Sandvik announces new DTH hammers, open-standard driver chucks and the toughest range of button bits ever

Three new families of DTH hammers and a wide new range of button bits armed with XT48, the world's hardest and toughest cemented-carbide, will soon be making life easier for rock drillers. Promising simple choices, lean, hard-hitting hammers, open-standard drill bits and a comprehensive range of drill pipes, tools and accessories, Sandvik has vowed to raise productivity in DTH drilling, bring down the cost per meter drilled and make it easy to tailor the drilling system for different applications.

Watch out for the new Sandvik RH350, RH450 and RH550 families of DTH hammers, which will be offered in sizes from 5-18 inches, 3½-12 inches and 3-8 inches respectively. The RH350 series will also be obtainable in sizes up to 32 inches, to order. Starting with the flagship 3-8 inch RH550 series, due to be launched in October 2008, the new hammers will be led by an aggressive new range of drill bits with grade XT48 cemented-carbide buttons and the most optimal face designs ever. The initial product launch spearheads a major drive by Sandvik to both develop and rationalize its DTH product offering through new and refined designs and market-oriented standardization, which the firm says will give customers more choice, more value and greater flexibility. The initiative stems from Sandvik's roundtable approach to customers' viewpoints, which it says is the best way to give customers not only what they need, but also what they want.

Three hammer families – a thousand possibilities

The three new families designations – RH350, RH450 and RH550 – indicate three different hammer designs of rising performance and value. The Sandvik RH350 series are simple, lean, dependable, low-cost hammers based on a well-proven, globally-endorsed design that can use drill bits with various open-standard shank designs. Suitable for applications where high penetration rates are easier to obtain, as in limestone, or where variable rock increases the risk of hammer loss, they are a fast, reliable, low-cost alternative to more valuable high-performance hammers. The RH450 series, also designed for open-standard drill bits, is of a robust, higher-performance construction that gives very high penetration rates in harder rocks, and is ideal for most applications. Different models in this family will also be offered in a deep-hole version for water-well drilling.

Top of the range is the patented Sandvik RH550-series of hammers, which are of the latest, most advanced design and which give the highest performance of all. It is achieved through a proprietary interface between the piston, drill bit and driver chuck, which optimizes impact-energy transmission to give best penetration rates, long piston life and excellent economy through high productivity. Intended for drilling hard and abrasive rocks, the RH550 family is the first choice of hammer when production is the overriding priority. All three new series of hammers are designed for operating pressures from 10-24 bar and above (150-350 psi and above). Certain models are available with heavy-duty or reversible casings to ensure maximal life in high-speed drilling applications in abrasive rock formations.

Value of harmonized designs

"What is important to remember," says Rolf Morèn, who is coordinating the Sandvik DTH focus program, "is that we always make the hammer and drill bit as an integrated system. They are designed with each other, for each other, and work as a matching pair. Certainly, you can use other makes of bit with our hammers, and some makes are better than others. But none will match the total performance of Sandvik drill bits, especially in hard and abrasive rock formations." With bodies of drop-forged premium steel, finely machined and optimally heat-treated, Sandvik bits have superior strength, which makes them kinder to the hammer. Now with grade XT48 cemented-carbide buttons and new optimal face designs, Sandvik DTH bits give the best assurance of maximum impact-energy transmission into the rock, and therefore of maximum penetration rates. Add to this longer grinding  intervals and longer total life, especially in aggressive rocks, and the argument for a total Sandvik drilling system becomes a no-brainer. "We have designed the RH350 and RH450 with open-standard driver chucks to give you great freedom of choice when it comes to drill bits," continues Rolf Morèn, "but my guess is that once you have tried and compared other makes of drill bit, you will always come back to Sandvik. I know from experience how much our bits improve the performance of the hammer and of the drilling system as a whole. The drill bit is one of the most vital components in the system and has an extremely big influence on both productivity and drilling economy."

Sandvik grade XT48 buttons – optimally hard and optimally tough

To receive and transmit high-value, high-frequency impact energy from the hammer, penetrate and crush the rock efficiently, the cemented-carbide buttons in drill bits must be extremely hard but not brittle. Without a certain elasticity called ‘toughness', they would soon shatter. Metallurgically, however, it is very difficult to maximize both hardness and toughness in the same compound, for one can be increased only at the expense of the other. Working around this physicochemical axiom, Sandvik developers have for decades pushed the boundaries and raised the optima, consistently finding new ways to increase both the hardness and toughness of drill-bit buttons. The result has been higher long-term penetration rates, longer grinding intervals and much longer bit life. This, together with developments in our percussion mechanisms, energy transmission interfaces and control technology, has decimated the cost of rock drilling in real terms.

Now, Sandvik developers have taken yet another step forward by creating a new super-resistant grade of cemented-carbide that sets new benchmarks for hardness and toughness in drill-bit buttons. Called grade XT48, it is the first in a new family of carbides that has the highest density and most homogenous structure ever. This gives Sandvik button bits, already renowned for high performance and long life, an even bigger lead over other makes of bit, especially in aggressive rock formations that normally cause buttons to fracture. In such conditions especially, bits with grade XT48 buttons surpass all others. For rock drillers, that means fewer interruptions, higher productivity and lower costs.

Schedule

The flagship Sandvik RH550 family of DTH hammers will be the first to be launched in Q4-08, followed by the RH450 family in Q1-09 and the RH350 family after that. Bits with grade XT48 cemented-carbide buttons will be available from Q4-08 in Super Spherical or Robust Ballistic shapes. The new bits will come in three face designs: Flat, Concave and Convex. Bits with grade DP65 cemented-carbide buttons will continue to be available.

Captions:

– The RH550 hammer range is the fist to be introduced of the three new DTH hammer families from Sandvik

– Sandvik will also introduce a complete new range of DTH drill bits with more aggressive front designs and the new cemented carbide XT48

For further information, please contact:

Sandvik Mining and Construction

Martin Lindfors, Marketing Communications

Phone: + 46 26 26 21 58

[email protected]