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Atlas Copco Exploration Products

Explorac reverse circulation rigs

Deep hole exploration
with reverse circulation

In many cases, exploration drillers have to modify various types of drill

rigs in order to use them for reverse circulation (RC) drilling of deep
exploration holes. Sometimes they are lucky and successful.
Sometimes they are unlucky and fail. With the Atlas Copco Explorac,
there is no need to rely on luck. With the Explorac, Atlas Copco is
providing exploration drillers with the only RC drill rig on the market
that is truly tailor made for the job.

In the world of exploration, the

technique of reverse circulation drilling
continues to gain ground. It has proved
to be the method of choice for obtaining
consistently high quality rock samples
with speed and efficiency. But if it
means having to modify drilling rigs
that are primarily designed for a
different task such as water well drilling,
the result is often impossible to predict.

With the Explorac R50 and the Explorac

220RC, there is no element of risk
involved. They are designed specifically
for the job. And this means there is no
longer any need to compromise on
functionality or performance. The
Explorac 220RC is designed and built
according to specifications from
exploration professionals. As a result,
every component has been carefully
selected and fine-tuned to give optimal
results. The Explorac R50 is an
extremely well proven rig purpose built
for DTH drilling.

The right equipment for the task
RC is a method in demand for use non-productive tasks. The variable
throughout the world. It is known for its position sliding dumping mast can be
cost structure, meter rate drilled, speed, positioned at any angle from 45 to 90
maintained accuracy and sampling degrees and the slips table height can be
efficiency. adjusted up to 1m to allow easy access
to the drillhole collar.
There are several critical factors in the
design and use of the Explorac rigs that In addition, an integrated cyclone and
combine to make this equipment efficient sample collection system allows
and profitable for the RC contractor. continuous, dust-free sampling with
With its drill rods, sampling and all little or no pause in the drilling process.
other systems on board, the Explorac is
quick to set up and can be drilling
within minutes of arrival at the site.

Down-the-hole equipment that has been

optimised to match the rigs air and
hydraulics, is important in order to
maintain low drilling costs. Fast
hydraulics with user-friendly controls
and hands-free handling means faster
rod pulls and less time spent on other

The system for Professionals

The package from Atlas Copco is a

complete RC system, from the drill bit
to the sample splitter. You avoid any
loose ends in your system and can
easily meet the continuous need for
tools and consumables.

Saver sub with replaceable

inner tube.
More than 20 years of experience in
the design, manufacturing and use of
down-the-hole equipment and sample
systems, has led to an RC system that is
both reliable and cost effective.

The drill rods have been designed for

Drill mode with samples maximum air flow while retaining a
passing through the innertube
on their way to the cyclone. large diameter, high tensile steel inner
Dual wall drill rod. tube that gives low wear and long life.
The inner tubes have multiple seals to
ensure no air losses. The rod thread
profile provides maximum strength and
tool joint stiffness, while still retaining
operator friendliness. All adapters and
specialised subs are available. The
Air switch.
through the head system, overhead
swivels and blowdown are all designed
and built for optimum performance,
low wear and easy maintenance.

The cyclone and splitter is an integrated

proven design that gives unequalled
Blow down mode directing
the air downwards in the inner Digout sub for retraction of performance in sample separation and
tube to clean and prevent
possible clogging of the system.
drillstring when stuck as a
result of collapsing wall.
collection. It is capable of accepting up
to 950 litres per second and has
hightech, easily replaceable ceramic
wear components. This ensures
Cross-over sub for use with minimum downtime and eliminates
conventional hammer.
hang up and sample contamination.

A two-door arrangement minimises the

dust around the enclosed sample splitter
and allows a sample to be held while
another is being drilled.

RC hammer with samples

Illustration: Henry Lindberg

passing through the hammer

with replaceable sample tube.

Bit shroud designed to maximize the

cuttings flow to the bit face and to
seal the hole while maintaining a dry
pressurized zone around the bit.

Explorac 220RC Purpose built for all challenges

Good news
for water well
The Explorac rigs are not only
important for minerals exploration, it is
also the perfect solution for water well
drilling. With just a few adjustments,
the rigs can easily be adapted to meet
demands for speed, efficiency and
productivity as well as environmental
care in water well drilling operations.
Purpose built for profitable and safe
drilling in all geological formations,
With a quick and easy set up, the driller
gets maximum time-on-bottom.

The Explorac 220 rigs meet all the Integrated air and mud swivels and RC
challenges of exploration with reverse discharge systems are designed for long
circulation drilling. They are designed life and easy maintenance. An onboard
and built with real-world experience in high volume cyclone and sampling
the most demanding of RC conditions. system gives good site access and quick
Built on a proven chassi with four long set-up, maximizing production time.
travel hydraulic jacks and a dump mast, The engine canopy gives excellent
it also adapts well to any drill site. A access enabling the unit to be easily
strong, but lightweight box frame mast cleaned and maintained. The special
with heavy duty hydraulic cylinder and design of the canopy makes a
chain feed system, easily handles the remarkable improvement to the work
continuous maximum load situations site. Running at full power, the noise
encountered in deephole RC drilling. level, measured from a distance of
The high torque rotary head has large, about 2 m, is just 80-90 dB.
heavy duty tapered roller bearings to
cope with hammer and rotary drilling.

Explorac 220RC Ergonomics and safety

Explorac 220RC has been designed and built to set new

standards in safety and ergonomics. It uses tried and proven
systems in combination with new technology, making it the safest
and most user-friendly rig of its type.

The Explorac 220RC takes over much

of the physical effort required from the
driller. With the 1.5 ton winch, which
positions directly over the hole, and the
1.5-ton handling winch on a slewing
boom, Explorac 220RC handles all
heavy lifting requirements. In addition,
hands-free breakout and rod handling
systems ensure rapid and safe handling
of all drill string components. A special
casing handling tool attached to the
rotation head gives full safety and control.

Explorac 220RC has a fully enclosed

power pack and smart cooling fans
reduce noise levels to industry best
practice levels. All drilling operations
are controlled from a remote control
panel, and hands-free systems manage
virtually all types of down-the-hole
equipment. This means that the drilling
crew spends much less time in potentially
hazardous areas, which helps to make
their working environment safer and
healthier. The low emission engine which
is designed to minimise the potential
for hydrocarbon spills reduces the impact
on the surrounding environment and
gives lower running costs.

Explorac 220 Features that make a difference

Automatic pipe handling

The KL rod handler on the Explorac 220RC is a
proven and versatile component. It provides
hands-free loading, unloading and stacking of drill
pipes, both from the rig and from a rod truck or
from racks that can be positioned anywhere within
a 210 degree arc to the side or rear of the rig. It is
operated by remote control, either by the driller or
offsiders. This hands-free loading, unloading and
stacking of drill pipes, makes the job easier and safer.

Rotation unit Double stage compressor Remote control panel

The rotation head is a proven, robust unit that has The Atlas Copco XRX 12 compressor is a new, The unique control panel is portable and rugged.
two high torque variable speed hydraulic motors 30 bar pressure, two stage rotary screw compressor. It can be positioned up to 10 metres from the rig,
driving through a single reduction. The integrated Compact and lightweight, it is ideally rated for RC providing unequalled operator safety and maximum
above-head RC air and mud swivel is compact, drilling and requires low engine power leading to visibility of the drilling and tool handling processes.
reliable and easy to maintain. Adjustment, significant fuel savings. Multiple connection The ergonomically designed, adjustable panel
alignment and aintenance are simplified with a points are provided for safe positioning of an gives comfortable and precise control over all
unique mounting system which also allows the auxillary compressor and/or booster compressor. drilling, rod handling, sampling and rig manage-
head to be easily removed from the mast without All airlines are steel and designed for 70 bar. ment functions. The integrated display screen is
disconnecting the feed chains. clearly read in any conditions and shows all drilling
information, parameters and warnings. It also
monitors and displays all engine, compressor and
hydraulic system information and service data. As
the electronic control unit manages all functions,
troubleshooting is simple.

Breakout table Power pack Cooling system
The fully hydraulic breakout table is extremely The Explorac 220RC is powered by the latest The cooling system has been designed to provide
versatile. The front opening opens to 310 mm and generation electronic Caterpillar C18 engine optimum cooling in the most extreme conditions.
not only guides the drill string, but also clamps which exceeds Euro 3 emission standards. An Individual lightweight cooler elements are housed
and holds any downhole gear or casing when intelligent engine management package linked in a vibration free V module that gives easy access
breaking out. A hydraulic sliding key/spanner with all other systems on the rig can adjust critical for cleaning and allows simple removal if required.
retains the drill rods in normal operation and the functions to provide optimum performance, Rated to 50 C ambient temperature, it has two
hands-free, hydraulic wrench performs all reliability and fuel efficiency. variable speed fans that regulate according to system
breakout functions safely. demands, thus reducing noise output and fuel

Sliding dumping system Cyclone Mast

The sliding dumping system gives increased The efficient, high volume sample cyclone is rig- The sliding dumping mast can be set up at any
stability and safety when drilling. It ensures that mounted and hydraulically retractable. This angle from 45 to 90 degrees and held into position
all drilling loads are transferred directly to the reduces set-up time and eliminates the need for a with hydraulic locks. The breakout table height is
ground, providing a strong, stable working base. trailermounted system. Fitted with a sample adjustable, allowing easy access to the drillhole
The system allows the breakout table to be collection box and individually operated doors, collar, for handling large tools and when conductor
positioned at a height that suits the job. Along the rig produces accurate and fast sampling while casing is used to start the drill hole. A 510 mm
with the opening front table, this provides excellent minimising dust. A hinged top allows easy access breakout table opening is available as an option
access for large tool handling and casing operations. for cleaning and replacement of the high-tech, when large diameter tools are to be used and there
long life, ceramic wear components. is a handy swing boom on the top of the mast
together with a 1.5 ton winch which helps with
the handling of all tools. The mast also has two
pipe locators, one at the top and one at the bottom,
enabling pipes and casings to be correctly

Explorac R50 Well proven simplicity

The Explorac R50 is an extremely well proven workhorse with

simple design. The high accessibility and reliability makes it
particularly interesting for drillers operating in remote areas.

The components and supporting

equipment of the R50 is basically the
same as will be found on the Explorac
220RC. The design is simple and the
different parts of the rigs are easy to
access and service.

The proven technology and the ease of

maintenance provides the driller more
efficient working hours, and less down-
time. This is of course of great use and
interest, especially when operating in
remote areas.

The R50 can be mounted on a 4x4 truck

or on crawler depending on which
terrain the rig will be used in.

The Explorac R50 can drill with dual

wall drillpipes with OD 4 or 4 1/2 up
to lengths of 3 m. The R50 is purpose
built for DTH drilling and can work
with air system pressures up to 25 bar.
The rig can also be supplied with a
mudpump for rotary drilling.

And, as for the Explorac 220, the R50

can be delivered together with a
complete package of all necessary
drilling tools for reverse circulation.

Reliable tools for RC drilling

The key criterias when developing the

Reverse circulation hammers from Secoroc RC50 hammer and bits were
Atlas Copco are specifically designed for simplicity, performance and reliability.
The Quantum Leap cycle has been
both deep hole exploration and in-pit grade incorporated into the RC hammer,
control applications. creating a high frequency hammer with
world class performance and reliability.

The Secoroc RC50s high frequency

enables it to perform well in all rock
formations with maximized efficiency.
Combined with a piston-struck end and
a heat-treated collection tube, this RC
hammer guarantees longevity and

A 15-20% higher penetration can be

expected from this new series of
hammers. Easy to service, a reliable
design, exceptional service life and
faster penetration rates settles for
higher productivity.

The higher frequency (blow per minute)

provides a faster drilling and
outstanding performance in soft to
medium rock formations. And whats
more, the high frequency together with
a high mass piston provides a high
output of power, ensuring cutting edge
performance in hard rock as well.

Copyright 2008, Atlas Copco Craelius AB, Mrsta, Sweden. Any unauthorized use or copying of the contents or any part thereof is prohibited. This applies in

Atlas Copco Geotechnical Drilling and Exploration
6991 1539 01 Mrsta, Sweden, March, 2008. particular to trademarks, model denominations, part numbers and drawings. Illustrations and photos in this brochure may show equipment with optional extras.
Specifications and equipment subjects to change without notice. Consult your Atlas Copco Customer Center for specific information.