Our Commitment, Our Customers’ Peace of Mind
In the old days, the blaster would puff on his cigar until it was red hot, touch it to the fuse and "run like hell."
Before the rackbar machine, (a plunger that generates an electric current), that's how blasters set off their charges. Drilling wasn't any more sophisticated: Hand chisels were employed to make the holes in which the charges were packed.
As for explosives, black powder, first used for blasting in Hungary in 1627, gave way to dynamite in the mid 1800s when Alfred Nobel of Sweden saturated porous earth with nitroglycerin. The resulting solid lacked the volatility of "nitro" but could still be detonated by a blasting cap. In later years, sugar cane and wood pulp replaced earth in his formula.
Today, technology has turned what was once an art into a science. Maine Drilling & Blasting is on the cutting edge.
These techniques permit the blaster to program a series of small explosions, thousandths of a second apart, reducing risk and increasing control.
Also known as bulk, packaged in "sausage" casings or pumped into the boreholes, provide the blaster with powerful precision tools.
This and test-blast practices have replaced trial-and-error, providing a controlled environment. Of course, any blast design is only as good as the data. For the most reliable data, the designers at Maine Drilling & Blasting can utilize a few high-tech tools: 3-D images of rock to be blasted developed in Auto-Cad, laser profiles of the rock surface developed with the assistance of drones, and profiles of the 3-dimensional actual location of the drilled holes developed with Boretracking systems.
A driller may have an idea what the borehole looks like beneath his feet, but with his senses alone, he can't be absolutely sure. Did the drill "wander?" Does the angle match the desired plan? If not, safety can be compromised. Boretrak provides the answers. A stainless steel probe containing gravity sensors and attached to carbon fiber rods is lowered into the hole. Data, regarding pitch, roll and depth is fed into the laptop and produces a three-dimensional view of the actual hole, taking guesswork out of the process. And when a free face is in question relative to bore hole wander, laser profiling is interfaced.
Some rock faces are not easy to read for a blaster deciding where to drill and how to load explosives. One misread situation can mean fly-rock and the kind of noise that makes for unhappy neighbors. Another kind may result in poor breakage and high vibration. In these situations, Maine Drilling & Blasting relies on the Laser Profiler, which bounces pulsed laser beams off the rock face, providing a precise three-dimensional "read" for use with the loading process.
A controlled commercial blast is over in far less time than it takes to read this sentence. Yet the technical planning and preparation can take hours, sometimes days. The elements of this procedure are important to Maine Drilling & Blasting.
As a subcontractor, the blaster follows specifications set by the contractor, developer or government agency. The blaster also must adhere to the most restrictive of federal, state or local laws concerning the amount of explosives allowed and the magnitude of the resulting blast.
To ensure safety while still fragmenting the rock to the specification, the blasting superintendent has several choices to make and variables to manipulate. They include:
MD&B is a provider of drilling, blasting and related specialty services in the New England, Mid Atlantic and Southeast areas.