An increase in infrastructure in the railway and road is set to drive the growth of rock breaker and drill machines in India. Road construction projects requiring aggregates at quarries through blasting have been creating a spurt in demand for these machines. Further, there is demand from upcoming road construction projects in hilly terrain, requiring fracturing of rocks boulders that come in the way of construction. Newer demand for these machines is also coming from the areas having a ban on rock blasting. The manufacturers of rock breaker and drill machines in India are relying on modifying the technical attributes of their machines. The focus is on developing suitable machines that could be used for varied applications. Numerous advanced attributes are being added to the breakers and drills that include, including rubber buffers and big-size accumulators etc. that provide higher equipment uptime and lesser operating and maintenance costs. Parameters for selecting this machine include material, the complexity of the project, quality, cost, safety, and time. Given below are different types of rock breaker and drill machines used in multi-job applications across India.
Different types of rock breaker and drill machines
Hydraulic rock breaker
Modern hydraulic breakers come with an external air compressor, an air jet is continuously fired in the area of impact between the hammer and the tool to avoid the ingress of water and prevent breakage and corrosion of the main components of the breaker and the machine carrier. The air hose connection is positioned in the upper part of the breaker, to protect it from accidental impacts due to the lack of visibility of the immersed parts. This makes possible every kind of work, even the demolition directly from a floating platform towards the submerged parts. The hydraulic breaker includes the use of special bushings, locking plates of the housing of the tool holders and special floating polyurethane seals that adhere to the tool limiting the entry of dust and debris into the impact area. It is also equipped with integrated nozzles for water spraying, a feature with a positive effect on both health and safety. As the water catches the dust, the line of sight for the operator stays clear and the dust is kept on the ground. Rock breakers are used in mining and landscaping applications.
The drill rigs are equipped with up to four booms, covering cross sections from 6 m2 to 206 m2. These drill rigs come with a Direct Control System to which different levels of automation may be added. An extensive range of rock drills is available from 16 kW to 40 kW of impact power. Several models of the face drill rigs are available. The software added to these rigs lets the drill rig create custom-made drill plans directly at the face of the tunnel. The rig operator downloads the tunnel contour to the drill rig together with a drill rule file, and the drill rig generates its drill plans. Theses equipment comes with powerful hydraulic rock drills that offer high penetration rates. Drilling rigs used for road construction, mining, tunneling and quarrying applications.
Rock bolters come with a high-air frequency, rock drill, control system and ergonomic cabin. An interactive graphic user interface in the rock bolters enables all bolting operations to be performed by a single operator in safety. Intelligent control systems assist during drilling, grouting and bolt tightening, delivering high levels of automation in tunnel projects. Machine efficiency is further maximized through easy to access service points from ground level, providing rapid maintenance and troubleshooting. High levels of drilling performance are ensured with the use of the high-frequency rock drill and the drilling control system which optimizes drilling penetration rates. The rock bolt carousel ensures that the machine is capable of installing different types of rock bolts ranging from 1.6m (5’) to 6m (20’) in length. An automatic resin shooting and cement mixing system further guarantees a high-quality rock reinforcement process. delivers increased meshing as well as hole angle measurement and an advanced boom manipulator. The automation features are fully instrumented with indicators for hole angles, tilt and rotation, as well as an advanced boom manipulator, automatic cement mixing and basic remote monitoring, amongst other features. The machine is used for underground mining environments prone to heaving and rock fall, such as potash and soft rock mines.
Modern electro-hydraulic jumbo is designed for fast and accurate drilling in underground mining and tunneling. It is an advanced drilling equipment with added automatic functions and optional instrumentation to maximize productivity in projects. It drills holes with a diameter of 45 to 64 millimeters with a depth of up to 6.2 meters (20 feet). The drilling jumbos are usually fitted with rubber tyres and diesel-powered, there are also exist variants with steel wheels, to ride on rails and even single carriage sled-mounted ones. Electric power is also common, historic jumbos were powered by compressed air. Electricity and compressed air produce no exhaust gases, which is preferable if work is done in smaller tunnels where good ventilation is difficult. The latest series of drilling jumbos effectively provides automated multipurpose face drilling with the capability to drill one complete round accurately, with a high level of repeatability according to a pre-designed drill plan, and with minimal intervention by the operator. Data collection analysis and process control improve the work cycle and processes. It assists in geological interpretation, thereby providing considerable savings in the drill and blast operation. It also generates critical reports on drilling operation efficiency and provides drilling parameters to assess blasting vibration and pull-out.
Roadheaders are now offered with an operating weight of 13 tons up to 135 tons and with a cutting power of up to 400 kW, making it possible to cut relatively hard rock with the largest units. The new model of roadheaders can cut rock up to an unconfined compressive strength of almost 30,000 psi. The cutting head can be a general-purpose rotating drum mounted inline or perpendicular to the boom, or can be special function heads such as jackhammer-like spikes, compression fracture micro-wheel heads, a slicer head like a gigantic chain saw for dicing up rock, or simple jaw-like buckets. Equipped with geometrically optimized transverse cutter heads, these flexible machines can be used for a wide range of applications. The roadheaders are equipped with advanced profile control, automatic sequence control systems and online data processing possibilities. Roadheader do provide higher production rates with more powerful electrically driven cutter transmissions, can work successfully in smaller tunnels with space limitations, load and convey the cut material from the front of the machine to the rear, and provide greater stability due to mounted track. The machine is being used in a broad range of applications such as excavating roadways, tunnels and other underground cavern works.
The new age rock breaker and drill machines are designed to cater to the practical working surroundings and needs of industry sites. The machines now come with additional attachments such as a dust collection system, water injection system, auto fire suppression system and central lubrication system etc. Training the operator on safe and effective operation has also become an important part of manufacturers commissioning activity. There are various types of machines available in the market; however, choosing the right type is imperative.
Image sources: Komatsu India, Sandvik India, Epiroc India, JCB India