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Rock Drilling Tools

Rock drilling tools are mostly used for drilling blast holes on mine sites. Tricon has a range of rotary drilling tools, DTH drilling tools and a broad range of rock drilling accessories. Rock drilling is unpredictable, where drillers might encounter soft or hard ground from one section of the mining pit to the other. 

Tricon offers a full range drilling consumables and accessories from its locations in Perth WA, Singleton NSW and Mackay QLD. Core proprietary products offered by the affiliates include premium TDS series Rotary Bits.

We can do site-specific evaluations and apply appropriate design modifications to suit specific drilling applications. Tricon products provide both performance and value to the end user.

Products and Services include:

  • Rotary Drilling Products
  • Blast hole drill rods and subs
  • Unilift Pipe Handler
  • Trilok jaw clamps
  • State of the art manufacturing
  • Down the hole hammers(DTH)
  • RAPADRIL®
  • DWT
  • Alloy lifting bells, drill pipes, and lifting equipment
  • Safety initiatives

Rotary Drilling Tools

Drill String

In a rotary drilling system, the drill rig is the capital investment, followed by the rotary drill bit, and the drill string. There are multiple components in a drill string and selection of each component is vital to achieving the most efficient drilling.

The main purpose of the drill string is to transmit rotational torque and weight, generated by the rotary head of the drill rig, to the rock-breaking drill bit. The power must be transmitted as efficiently as possible and to minimise vibrations. Unnecessary vibrations cause additional wear on the equipment as well as reduces the efficiency of the drill rig.

Cushion Sub

The cushion sub is not an essential part of the drill string, however, it is essential to achieve the most efficient drilling. Its main purpose is to absorb the damaging vibrations from the drill bit while drilling. In addition, it also reduces wear on the rotary head and improves the transmission of energy to the drill bit.

Drill Pipe

The drill pipe is the main component of the drill string and makes up the most of it. Generally, only 2 drill pipes are used in a rotary drill string with a third pipe sitting in the carousel of the drill rig. These generally get rotated on a regular basis to ensure even wear across all pipes.

Deck Bush

A deck bush centralizes the drill string within the hole, ensuring axial alignment from top to bottom. This alignment complements performance potential of the drill rig and the drill bit which would increase bit life. The deck bush also reduces friction as the drill string passes through the drill deck and improve accuracy to improve blasting efficiency.

Rotary Drill Bits

Bit Size

Bit size is determined on site depending on the blasting requirements. The important part is matching the drill bit up with the size of the drill string. There also needs to be the correct angular clearance to get the cuttings out. Without proper clearance, cuttings will not be cleared from the hole which may cause damage to the drill bit.

Compressor Capabilities

It is also important to have an understanding of the compressor capabilities on each particular drill rig because that gives you the bailing velocity.  The bailing velocity clears the cuttings away from the face of the bit. Insufficient or excessive bailing velocity has a direct impact on drill bit efficiency as well as the life of the bit.

Maintenance

It is important for rotary drill bits to be checked regularly - ideally at the end of every shift. If they are a non-sealed bit and they need to be kept clean. Crews should be checking to make ensure that the bearings are still rotating freely. It is important to be checking that there's no real heating in any of the bearings. Heating can be a sign that there is a blockage in that bearing. If there's no air going through an open-air bearing, it's not going to be kept cool. One way to extend the life of an open-air rotary bit is to make sure the bearings are kept clean and cool. That's why it is important that there is air is running through the bearing.

Correct Operating Parameters

Following the correct operating parameters will extend the life of a drill bit. This includes the correct weight-on-bit (WOB) and the correct rotation. It is also important to make sure that the drill string is matched so that they are getting the air away from the face of the bit.

Effectiveness Comes From Adjustments

A driller sitting in a drill rig is usually monitoring the operation. Conditions can change in a second and that is when adjustments need to be made. Sometimes it will be harder ground that needs to be adjusted to or even softer ground. For example, softer clay can plug the bit if there is too much weight on the bit so adjustments will be needed to maintain efficiency.

Down The Hole (DTH) Drilling Tools

DTH hammers are often employed in production drilling on specialized DTH rigs(AKA Contour rigs) These machines are smaller and generally more agile than the larger rotary capable rigs and are used for angle pre-split holes, buffer holes as well as production holes in harder to reach areas.

These rigs are equipped with high-pressure compressors and in line lubrication systems, critical to protecting both the moving parts inside the DTH tool as well as the bit drive splines. Later model rigs have auto drill functions as well as full autonomous capability.

Common hammer sizes generally employed are 4” class (115-121mm or 4 ½”-4 ¾” hole size), 5” class (140-146mm or 5 ½”-5 ¾” holes size) and 6” (165-171mm or 6 ½”-6 ¾” hole size). Smaller and larger class bit sizes are available for other drilling applications such as water well and construction but not necessarily considered appropriate for production drilling where maximum tool life and efficient rates of penetration are desirable.

These rigs are generally equipped with 6m or 20’ drill pipe lengths and carry 6-8 drill pipe in carousels on board for drilling depths in the 50m range.

On larger high-pressure platform rigs capable of both Rotary and DTH the utilization of both methods of drilling can pose unique problems for drillers/ operators.

The two methods are essentially 180 degrees apart, rotary drilling calls for fast rotation with heavy downforce whilst DTH hammer drilling calls for slow rotation with light downforce.

Rotary drilling does not require high-pressure air. Rotary bits do not require additional external lubrication. DTH Hammer drilling does require high-pressure air. DTH Hammers require continuous lubrication injected into the airstream while in use in adequate quantities.

Accordingly, care must be taken by the operator when transitioning from Rotary to DTH (or vice versa) to maintain the correct operating parameters for the type employed.

Over rotation of DTH bits and lubricators not functioning correctly (either empty of lubricant or fallen into disrepair through lack of use) are common issues.

DTH Hammer

Pneumatically powered down the hole percussive tools employing an internal piston to strike a drill bit which is driven by splined contact with the DTH tool via a drive sub (or chuck) which indexes as the drill pipe is rotated.

Ideally, the drill bit will be rotated two revolutions for each inch (25mm) of penetration.

Sufficient WOB is considered to be in the range of 500-750lbs/inch of bit diameter (227-340kgs/25mm of bit diameter) dependent on the formation. E.G. for 6 ½” (165mm) =3250-4875lbs (or 1477-2216kgs) of downforce required.

As always with DTH drilling, smooth operation is a key indicator that parameters are close to or at optimum. A rough operation can signal incorrect weight and/or rotation speeds which can be detrimental to both the tool and the bit.

DTH Bit

Specially designed to function with the DTH hammer and available in various face patterns to suit different formations. Flat face and Concave being the two most versatile and common.

Some brands are designed with readily available industry standard or generic shanks to fit a variety of DTH hammers.

Others are specific to one manufacturer, not always desirable if supply issues are experienced.

Drill Sub

Utilized to connect DTH hammers and Rotary bits which normally come with API standard threads to the multitude of drill pipe threads available in the industry (BECO, DIBH, CUBEX etc)

Rapadril®

A unique patented custom designed Hybrid Rotary Percussion tool that combines the features and attributes of both Rotary and Percussion drilling methods.

The light percussive energy aids the Rotary bit in increasing ROP in selected formations and can ease drilling in faulted transitional ground which is a desirable feature in autonomous application by minimizing bog/retrieve command triggers.

The patented Tricon RAPADRIL bits are specially strengthened to withstand the percussive energy generated by the lightweight piston.

Generally speaking, normal rotary rotation speeds and WOB can be maintained and even increased dependent on the hardness of the formation.

The RAPADRIL functions efficiently between 100-200PSI and requires continuous lubrication.

It is currently available in 251mm bit size configuration and has a 5 ¼” BECO pin connection.

Uni-Lift Pipe Handler

The Uni-LIFT remote controlled Pipe Handler allows for drill rods to be mechanically loaded and unloaded, directly in and out of the drill mast.  Our specially designed ‘manipulator’ securely grabs the drill pipe and allow for ease of placement.  This is all completed safely and efficiently and is a one-man operation.

This is the new industry accepted standard safe work procedure for changing out drill pipes. You can reduce your drill downtime via scheduling in drill pipe change outs plus eliminate hazards relating to this high-risk task.

Less Handling Less Risk

Every time there is the need to change a pipe, the mast has to be put down,  the pipe removed, stood up again to rotate to pull the other pipe out of the carousel. It is then laid back down and crew have to climb back up again. The main advantages of the pipe handler are not having to have people laying the mast down. You are removing people away from areas where there is a greater risk of injury. It is also a lot faster to change a pipe out.

Faster, Safer Change Overs

Personnel change can mean that new people on site may not be experts in pipe change over routines. In circumstances where people are unfamiliar with the protocols, there is a higher risk than when people are very experienced. The crews involved with the Pipe Handler are people specialized in this task, making it a faster and safer process.

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