US trenching and trenchless technology equipment manufacturer Vermeer has developed a pneumatic rock drilling system for use with its Navigator directional drilling systems. The Rockfire hammer and air compressor can be used to drill steerable 150mm diameter bores in solid rock for short to medium distance drives, says the company. An essential component is claimed to be an environmentally friendly polymer foaming agent developed by Baroid, which carries rock spoil out of the bore path.
In another new development for directional drilling, the air hammer in the new rock drilling system is connected to the drill string using a new quick connection system, which is claimed to provide a stronger connection to the starter rod than standard thread and collar joints. Vermeer has designed its Spinelok system to withstand high forces generated when drilling in rock, which is achieved by distributing lateral forces from the cutting action evenly throughout the head. A key advantage of the system is attaching an accessory simply involves sliding the tool and starter rod together, then securing the unit with hardened roll pins. All that is needed to both attach and remove the accessory is a hammer and punch.
UK agent for Vermeer, Wellingborough based B-Trac Equipment has recently undertaken a management buy-out.