Epiroc says the new Epsilon² premium tricone drill bit will help surface mining and construction professionals enjoy up to 100% longer distance drilled before bit discard.
Thanks to smart patented features, Epsilon² improves drilling productivity through extended bit life and a faster rate of penetration (ROP), according to Epiroc.
The new air bearing bit has been tested in the field by selected customers in operating conditions in North America, South America and Asia. The tests show an average of more than 60% longer distance drilled before bit discard compared with the previous Epsilon generation – peaking at over 100% in some cases, according to Epiroc.
Bahadir Ergener, Product Line Manager, Rotary, at Epiroc, said: “The name Epsilon ‘to-the-power-of-two’ is no coincidence. It’s more than an upgrade, it’s a new generation.
“Degrading of the bearings was long a common cause of bit failure, forcing customers to accept a slower ROP and a shorter service life than necessary. Either the bearings would corrode due to moisture from water injection for dust suppression, or overheat by friction.”
Two patented Epiroc features combine to solve the problem: Tornado, which channels cooling air over the hotter load side of the bearing, and Torrent, which removes moisture from the cooling air and therefore reduces corrosion, Epiroc says.
Allan Rainey, Global R&D Manager at Epiroc, said Epsilon² outperforms other air bearing bits on reliability, and even challenges more costly sealed bearing bits.
“Users of sealed bits can now turn to Epsilon² for comparable productivity at a lower cost,” he said.
“Longer bit life means improved personal safety through reduced operator interaction with the drill bit. With twice the distance drilled, there is no need to replace the bit every day, perhaps only once a week,” he added.
Another aspect of extended bit life is there will be fewer bits manufactured in total over the lifetime, which in turn reduces raw material use, transportation and ecological footprint.
“We believe customers will value a lower climate impact when selecting their next rotary drill bit,” Rainey concluded.