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Free Drilling and Mining Information - Equipment, Parts and Reviews

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Why Diamonds Are Often Used in Mining Drills

It probably seems a little strange or odd that a diamond, a gemstone that is one of the most popular and holds such a high status in society would even be considered to be used in a mining drill, especially since diamonds are one of the more sought after gems in the world. But it is true, diamonds are more than just sought after for their beauty but also for their usefulness by a variety of different industries and mining is one of them. The fact is, that the majority of all diamonds that are mined are used for industrial reasons and only a quarter of all the diamonds in the world are actually used in jewelry.

So why are diamonds used so much and even in a mining drill? It is because of their chemical composition making them the hardest material natural or man made that is known to man on this earth. It is because of this invincibility that makes diamonds so popular for using in industrial drills and for cutting saws. Another advantage of using diamonds in drilling tools is that the lifespan of the diamond drill bit is quite a bit longer than any other kind of drill bit. The diamond is also considered invaluable because of the thermal stability that it has.

Diamonds are most commonly used in the oil and mining industries. The diamond drill bits are used in a mining drill for getting core samples and for oil well drilling. They can also be used in circular saws that are used for cutting marble, granite and other kinds of very hard stone that come in quarried blocks. The drill bits, saws and other tools using diamonds are custom made and in a variety of different diameters and lengths that correspond to the different materials and the different pressures that are needed for the tool that is being used.

Other than a mining drill or saws the diamond can be used as semiconductors to harness power. Blue diamonds especially have superior electric conductivity. The Current will travel through a semiconductor and this is then used to make microchips. They have great electronic qualities even in higher temperatures, far better than other minerals. They can also be used as a heat sink for semiconductors. Since microprocessors, power handling semiconductors and other micro-electromechanical items need a method to reduce their temperature the diamond is the one thing that is most efficient in transferring heat.

Diamonds can also be used as an abrasive. These particles work much better than any other abrasive for polishing a variety of different stone surfaces. The powder that is made from diamonds is often called a super abrasive. It consists of block like, jagged diamond particles that all have irregular surfaces. These edges hold up very well through even the most extreme heat that is generated by friction during abrasive sanding and polishing.


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What is Horizontal Directional Drilling?

Horizontal directional drilling is also known as directional boring, slant drilling and deviated drilling and it is a way of drilling trenchless holes in the ground. When used for the oil and gas industry this type of drilling or boring involves laterally drilling of a variety of wells through a zone of oil or gas bearing rocks at angles.

Horizontal directional drilling can also be used for the installation of utility pipelines and conduits. They will pilot a borehole that is drilled along a path that is already been determined from the surface with very little disturbance. This is mainly used for making crossings under rivers, existing structures or roads. The pipes are usually used to transport a variety of different kinds of fluids or materials.

This type of drilling is a good way to get utilities from one area to another without destroying the ground or existing obstacles that are already in place that are located between the areas they need to get utilities to. This type of drilling actually goes way beyond traditional trenching by connecting utilities and services in areas that traditional trenching is simply impossible to do.

Trenching has been the most common way to install and connect utilities but it has always had limitations. It can only be used when the ground above the utilities is allowed to be disturbed and there are no existing buildings, obstructions or roads in the way. However, horizontal directional drilling can be used for the same thing or it can be used to go under the roads, sidewalks, rivers and even houses if necessary.

One drawback for this type of drilling however is its cost. It does cost six to eight times more than trenching. But the even though trenching is more cost effective as you see it does have its limitations.

Horizontal directional drilling will also have a lower impact on the existing ground and this means there is a lot less disturbance to the environment. There is still some damage that will be done caused by construction equipment, but this happens with any type of construction equipment. But, if it is planed properly and patience is used, the damage to the environment is kept to a minimum.

The benefits of this type of drilling are:
  • Less soil disturbance.
  • One location can be used to install different pipes.
  • Can reduce fractures to existing rock formations.
  • Can reduce the contamination of ground water.
  • Protects the ecosystem in the area.
  • Produces twice the amount of oil or gas.
  • Can reduce the excavation and shoring costs.
  • Is a safer method.
  • Weather does not impact the process.
  • Very little landscape or traffic disruption.
  • Can drill under surface objects.

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Mining Systems Can Involve Four Main Types of Mining

When it comes to mining systems there are four main types of mining that you will find involved. There is dredging, surface mining, underground mining, and insitu mining. All of these types of mining have their own mining systems that help them process whatever ore or natural materials the miners are after.

Dredging is a very high volume type of mining technique for lower valued products that are plentiful and near some sort of water source. They will use scoops or buckets to extract the materiel from shallow waters, often these can be man made lagoons. They can also do a higher tech variation of this by doing undersea mining where the material is sucked up from the sea floor. These types of mining systems are often combined with the processing being done on a floating barge which will most often be anchored in the middle of the water source or lagoon.

Surface mining, another one of the various mining systems used can be called Open-cast if they are mining soft rock like coal or limestone and called Open-pit if they are hard rock mining for copper or diamonds for example.

Surface mining generally will not go any deeper than 200 meters or around 656 feet below the surface and this is usually to extract cheaper metal from underground. The cut off point will actually depend upon the cost of the two methods. The surface cost will be dominated by the ore waste ratio and in turn it will depend upon the shape of the ore body, the amount of its overburden to be removed and the safe steepness of the wall.

Underground mining is mining through shafts or inclined roadways. There are usually two access routes one that is for the miners and their materials and then one is for the ore being mined. Also for safety and for ease of ventilation the fresh air will come in one shaft and then exhausted out the other as well.

Once the underground mine has reached the depth they want it becomes permanent so it is required that the roof supports be extremely strong. This will often include bolts into the rock to tie the layers together for more strength. There are also tunnels that go into the ore deposit itself and these are temporary structures and they require less support.

The two main extraction techniques used in underground mining are:
  • Room and pillar – This is a matrix of excavated rooms with pillars that are left between them to hold up the roof. This is good for shallow mines where the mineral is thick but of low value.
  • Lonewall systems – The minerals are extracted as a face between two parallel roadways. This is popular with coal mining by using shearers or plows.
  • Block Caving – These are tunnels that are driven in under the ore deposits and the rock above is then fragmented and the rock will collapse under its own weight and the material can be drawn down through these ore passes.
  • Cut and Fill – This is for irregular ore deposits of higher value minerals and involves mining up in horizontal slices and each slice back filled, usually with concrete to provide a good floor.
The fourth most common type of mining is Insitu mining. There are two main types, solution and thermal. Solution is mining that involves injection of water down drill holes into soluble deposits, most commonly would be salt. Then the mineral solution is pumped back to the surface for processing.

The thermal is actually still in its research stage but theoretically it could be possible to burn coal insitu by making cracks and then injecting oxygen and a heat source and then recover the heat from this process. In other words it is like creating an underground power station without ever having to actually extract any of the coal.


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What Exactly is Core Drilling?

When it comes to the mining industry, core drilling is their main mode for exploration. For instance in the Western United States alone, core drilling for copper, gold as well as silver is something that is done all year round. The actual concept of this technique is quite simple. There is a rod that is attached to a diamond carbide bit that has an open end. The normal size and type of rod is called an NQ coring rod. This rod is measured in millimeters that usually has an outside diameter of 69.9mm and the inside diameter being 69.3mm or 2.75 inches by 2.72 inches. The whole idea is to have the bit spin fast enough to make a core that is then pushed up inside of the rod.

After the core drilling goes a few feet, the core is extracted by using what is known as a retrieval tool. So that they can keep the core intact and the bit cool, they use a bentonite drilling gel and water. As the diamond bit cuts out the core they want there are very fine drilling cuttings that are made. These fin cuttings can actually cause a lot of issues down inside the hole like broken cores, lost cores and premature wear on the bit. Since there is less than a .60mm of tolerance it is vital to keep the drilling fluid very clean. Clean fluid should be less than 9 pounds per gallon of mud weight and the sand content should be less than 1%.

To help out with the core drilling what is known as a mud puppy solids control unit is used to remove these fine cuttings. It does this by using de-sanding cones that let the fluid stay below 1% sand. Then there is a scalping screen desander that will help to manage the mud weight if it is done correctly. By making sure the mud weight is kept down it will let the miners use the minimal amount of drilling fluid needed to finish their job. When it comes to coring, it is vital to retrieve good cores and then move to the next hole and with the help of a mud puppy solids control system miners have a better chance of staying on schedule and having increased success drilling cores.


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Oil Drilling Requires Special Oilfield Equipment

The procedure of oil drilling requires people who can expertly use oilfield equipment. These people are part of a crew that drills a hole from the starter and drills a hole from the depth that is already preset for the drilling. The process of drilling for oil involves a variety of different steps in order to be successful.
  • They place the drill bit in a hole along with the collar and drilling pipe.
  • A turn table and the “Kelly” are attached for drilling with the oilfield equipment.
  • The oilfield equipment helps to circulate the mud that goes through the pipe and out of the bit for floating the rock cuttings outside of the hole.
  • New sections or joints in drilling are added in the pipes when the hole gets deeper.
  • The pipe is later removed or tripped out along with the other oilfield equipment such as the bit and the collar once they reach their preset depth which can be anywhere from just several hundred feet to a couple of thousand feet.
The oilfield equipment such as the drilling gear must be placed on the casing pipe section that is in the hole to prevent the equipment from collapsing in on itself. The outer part of the casing pipe has spacers that help keep the focus on the hole. The pipe is pumped down by a cement crew with the help of a oilfield equipment such as a top plug, cement slurry and a drill mud. It is the pressure from the drilling mud that causes the cement slurry to move through the pipe casing to fill in the space that is outside of the hole.

Often a reserve pit is dug with oilfield equipment for disposing of the rock cuttings that they get when they are drilling the hole for oil. It is also for the drilling of mud and border it with plastic for the protection of the environment in the area. This is especially true if the area they are considering drilling is ecologically sensitive like a wilderness area or a marsh.

After the land is prepared for drilling different oilfield equipment will be used to prepare the land and digging several holes to make room for the oil rig as well as the main drilling hole. They also will dig a cellar, this is a rectangular shape hole that is dug around the location of the actual drill hole. This is a place for the workers as well as a place for holding drills and different accessories.

This is just a few things that are needed to be done in order for an oil crew to start pumping out oil. It is a vastly complicated job and takes a variety of different skilled people in order to make it happen.


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What are the Top Mining Supplies Needed for Mining Gold

Mining for gold is an ancient practice and is still one that is going strong and the equipment and mining supplies that are required depend upon the nature of the operation and where the gold deposits are located. Wh ether the gold is in sediment or hard rock, the type of items needed will vary.

When the gold is being refined from the ground there are several different ways to extract the gold from sediment. The most ancient of the ways to do so would be gold panning, however, it's not a very successful technique. The mining supplies needed for this is a pan where the gold will settle to the bottom of the pan since gold is extremely dense. The better way in sediment would be with a metal detector because this procedure is much faster. The third way is called sluicing and this is done by running very powerful streams of water past the gold deposits, this can be done in troughs, large canals or directly on a hillside.

The mining supplies for sediment mining are flat metal pans, filters, troughs and water wheels, shovels, picks, wheelbarrows or conveyor belts. All of these items are designed to help gold mining operations.

Dredging is another way of mining gold and thi sis done on a small scale by some mining corporations. They use a sluice box and drag it along the bottom of a riverbed or along the soil and there is a suction hose attached and controlled by a miner it will suck out ore deposits. The mining supplies need for this would include dredges, trucks and other machines ordered by the mining company.

When gold is found in hard rock and not in sediment the mining becomes more intense. This is when open pit mining will be used and this requires big heavy equipment to dig a mine in the side of the deposit or mountain, this of course is environmentally harmful. Other mining supplies or equipment used would be tunneling equipment.

Even though it is quite dangerous some mining companies still include in their mining supplies cyanide for cyanide processing. This is quite harmful but still seems to be an industry standard. They use the cyanide to extract the gold from rubble that's broken up on the ground. They spray it with cyanide and it will eat away all other metals and expose the gold.
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How To Do Simple Rock Drilling

Even rock drilling in a simple fashion can be a difficult because rock is one of the toughest substances to do drilling in. It is also a very highly usable substance for a variety of different purposes. If you have some rock that you want to drill holes into you don't always have to hire a professional mason to get the job done for you. If you have all the right tools you can get this job done for a lot cheaper by doing it yourself.

Before you start your rock drilling make sure that you know exactly where you want to drill the holes or hole. Make sure to mark the spots or spot where you want the holes drilled by using a marking pencil. Make sure the marks are dark enough for you to see to help guide you while you are drilling.

Make sure you have a good cordless (preferably) hammer drill that has a fully charged battery. Don't use a battery that is not completely charged for the drill is going to need as much power as it can get when you are rock drilling. You can also use an electric hand held hammer drill and use an extension cord if you need more length to reach the location on the rock or if the rock you are drilling can't be moved.

Next you will need to put in a carbide or diamond tipped masonry drill bit into your drill. Do this by loosening the chuck of the drill and then insert the end of bit into the drill and tighten the chuck of the drill. Never use wood drill bit to drill into a rock this can result in breaking the bit and causing some serious injury to yourself if you do.

Once you have the bit in and you are ready for some rock drilling make sure to put the tip of the drill bit directly over the mark you made on the rock. Then lower the tip of the bit down slowly and make sure that you keep it aligned and straight. Next bring the bit down to the rock surface and keep the bit steady and vertical at all times.

Next you will want to apply pressure as you start to drill. Squeeze the trigger of your drill slow at first. You can then gain speed as you start applying more downward pressure to the rock. Let the tip of the drill bit slowly penetrate the surface of your rock. Then start applying more pressure and increase the speed of the drill. Make sure to keep the drill bit straight at all times and drill into your rock until you get the depth that you want.

Once you have reached the depth that you want back up the drill bit and slowly take it out of the rock. Once that is done you can move onto any other marks you have put on the rock and repeat the above steps until all of your holes are completed.

Note: Always make sure to wear eye protection when doing any kind of drilling but especially rock drilling.


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What is Directional Drilling and How Does it Works

Directional drilling is a type of drilling that has been used for oil and gas since the 1920s. The technology has improved over the past years the overall concept of it is still the same. It is all about drilling wells at a variety of different angles, not just vertically in order to reach and produce the oil and the gas better. It also allows for several different wells from the same vertical bore which then minimizes the environmental impact.

With the improvement in sensors and global positioning technology this has helped to make huge improvements in this type of drilling. Now in today's drilling, the angle of drill bits are controlled with incredible accuracy through what is known as real time technologies, giving the oil and gas industry different solutions to different drilling challenges they might run into and this then increases efficiency and lowers the cost of drilling.

The different tools that are often used in directional drilling would include whip stocks, bottom hole assembly configurations, measuring devices that measure in 3D, mud motors and special drill bits.

From one location different wells can be drilled at a vast variety of different angles allowing drillers to tap reserves that are miles away and even more than a mile under the surface of the earth.

Often non-vertical wells are drilled by simply pointing the drill in the direction needed. With more complex ways of directional drilling it utilizes bends near the bits along with a down hole steerable mud motor to be able direct the bits in different directions from its well bore axis. T hey pump drilling fluid through the mud motor while doing this. After they reach their angle or angles, then the drill string is rotated which includes the bend and this ensures that the drill bit will not drill in a different direction from the axis.

Another type of directional drilling is horizontal and this is used to increase the production of oil and gas. The well is drilled horizontally across a formation of oil and gas. This can actually increase the production up to 20 times more than that of the vertical directional drilling. This type of drilling has a well bore that is over 80 degrees and can include more than a 90 degree angle drilling upward.


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A Short History of Mining and Mining Technology

Mining can be described as a process where you physically remove minerals, rock, or ore from the earth. This includes underground mining and surface mining. Mining technology has been around for centuries and has changed over that time in several ways.

Discoveries through archaeological finds gives proof that mining has actually been around since prehistoric times. People in the Stone Age would dig for flint in order to make things like scrapers, knives and arrowheads. Then from 8000 to 2000 BC there were actual shafts that were dug up to 330 feet deep into softer rock deposits in both Britain and France in order to mine for flint. The oldest mine in the world is said to have been dug around 4100 BC in Swaziland. There they dug for hematite that contained ochre, which they then would use as body paint in their burial ceremonies.

Gold is probably one of the first metals man ever mined for from stream beds in sand and gravel. Then there were the gold mines of Nubia which were among the biggest and most extensive mines of any in Ancient Egypt. Then there was copper that was soon discovered through mining, which was one of the first metals man learned to shape and it was mined by Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula back in 3000 BC, silver soon followed that and at one time was actually more valuable to people of that time than gold. People discovered lead around 2500 BC in ancient Troy. Romans were able to increase mining by building aqueducts in order to bring water to the mines that powered simple forms of machinery.

In the Middle Ages rock and soft ore was mined by hand with a pick and the harder rock and ore was mined with hammers, wedges or heat. They would pile logs up at the rock face and then set them on fire. The heat would then cause the rocks to crack. In 1627 black powder was first used in Slovakia.

The mining technology really did not change much until the invention of mechanical drills that were powered by compressed air and those were invented in the first part of the 1800's. Holes were drilled and then loaded with dynamite. Other kinds of mining technology was discovered in the 1800's that increased production greatly.

Mining underground became a necessity when ore got so deep that it made removing top rock nearly impossible. This type of mining was a lot more expensive and a lot more dangerous. An underground mine's first step is to sink a shaft to a depth that is a little below the deepest part of the planned mine. Then there are horizontal openings dug along the shaft to get the ore.

Mining technology of today has advanced to a point where the underground mines can be at depths of 12,000 feet and surface mines can be as deep as 3000 feet. Some of the deepest mines in the world are in South Africa where they get as deep as 12,100 feet.


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There is More Than One Type of Drilling Rig

When it comes to drilling, you will quickly find out that there is more than just one type of drilling rig. In fact there are several different types. The kind of rig that you select will depend upon the drilling requirement that each drill site has.

Land Based Drilling Rig – This drill is one that is for land use and is probably the most common one that is used for different types of land exploration. Sites that use these types of drills are generally smaller pieces of land so the drills are smaller and much more efficient than ones they have used in the past.

Slim Hole Drilling Rig – When comparing this drill to a more conventional drill you will see a big difference in size. The conventional drill bore can be 18 inches in size and this one can be as small as six inches in size. This type of drill can drill a well to over 14,000 feet and will produce just one third the amount of rock that a standard well will produce. Slim hole drilling however, is not always feasible in all kinds of environments.

Coiled Tubing Drill Rigs – Often conventional wells that are drilled in sections with rigid pipes will form the drill string and sometimes they will cause coiled tubing to replace a normal drill string to create a continuous length of pipe that is wound on a spool. The benefits of using this is that there is less drilling waste and less equipment footprints. So it's great for those concerned about environmentally sensitive places.

Jackup Drill Rigs – These rigs are normally used for very shallow water areas that are less than 300 feet in depth. This is actually a floating barge that contains the drill structure that is fitted with long support legs that are raised or lowered independently. This drill rig is towed into place with its legs up and section that is the barge is floating on the surface of the water. Once they find the location to drill they will then lower the legs into place to secure the barge. The jackup rig is very sturdy and can even withstand tough ocean storms and high waves.

Semi-Submersible Rigs – These rigs are for drilling in water that is deeper than 300 feet because it demands a floating platform. These rigs are floating rigs that are supported by huge pontoon structures that are below the surface of the sea. Like the jackup rigs, the decks are elevated as high as 100 feet or more above the parts that are in contact with the sea and they minimize loading from waves and wind. These rigs can operate in many different water depths that include even very deep water. They can be attached to the bottom of the ocean by using very strong chains and wire cables and can remain quite stationary without the use of anchors.

Drill Ship – For types of exploration that is far off shore, ships can have rigs mounted on them that can drill down to 10,000 feet. These float and are attached to the ocean bottom by mooring and anchoring systems. Some however, use dynamic position to stay stationary while drilling and use no anchors.
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