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Vulcan Configurations: How to Choose the Right Crown Height

posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

January 29, 2018

One of the most important considerations when choosing the right core bit is the height of the crown, especially if you plan to be doing deep hole drilling. For example, the Vulcan is a configuration option that allows you to extend your core bit life. It refers to the height of the crown and has been available in 16 mm, 20 mm or 26 mm.

Diamond Tools Fordia 2018 Choosing Equipment

Learn more about choosing the right configuration here.


Vulcan configurations have higher diamond impregnation, allowing you to replace the core bit less often. 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. 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 using a 26mm instead of a 13mm crown.

We have recently added a 20 mm option, which has performed very well in certain parts of the world, such as Australia and Canada. So let’s look at how you choose which height is best?


Vulcan 16 mm

The Vulcan 16 mm is a good choice for deep hole drilling. It is more durable in fractured ground than higher crown configurations. In most cases, it is less expensive per meter drilled, even though the actual price may be higher. Keep in mind that this can depend on other variables and can be more expensive if the wrong core bit is chosen, if the ground does not cooperate or if a drilling error is made. Learn how to choose the right core bit here.


Vulcan 20 mm

This new option features the same patented technology as other Vulcans, but is a great choice when the 16 mm may not be enough and the 26 mm may be just a bit too much. It is priced between the 16 mm and the 26 mm. It offers the best for bang for the buck as the 20 mm is less fragile than a higher crown and you still get 7 mm more crown than a standard bit.

The higher Vulcan 26 mm may offer too long a life in situations where you need to pull out your equipment for other reasons, such as changing the reaming shells or adding grease. Once pulled out, many drillers would not want to continue drilling with a semi-used core bit or a bit that only has partial life left. This also applies if you are using wedges as most drillers will not want to put back a used bit after tripping the rods.


Vulcan 26 mm

 With 26 mm of diamond impregnation, Fordia’s Vulcan 26 mm is a specialized configuration designed to increase productivity. The Vulcan 26mm is designed with two patents: the bridges reinforcing the diamond segments and the vertical pins that restrict the circulation of drilling fluids. These features ensure cooling of the crown, so you can optimize every millimeter of the matrix. At this height, you can get the best cost per meter as you will not have to change your bit as often, resulting in less pulling of equipment. This is a huge benefit in really deep holes which is the 26 mm’s sweet spot. It costs a little more but if you’re drilling in a really deep hole, it could be worth every penny.



There are few things to keep in mind when you are choosing your height configuration for deep holes. As these configurations tend to cost more, you should only opt for a higher crown once you have a very good understanding of the ground in which you are drilling. Even after you have finished the first hole, you should know that the second one can be different.

The new Vulcan 20 mm was featured at the AME Roundup Conference in Vancouver last week. Our team was proud to show it to many customers who had dropped by . We believe it's a great tool to improve productivity because as always, our goal is to help you improve your drilling performance and accelerate the transformation of our industry.