Mining Contract: Instrumentation of Roof Bolt Drill for Ground Characterization, Mapping, and Support Design
This contract will result in a roof bolt drill instrumented for ground characterization, mapping, and support design. The drilling unit will make use of existing technologies and/or develop new components and undergo lab and field testing.
Contract Status & Impact
This contract will review and make use of existing technologies and, if needed, develop new components to be added to the drilling unit to instrument it for ground characterization, mapping, and support design. To facilitate this, three companies have been invited to participate in this project: (1) ARA Inc., which has developed the strata identification systems for percussive drills; (2) JH Fletcher & Co., which manufactures roof bolters and developed a preliminary strata sensing system for rotary roof bolt drills; and (3) Kennametal Inc., one the most prominent producers of roof drilling bits. Kennametal Inc. has a full-scale laboratory test fixture for roof bolting that will be used for initial testing of the instrumented drill in this study.
A series of lab and field testing will verify the performance of the instrumented drilling system and the accuracy of the collected data for real-time identification of the rock types. The measurement data will be compared with other sensory device data and will be compiled in a database for 3D visualization and development of ground support systems and hazard maps. The field testing will be performed in an underground coal mine, an underground nonmetal mine, and, potentially, a surface mine in or around central Pennsylvania.