COPROD – Combining The Best Of Top Hammer And DTH Drill Strings

Drilling is a central component of the mining industry and operators are constantly looking for ways to develop more efficient and cost effective means of drilling to greater depths. COPROD technology delivers higher penetration rates and lower fuel consumption than down-the-hole (DTH) with straighter holes than top hammer.

Down-the-hole drills

DTH drilling is more accurate than top hammer; DTH rigs drill straight holes with less deviation providing more accurate blasting and better fragmentation as a result. DTH drills are proven at depths of more than 20m. In addition, producing less noise than top hammer drills.

Typically the maximum size for DTH drilling in a production environment is 229mm.

Top hammer drills

Top hammer drilling is ideal for shorter depths, producing faster penetration rates than DTH and lower fuel consumption with higher mobility. Typically the maximum size for top hammer drilling in a production environment is 140mm.

Atlas Copco COPROD

Atlas Copco’s COPROD drilling system combines both DTH and top hammer drilling technologies, combining the high penetration rates of top hammer with the hole straightness and quality of DTH.

While top hammer drill strings can sustain 25-30kW of power, COPROD can handle up to 50kW, allowing operators to drill larger hole sizes, increasing productivity.

COPROD is an extremely efficient drilling system using less fuel per metre drilled and creating greater cost savings. While DTH drill hammers require compressed air – which in turn requires large amounts of fuel – COPROD uses a hydraulic rock drill, using less compressed air and ultimately less fuel, further delivering cost savings for mining operators.

While top hammer drill rigs can run efficiently up to hole diameters of around 127-140mm, COPROD performs efficiently up to 203-216mm.

COPROD drill strings come in a range of sizes including 76, 89, 102, 127 and 140mm. This enables a total hole range of 89-216mm between the two COPROD rigs available today.

Rock drills that function at up to 15kW were previously classed as powerful, but they have been developed to perform at a greater force over the years. COPROD delivers the power of the rockdrill down to the drill bit with virtually no loss of energy. The larger COPROD hammer which runs at 50kW is the most powerful on the market and it is only the COPROD drill string that is able to efficiently transmit this power to the drill bit which allows operators to drill larger hole sizes from 115 to 216mm.

Another key advantage of COPROD is the structure of its drill string. The string is composed of multiple components meaning that when one wears, only that individual component needs to be replaced. This contrasts with traditional drill strings on top hammers where, if a rod or shank breaks, the whole item needs to be replaced.

With COPROD the multiple components each have different life cycles and as each of them wear out, they can individually be replaced, creating more efficiency. This also provides greater cost savings for operators in the long term.

With COPROD, operators achieve the same efficiencies and hole straightness as a DTH drill, but with lower fuel consumption and a significantly greater penetration rate.

COPROD is a patented Atlas Copco innovation and is specific to Atlas Copco COPROD SmartROC C50 and larger SmartROC CL. When used in mining applications, COPROD rigs produce higher penetration rate – getting each job done faster and requiring less fuel than traditional DTH drills. COPROD delivers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

To find out more on COPROD, download the Atlas Copco whitepaper here.