Application Of Helical Drag Bit Technology For Mining Operations

Giraldo, Luis B. ; Shenhar, Joram ; Pile, James D. ; Bessinger, Steve L.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
This paper discusses the Helical Drag Bit (HDB) and its rock drilling applications with an emphasis on use in mining operations. The HDB is a drilling tool that employs cutting members arranged in a pattern to form a helical groove or thread within a borehole. This pattern of cutters can be used for several purposes including roof bolting in mining, interpretation of the lithology of the strata being drilled and low energy consumption drilling. Laboratory and field experiments have consistently shown increase of roof bolt-anchoring capacities in weak rock of more than 100% using the short encapsulation pull test method when boreholes are conditioned using the HDB. In 2004 a series of tests conducted in mines with weak roofs demonstrated the benefits of HDB technology for roof bolting applications in mining. HDB technology offers opportunities for new and beneficial approaches to interpret the geology of roof strata. During conventional drilling, traditional approaches to determine rock properties require simultaneous measurement of several parameters such as thrust, rotational velocity, torque and penetration rate. The unique geometry of the HDB possesses a characteristic that allows determination of the mechanical properties of the rock being drilled by measuring torque as a single drilling parameter. This capability greatly simplifies the process of determining rock properties and provides reliable results. Additionally, HDB technology has been demonstrated to offer significant advantages for rock drilling. A substantial portion of the rock is removed by the fracturing of the internal thread created in the rock bore by the tool taking advantage of the weakness of the rock in tension. Because the rock chips obtained in this process are relatively large, savings in energy are realized when compared to traditional drilling technologies.
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