Hydraulic drill rigs operate in the harsh conditions of South African gold mines. The abrasiveness of quartzite
and the corrosive effect of underground water is legendary.
Any sliding surface in these conditions is to be avoided where possible. However, the very nature of hydraulic
rock drilling requires positive guiding of the rock drill components. The performance of the conventional
materials was unsatisfactory so it was decided to use Vesconite for drill rig boom slides. These are
300 mm (11.8") long by 40 mm (1.5") wide and 40 mm (1.5") thick.
Vesconite has proven over 20,000 drilled metres to be a more suitable slide material than steel, bronze or nylon.
Vesconite is able to withstand the abrasion under pulsating conditions and does not "flow" or creep.
Over a 4 year period in which the drill rig was used intermittently the Vesconite wear plates fully met design