaserBond’s innovation process began with an investigation into how the cut rock particles hit the casing. Particle size and the angle of incidence against the casing were found to be the cause of high wear rates.
Extending wear-life highlighted the need for surface engineering of internal components. This work is now underway.
Extensive trial results guided the design of a casing that would resist abrasion and erosion. It required a strategic series of rings along the casing, changes to the drive chuck and subtle modifications to the internal design.
Understanding the tribology of surface interaction
with various rock types lead the R&D team to develop a variable cladding metallurgy process to extend the life of the casing and counter the effects of the different erosion impact of high velocity rock cuttings along the hammer barrel. The simplicity of the laser clad casing
hides much of the technical challeges that the LaserBond DTH Hammer solved.
Finally, to clearly prove the solution, an independently supervised comparative trial was undertaken.
LaserBond is now establishing an advanced Lean Manufacturing process
to support the production of DTH Hammers and other product developments in Australia.
Three times life improvement over recognised industry- leading brands.
7.5% total drilling cost saving.
Other benefits associated with 3 x longer life are saving inventory costs, reduced safety risk and better for the environment.
An unintended benefit was a significant increase in penetration rate.
The LaserBond DTH Hammer is a ‘game changer’.
“Congratulations LaserBond. The performance of your new DTH Hammer system we are trialing has exceeded all our expectations. We are drilling in granite and gneiss, with almost no wear, over 3500m when other hammers would be scrap. The LaserBond®Hammer significantly reduces our total drilling costs.”