What are Down-the-Hole (DTH) Drill Bits and how are they used?
What are ‘Down-the-Hole’ (DTH) Drill Bits and how are they used?
Down-the-hole drill bits are used with down-the-hole hammers for drilling holes through a wide range of rock types.
In conjunction with our DTH Hammers, our drill bits are designed with a splined drive for rotating the bit in the ground. Drill bits are available in a range of different sizes and configurations so they can drill a wide range of holes sizes, in different ground conditions.
How have DTH Drill Bits developed?
Rapid advances in drill bit technology have occurred throughout the last 40 years. The first type of drill bits used with down-the- hole hammers were ‘cross bit’ design. Four chisel shaped lengths of tungsten carbide were brazed creating stresses within the drill bit thereby limiting its life. A further disadvantage of the cross bit design was that the majority of the carbide was situated around the centre of the bit face and not towards the outer edge of the drill bit where there is the most rock to cut.
In the late 1960s however, the button bit was introduced; this was a landmark in the progress of DTH equipment, which led to bit lives previously unheard of.
Cylindrical button inserts were precision ground to extremely close tolerances and pressed into the bit as an interference fit. This resulted in improved carbide insert retention by eliminating brazing stresses and other defects associated with brazing and braze materials.
Buttons inserts are distributed more efficiently than cross bit inserts by providing more cutting power where it is needed at the outer edge of the drill bit face.
In many cases, the need to sharpen the drill bit was eliminated
with the arrival of the button bit and the improved cutting action provided While the cross bit design is still used in some rotary and drifted applications where the rock is very soft, the button bit is now used in virtually every DTH application.