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How and When to Use the Vulcan 40 mm

posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

June 18, 2018

At PDAC last March, we displayed and introduced our customers to our tallest crown configuration yet: the Vulcan 40 mm. Our line of Vulcan configurations had included a 16 mm, 20 mm and 26 mm option so this newest addition really took the bar to a whole other level. Many customers were intrigued and had many questions about how to use such a crown. This blog will take a look at the Vulcan 40 mm and how and when is should be used.

Diamond Tools Fordia 2018 Choosing Equipment

Vulcan configurations have higher diamond impregnation, allowing you to replace the core bit less often, reducing the time you are not recovering core. The higher the crown the more meters you can achieve before having to change a bit and this is important when you are drilling a deep hole because it takes much longer to change a core bit when you are 1,500 meters down in a bore hole. Opting to go with higher crowns, such as Vulcans, can improve your bit life and reduce the number of rod pulls. It has been shown that you can reduce more than 50% of rod pulls by simply 26mm instead of a 13mm crown.

First and foremost, the Vulcan 40 mm is not for everyone and should be used in very limited situations by very experienced drillers. As you can expect, the cost increases as the crown gets taller because more diamonds are being impregnated into the matrix. As the cost of a 40 mm matrix is high, you must use caution to make sure this specialty product is not damaged and that it does not create potential problems due to inappropriate use.


The Vulcan 40 mm should be used only in ground conditions that are competent, with non-abrasive rock. It is also available in limited sizes and configurations. Specifically, it is available in NWL, NWL2 or HWL sizing in Hero 9 or Hero 11 matrices, in a pie-shape configuration, with 0.125/0.250 water ways. The product is offered exclusively to customers who have experience using a 26 mm Vulcan.


We have had certain customers achieve great results with the Vulcan 40 mm in the appropriate ground conditions and used by experienced drillers. One customer was regularly drilling 150 meters with a Hero 11 in a 16 mm Vulcan configuration in competent, non-abrasive ground that was 6 to 7 on Mohs scale. With the Hero 11 in a Vulcan 40 mm configuration, in the same ground conditions they achieved 534 meters with the same performance. Quite an increase.


The bottom line is that anyone using the Vulcan 40 mm must be aware of the risks of using a tall matrix and accept those risks. We are limiting its availability as it is a specialty product but if you are curious about the Vulcan 40 mm, give our technical team a call or contact your regioanl sales representative, to discuss whether your project is a suitable candidate for this product.