Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Transactions home

  SME FaceBook SME Twitter SME LinkedIn RSS Feed

Dust and noise hazard exposure: Comparison of PDC vs. WC roof bolt bits in laboratory

Mining Engineering , 2015, Vol. 67, No. 2, pp. 28-33

Seiter, J.; Smith, M.; Kim, E.; Cox, S.

Mining has always been among the most hazardous of occupations, and
with the increasing demand for coal and minerals, safety in mines assumes even greater
importance. Worldwide, underground miners are being exposed to noise and respirable dust
hazards associated with roof bolt drilling. These hazards are now being understood to cause
irreparable damage to the health of miners. The objective of this research was to discover if a
polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bit generates less respirable dust and hazardous
noise than a competing tungsten carbide (WC) bit in dry vacuum drilling. In order to control
the drill parameters the drilling tests were conducted in a laboratory setting. The results were
obtained by determining the quantities of dust and noise generated using each drill bit and
analyzing those levels, using monitoring devices and software to collect the data. This paper
includes information on the experimental setup, equipment used, drilling parameters, and data
collected. Our results indicate that PDC bits produce significantly less noise and dust than WC
bits. Our findings can contribute to improving the working conditions of rock bolter operators
by reducing noise and dust generation.