Raise Drills

Home, Lok W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION Today, raise drilling (boring) has become the stan¬dard method of raising throughout the Western world. It is estimated that the majority of raise footage com¬pleted in 1977 was accomplished by the raise drilling method. Extensive replacement of the drill and shoot system by mechanized raise drilling has occurred be¬cause users have recognized one or more of the follow¬ing advantages. In a direct cost per meter comparison, mechanized raise drilling is economically more attractive than drilling and shooting. Mechanized raise drilling offers improved personnel safety over the drilling and shooting method. Mechanized raise drilling is a faster and more predictable method for excavation than is drilling and shooting. The raise cost per unit of length becomes less as the raise length increases, offering greater flexibility in the overall design of mines. Mechanized raise drilling provides a substantial reduction in labor requirements. 6) Mechanized raise drilling improves the working environment. 7) Mechanized raise drilling improves the rock in¬tegrity of round, unblasted raises. Increasing acceptance of the raise drilling technique is enhanced by continuing equipment development. Today, a wide range of machines and capabilities is available, machine drive systems have been improved, reliability has been increased, and cutter technology is being improved quite rapidly. Table 1 lists the four major manufacturers of raise drilling machines, cutters, and reamers, together with the approximate number of machines that each company had in operation at the end of 1977. Although Reed and Smith are major suppliers of reamers and cutters, they do not manufacture the drilling machines. Four or five other relatively minor suppliers have built machines, reamers, and cutters for raise drilling, but they did not have a substantial num¬ber of machines in the field at the end of 1977. MACHINES FOR MECHANIZED RAISE DRILLING There are three principal arrangements for making machine-bored raises. They include the use of standard raise drills, reversible raise drills, and blind-hole or box¬hole raise drills. Standard Raise Drills The standard raise drilling machine is set up on one mine level or on the surface, and a pilot hole is drilled from that level or surface to a level below. When the pilot hole has been drilled, the raise then is reamed back from the lower level to the upper level or the surface. This arrangement is illustrated in Fig. 1. Reversible Raise Drills The reversible raise drilling machine is set up on a lower level of the mine, and a pilot hole is drilled up¬ward to a higher level. The raise then is reamed back from the upper level to the lower level. This arrange¬ment is illustrated in Fig. 2. The machines used for this type of raise drilling normally are capable of being used as standard raise drills. Blind-Hole or Boxhole Raise Drills The blind-hole or boxhole raise drilling machine is set up on a lower level of the mine, and a full diameter raise is bored to a higher level without the use of a pilot hole. This type of machine is illustrated in Fig. 3. Drill Recommendations If access to upper and lower mine levels is equal, the standard raise drill should be used. The complexity of the equipment and associated handling procedures for boxhole drilling far outweigh any mechanical advantage or reduction in the number of operations, provided that access to an upper level is available. If there is good access to a lower level but only limited access to an upper level, the use of a reversible raise drill should be considered. If there is no access to an upper level, a blind-hole or boxhole raise drill is the only practical mechanized system. MACHINE SELECTION There are six major considerations in selecting a machine for raise drilling. These include operating range, cutter loading, machine structure and main¬tenance, drill string configuration, drive system, and automated controls. Operating Range As shown in Table 2 and Figs. 4 through 6, raise drilling machines are available for a wide range of hole sizes. Standard raise drill ratings range from raises of 0.9 m (3 ft) diam and 120 m (400 ft) length up to raises of 3.5 m (12 ft) diam and 900 m (3000 ft) length. Boxhole raise drilling machines are available for raises ranging from 0.9 m (3 ft) to 2 m (6 ft) diam with lengths up to 90 m (300 ft). Table 2 lists, among other criteria, the torque and thrust of typical machines; torque and thrust are the main criteria for analyzing the capacity of a machine. The raise sizes shown in Table 2 assume a condition of medium hard to hard rock formations and optimum cutter loading. The recommended raise size for a given machine can be exceeded when raising softer rock formations or when the operator is willing to accept a lower level of performance; the performance is related directly to the 1093
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