Evaluations of bit sleeve and twisted-body bit designs for controlling roof bolter dust
, 2015, Vol. 67, No. 2, pp. 34-40
Drilling into coal mine roof strata to install roof bolts has the potential to release substantial quantities of respirable dust. Due to the proximity of drill holes to the breathing zone of roof bolting personnel, dust escaping the holes and avoiding capture by the dust collection system pose a potential respiratory health risk. Controls are available to complement the typical dry vacuum collection system and minimize harmful exposures during the initial phase of drilling. This paper examines the use of a bit sleeve in combination with a dusthog-type bit to improve dust extraction during the critical initial phase of drilling. A twistedbody drill bit is also evaluated to determine the quantity of dust liberated in comparison with the dust-hog-type bit. Based on the results of our laboratory tests, the bit sleeve may reduce dust emissions by one-half during the initial phase of drilling before the drill bit is fully enclosed by the drill hole. Because collaring is responsible for the largest dust liberations, overall dust emission can also be substantially reduced. The use of a twistedbody bit has minimal improvement on dust capture compared with the commonly used dust-hog-type bit.