Design And Development Of A Low Noise Rockdrill

Burger, N. D. L.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
A low noise blast hole drilling system was developed to limit the risk of noise-induced hearing impairment in mining operations. Noise- induced hearing loss has been identified as a major occupational health risk in SA mines. The noise generated by pneumatic percussion drills is a major contributor to such noise-induced hearing loss. This motivated the South African Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee (SIMRAC) to commission the development of a low noise rock drill system. The system had to be designed, manufactured, tested and demonstrated in a simulated underground mining environment. The specification required noise levels below 90 dBA. Other important design considerations were ease of manual transport, setting up and operation. The primary design concept was to encapsulate a standard SecoS215 pneumatic rock drill in a composite material tube. The tube is pushed onto the rock face by a pneumatic cylinder and is sealed at the rock face by an elastic seal. The drill is pulled towards the rock face by a rope and pulley mechanism fitted inside the tube. This mechanism is powered by a second pneumatic cylinder. The actions of moving and setting the drill require two persons. However, the team can carry out the drilling function itself on several drills simultaneously because of the self-thrusting design. The drill is supported by two camlocks. The exhaust (air containing dust, water, rock debris, oil and grease) is removed from the encapsulating tubes via an exhaust tube to the end of the stope. In this way exhaust noise and air pollutants are disposed of away from personnel. Tests were conducted in a test stope. Noise levels of under 90 dBA were achieved, thereby attaining the primary design specification. This was achieved without materially compromising ease of handling. Penetration rate was somewhat improved compared to that of the standard drill, so that productivity could be maintained. Keywords: Drill, rock drill, quiet, noise, mine, underground.
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