Conventional Small Drilling Equipment

Kurt, E. H.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 35
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION The simplest way to drill a hole into rock is to strike a steel chisel or drill bit with a hammer. Early miners used this elementary hand technique so successfully in "single jacking" and "double jacking" that the first mechanical rock-drill designers sought to duplicate it. However, in the early developments, the designers were forced to retreat to a construction known as the "piston drill," wherein the entire drilling element is tied to the piston and reciprocates with it. It took nearly 50 years to devise a method of divorcing the two elements and to achieve the original hammer principle used in hand drilling. The Mont Cenis tunnel, drilled through the French Alps in 1861, usually is considered the birthplace of the mechanical rock drill. The Hoosac tunnel in Massa¬chusetts was drilled at about the same time, and the success of these two ventures paved the way for innova¬tions that produced the Burleigh, Ingersoll, Sergeant, and Waugh piston drills between 1870 and the turn of the century. In 1897, George Leyner of Colorado introduced what has been considered the most significant development in rock-drill history. He devised the hollow drill steel for water flushing; when combined with his free-piston hammer drill, this became the first lightweight and dust¬free underground machine. In addition, Leyner's drills introduced improvements such as automatic rifle-bar rotation of the drill steel and chuck, automatic lubrica¬tion, and an enclosed throttle control. During the 1920s and 1930s, automatic feeds, centralizers, sliding cones, and the automatic water back head were developed, laying the groundwork for all pneumatic underground drills currently in use. Since these pioneering efforts, rock-drill development has been concerned primarily with refining the designs and improving the metallurgy to make faster, lighter, and more dependable machines. Fig. 1 illustrates the progress in drilling speed during the first 125 years of rock-drill development; that progress is a credit to the persistence and inventiveness of the designers in the rock-drilling industry. ROCK-DRILL CLASSIFICATIONS To meet the variety of conditions encountered in rock drilling, several distinct types of drills have been de¬veloped. In general, rock drills may be classified as either hand-held or mounted, with the hand-held ma¬chines including the jackhammer or sinker, the jackdrill or jackleg, and the stoper. The mounted drills are com¬monly known as "drifters." Table 1 shows that each type of drill is available in several sizes from different manufacturers. Fig. 2 illustrates a typical rock drill, showing the principal components. The jackhammer or sinker, shown in Fig. 3, is used primarily for general mine utility work such as drilling anchor holes (short vertical holes to bolt or anchor machinery), pin holes (short, usually horizontal holes to fasten sheaves, etc. to side walls), popholes (for blasting large boulders), and similar applications. They also are used for shaft sinking. Jackhammers are classified ac¬cording to weight, and they range from 7 to 30 kg (15 to 65 lb). The rock drill originally known as a jackleg was made by clamping a pneumatic cylinder or leg to a jack¬hammer, both to support the weight of the machine and to feed the tool forward in horizontal or uphole work. The more modern jackdrill refined this concept to make the hinged pivot for the leg integral with the drill cylinder and to group all drill and leg controls in the drill back head for convenience. Fig. 4 illustrates a typical jackdrill. Jackdrills are classified according to cylinder bore size, ranging from 60 to 83 mm (2.375 to 3.25 in.). Because of their light weight and versatility, jack drills are very effective in small drifts, small tunnel head¬ings, and stoping. The larger machines are applied to hardrock formations and in applications where drilling speed is a primary consideration. In soft formations or
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