Sandvik has unveiled its new +Range rock tools, featuring a unique steel alloy designed to extend service life and reduce rod changes while improving safety and slashing stock and handling costs.

At the core of the new top hammer rods and tubes for bench drilling is the company’s latest exclusive steel alloy, which is much more resistant to heat and thread wear. Months of rigorous in-mine testing in Africa, Australia, Europe and around the Middle East resulted in service life increases upwards of 30%, with several tests achieving significantly higher gains.

"Drill rods and drill tubes represent a significant part of tool cost in bench drilling," says Stefan Hvalgren, product manager for surface mining top hammer tools at Sandvik Mining.

"Imagine if your drill rods lasted more than 30%. You would drill more metres on every shift and reduce your cost per metre, increasing profit."

The +Range offering includes T38+, T45+, T51+ and GT60+ and is compatible with industry standard drilling products.

"As today’s mining industry requires increasingly deeper holes, the overall cost for drill rods and drill tubes will continue to rise," Hvalgren added.

"Keeping these expenses under control will be more important than ever. Our premium +Range builds on a history of some of the market’s longest service life."

The new +Range offering is one of many Sandvik projects involving the company’s global research and development expertise, which aims to develop solutions that improve economic, safety and environmental aspects of mining operations around the world.

"A safe and healthy working environment is always our top priority," Hvalgren said.

"Sandvik strives to develop equipment that facilitates such environments, and this was one of our objectives when developing +Range rods and tubes. Fewer rod changes are required with our new rock tools, resulting in less transporting and handling of equipment. This minimises exposure to risks such as strain and back, arm and hand injuries."

Developing equipment that reduces environmental impact is also important to Sandvik. The new +Range products require fewer shipments and less transporting once on site, and the extended service life means fewer rods to recycle. +Range tools also require less energy and raw material consumption, making the new tools a smarter solution for the environment.