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An experimental investigation of jack hammer drill noise with special emphasis on drilling in rocks of different compressive strengths

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An attempt has been made in this paper to investigate the influence on sound level due to drilling in rocks of varying physical properties i.e. compressive strength and abrasivity using jackhammer drill. For this purpose, a jackhammer drill setup was fabricated wherein the thrust applied can be varied while drilling vertical holes. The compressive strength and the abrasivity of various rock samples collected from the field were determined in the laboratory. A set of test conditions were defined for measurement of sound level of the jackhammer drill. Also, with the help of the experimental setup, vertical drilling was carried out on the rock samples for varying thrust and air pressure values and the corresponding A-weighted equivalent continuous sound levels were measured. The results of this study indicate that, increase in thrust increases the sound level at higher midband frequencies in the noise spectrum. The study indicated the sound level near the drill rod to be 0.5 to 1.5 dB, 2.0 to 3.0 dB and 4.0 to 6.0 dB higher relative to that at the drill bit, the exhaust and the operator’s position respectively at an air pressure of 5 kg/cm2 and 160 N thrust for all the rock samples tested. Both the thrust and air pressure were found to have a significant effect on the sound level produced by jackhammer drill at all the measurement locations. The study further shows that an increase in sound level of the order of 1.5 to 2.5 dB at the operator’s position can occur with an increase in air pressure by 2 kg/cm2 at 160 N thrust and with an increase in compressive strength and decrease in abrasivity of rocks. Also, the increase in sound level at the operator’s position with increase in compressive strength and decrease in abrasivity of rock is of the order of 1.0 to 2.0 dB. In order to maintain a constant penetration rate in the rocks, both the thrust and air pressure need to be increased with an increase in compressive strength and decrease in rock abrasivity. Therefore, increased compressive strength and lower abrasivity of rocks will require higher air pressure and thrusts to be applied to achieve an optimum penetration rate and therefore will result in higher sound level at the operator’s position and at other measurement locations.
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Keywords: 12.2.1; 12.2.1.2

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2007

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