Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is challenging the industry by introducing a groundbreaking top hammer drilling innovation that offers the benefits of top hammer drilling technology as a viable alternative to down-the-hole (DTH) drilling, on a much larger scale than before. The Top Hammer XL drilling system (Figure 1) expands the hole size range of top hammer drilling to up to 178 mm and provides a faster and more fuel-efficient drilling method. It is part of Sandvik’s commitment to use engineering and innovation to make the shift that will drive safer and more sustainable business. In addition to excellent drilling results, it offers an effective solution to reduce fuel consumption and, ultimately, CO2 emissions. This more fuel-efficient yet productive drilling method can help Sandvik customers grow their business in a more sustainable way.
The heart of the Top Hammer XL system lies in Sandviken/Sweden, and Tampere/Finland, where all the components have been designed and manufactured. They work seamlessly together and provide smooth operation and a highly productive system with optimum drilling results.
The efficiency of the new Top Hammer XL drilling system stems from the three components drill rig, rock drill and rock tools. The proven carrier offers a solid base for the powerful rock drill that generates an optimum pulse for the effective tooling system, which in turn transfers the high-energy shock wave with minimum losses to the rock. The Top Hammer XL system has been thoroughly tested and proven in several field tests by drilling more than 100,000 m in challenging rock conditions. The test results in the given conditions show a 50 % reduction in fuel consumption, 25 % reduction in total drilling costs and 15 % increase in productivity compared with the DTH drilling method. Estimations are based on field test results under specific controlled conditions. The results may vary depending on the actual drilling conditions and thus Sandvik does not guarantee the same outcome in any other conditions.
Pantera™ DP1600i is the newest member of the Pantera™ DPi series family of intelligent top hammer drill rigs, characterized by high penetration rates and advanced automation options for data-based fleet management and drilling performance optimization. Designed for large hole size drilling, the Pantera™ DP1600i, with its practical intelligence and support for higher-level automation solutions, is suited for production drilling in large quarries or open pit mines.
The new Pantera™ DP1600i is based on the reliable and proven Pantera™ DPi series platform, with upgraded key components to meet the needs of the Top Hammer XL system. Together with the RD1840C rock drill and LT90 rock tools, the result is extreme capacity for a larger hole size, without increasing the actual physical drill rig footprint. Pantera™ DP1600i offers the highest power in its class and can be customized with a variety of options to meet special requirements. Pantera™ DP1600i drill rig is available with Tier 3 and Stage 5 engine emission versions.
The new RD1840C rock drill is designed for large hole drilling with high drilling power (49 kW). Its robust design and balanced long piston percussion package are made especially for demanding circumstances. The new layout of pressure accumulators maximizes efficiency and minimizes hose vibrations. The state-of-the-art manufacturing process ensures the required high quality of the rock drill components.
The long piston technology generates high-impact energy with optimum pulse form, optimizing performance in large hole drilling without compromising the rock tools’ service life. The geometry and physical dimensions of the new RD1840C rock drill have been optimized for the entire Top Hammer XL drilling system.
As an additional option, RD1840C will be available with the Sandvik RockPulse™ tool stress monitoring system later in 2021. The system offers the drill operator real-time measurement data on three key drilling parameters: drill bit response, tools load and feed level. The system measures the stress waves and guides the operator to find the right drilling parameters for the best rock contact and performance.
The LT90 rock tools are developed to match the other components in the Top Hammer XL system. The tools – consisting of a shank adapter, MF tube rods and drill bits – offer the best possible drilling dynamics and rock-breaking efficiency.
The LT90 shank adapter, using high-quality steel, is designed for optimal energy transfer from the rock drill piston into the drill string and is developed in close collaboration between Sandvik’s experts on both rock tools and rock drills to ensure ideal performance.
With the new MF tube rods, developed to convey high-energy shock waves with minimal energy loss in the threads, Top Hammer XL customers will get a higher rate of penetration, straighter holes and increased service life for the whole drill string. The optimized thread design minimizes stress levels from bending, and excellent coupling characteristics are seen in the double-pass thread of this tool system. Premium steel grades and heat-treatment processes further improve its durability.
Sandvik’s patented retrac design form the base for the LT90 drill bits, with a strong gauge row, excellent flushing, high rock-breaking capabilities and reduced hole deviation. The drill bits are available from 140 to 178 mm and can be delivered with standard carbide grades as well as PowerCarbide™, depending on the rock formation.
Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology