Using a hydraulic breaker instead of explosives to free rock from the quarry face is becoming more and more common. As hydraulic hammers and carriers increase in size and durability, sound attenuation is improved, and residential and business developments encroach upon urban quarries, there may be a few applications where rock breakers work.
Field results reveal five advantages to using a breaker for primary breaking, mainly in comparison to blasting rock.
Selective Extraction Quarrying methods using explosives typically mix together varying mineral grades within a deposit. This can reduce quality or make the stone unsuitable for some applications. Hydraulic breakers allow selective quarrying of individual rock layers, possibly providing higher-priced products.
Higher Quality Standards Blasting can cause microcracks in quarried rock which may decrease rock quality and selling price. Blasting also produces a certain volume of unsaleable fines. By reducing fines, the saleable production volume in the required grain sizes can be increased.
Continuous Production Before blasting, the danger zone near the quarry face must be cleared of people and machinery, often interrupting production. Primary and secondary breaking using hydraulic breakers allows continuous production and decreases movement of mobile crushers and conveyor systems. Processing and conveying equipment can consistently remain close to the working face.
Fewer, Smaller Crushers Breaker operators can determine the fragmentation of the rock before initial crushing. This can eliminate the need for a large primary crusher. Material can be fed directly to downstream crushers, saving on investment and maintenance costs.
Environmental Aspects Quarries facing severe restrictions on noise and vibration from blasting may find hydraulic breakers an effective alternative.