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Epiroc brings Powerbit tophammers to underground mining sector

Epiroc says it is unleashing a new power in the underground drilling industry with the launch of its Powerbit Underground tophammers.

These drill bits have been designed to match the capacity of the latest technology in drill rigs and offer a higher penetration rate, longer service life and more drill meters per day, according to the company. “It will boost the productivity of both new and older rigs – allowing customers to capitalise more on their rig investment,” Epiroc said.

Back in 2016, Atlas Copco Secoroc (now part of Epiroc) launched its Powerbit tophammer drill bits for surface drilling, which were built to take on any rock, from hard to soft, and from abrasive to non-abrasive.

Epiroc says the Powerbit Underground has by far outperformed all standard bits during substantial testing carried out around the world, resulting in remarkable productivity improvement.

Johan Thenór, Product Line Manager for Tophammer Products at Epiroc, said: “The new bit averaged 37% more drill meters before being discarded, peaking at a whopping 82% in one test round! No doubt, we’re setting a new productivity standard for underground mining.”

The tests show a higher penetration rate and longer intervals between regrinds, so miners will benefit from more trouble-free, uninterrupted drilling, according to the company.

Thenór added: “At the end of the day, it’s about getting maximum capacity from your drill rig, and we are sure customers will be happy to see what Powerbit Underground can deliver.”

Powerbit Underground is a firm response to market demand for a bit that matches the high drilling speeds enabled by ever-stronger rigs and rock drills. With that said, it will prove just as game-changing for customers using older rigs with lower water pressure, if not more, according to the company.

Epiroc said: “Every miner can look forward to a bit with a higher penetration rate and longer service life. This will improve their productivity and reduce their cost per meter drilled.”

The leading productivity is partly explained by the bit’s optimised flushing capacity, according to Robert Arnoldsson, Senior Product Specialist, Tophammer Products at Epiroc. “The hole configuration maximises flushing efficiency, which is key to the high penetration rate,” he said.

More innovative features combine to give the bit the leading position in underground drilling today, Arnoldsson added.

“We used our hardest steel ever and we configured the bit’s face in such a way that it removes cuttings faster than ever before. Therefore, drillers can make the most out of their rigs and achieve a whole new penetration capability,” he said.

Customers will also be making their acquaintance with Trubbnos, Epiroc’s new and innovative trapezoid-shaped buttons, which increase penetration rate and service life compared with conventional, semi-ballistic buttons, the company said.

Thenór concluded: “Since the bit’s performance is crucial to the rig’s ability to penetrate rock fast, customers can look forward to a new product that will greatly improve drilling efficiency.”