Successful drilling consists of several factors: substrate knowledge, the right tools for the right time, and support when needed. But drilling consumables are always at the heart of operations.

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Mass production and deliveries of the Robit Diamond Button Series bits will begin late 2019
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Robit Group’s diamond coating proves a success forTop Hammer shock drilling in hard rock

As its latest innovation, Robit is launching diamond button bits for Top Hammer drilling.

“Traditionally, bits have had hard metal buttons, but in the new Robit Diamond Button Series bits the buttons have an industrial diamond coating, which lasts many times longer than a regular bit and does not need to be sharpened,” explains Robit’ Niko Ojala, R&D Engineer and Materials Specialist.

The diamond coating is made on the buttons in the same way as diamonds are also created, namely by subjecting it to high pressure and heat, which makes it even more durable than natural diamond.

“The coating has several layers, which ensures adherence and enables the diamond bit to withstand the shocks and heat fluctuations of Top Hammer drilling. Robit Group has previously used the diamond coating with success in oil and gas operations in softer substrates. Now the durability of diamond is offered for the first time for shock drilling in hard rock,” says Mr Ojala.

Robit has been developing the Diamond Button Series products for five years.

“Field tests have been conducted extensively with ever-improving results and great success, and now the 0 series products are available to customers.

“Mass production and deliveries will begin during the latter part of the year. Initially, 89mm and 102mm diamond bits will be offered,” continued Mr Ojala.

“We have also signed the first extensive agreement in the mining sector with Agnico Eagle Kittilä mine, Finland, which will start using the Robit Diamond Button Series this autumn,” says Robit’s Kimmo Kangas, Sales Manager.

“Test cooperation with Robit in these new innovative products has been productive. The goal is to use diamond bits to make remote drilling more efficient in terms of use of resources and productivity than drilling using regular bits,” says Agnico Eagle’s Production Manager, Jari Kolehmainen.

In test use, the new diamond bits have yielded outstanding results.

“When drilling hard granite, you may have to sharpen – change – a traditional hard metal button bit, for example after 80 metres. With the diamond button bit you can drill nearly one kilometre,” said Mr Ojala. “As the diamond buttons do not, in practice, wear out, then their penetrating ability does not deteriorate like regular hard metal buttons. Drilling speed therefore remains the same throughout the bit’s time of use.

“Similarly, the diameter of the borehole does not decrease as the bit ages, resulting in a more consistent and predictable end result in production drilling. The many times longer change interval of the bit saves time and is particularly important for remote-controlled drill rigs in fully automated mining environments where people are not present during the process,” concluded Mr Ojala.

*Article published in the October-December 2019 issue of The Asia Miner

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