Caterpillar has introduced its first Cat® down-the-hole (DTH) hammer and bits for blasthole drilling as it looks to speed up penetration rates and reduce drilling costs in difficult conditions.
The new Cat DTH Hammer is 152 mm (6 in) in diameter and is the first to be introduced in the new DTH line. Its valved design provides reliable operation, low air consumption, easier maintenance and cost effective rebuild, according to the company. The piston design, meanwhile, delivers long life and efficient energy transfer.
The new hammer is rated to run with compressed air systems driving working pressures up to 34.5 bar (500 psi). Cat explained: “This additional back-head pressure, when combined with corresponding airflow demanded, generates more blows-per-minute to generate faster penetration rates in the hardest of materials.”
Caterpillar also is introducing bits for DTH drilling. Several different configurations of 171 mm (6.75 in) bits are now available in both standard and heavy-duty versions to allow matching the bit to the rock characteristics and job requirements. The bit selections include a variety of carbide shapes (spherical, ballistic) and face shapes (concave, flat, convex).
“Cat Bits are optimised for high wear resistance and improved rock chipping,” the company says. “The aggressive, long-lasting cutting structure in conjunction with the efficient Cat DTH Hammer delivers a superior rate of penetration.”
Caterpillar’s advanced materials and heat treatment technology used in the DTH products yield longer life and result in lower overall drilling costs in demanding conditions, it says. In head-to-head tests conducted in iron ore and quarry applications, Cat says its hammers and bits demonstrated significantly lower total cost of drilling.