Electronic detonators provide best success rate

21st November 2014 By: Ilan Solomons - Creamer Media Staff Writer

Electronic detonators provide best success rate

CE 4 TAGGER The CE 4 Tagger offers significantly improved operating times of 20 hours under standard operating conditions

The rate and sequence at which energy was released in a blast ultimately determined the successful outcome of a blast, making electronic detonators in surface and underground mining applications the best option, as they provided the best results, said explosives company AEL Mining Services technology group executive director Liesel de Villiers.

Speaking at AEL’s 2014 Blasting Masterclass conference, in Bryanston, last month, she added that, therefore, a significant proportion of AEL’s research and development (R&D) budget was allocated to advancing its electronic detonator range.

De Villiers explained that the electronic detonator R&D was undertaken through its 50:50 joint venture (JV) company electronic initiation systems manufacturer DetNet.

DetNet is a JV between AEL’s holding company, JSE-listed speciality chemicals group AECI, and US-based explosives and blasting services provider Dyno Nobel.

“We recently launched the CE 4 Tagger electronic blasting unit, which is an upgraded version of the older V8 Tagger,” she said.

The V8 Tagger’s temperature limits ranged from –10 ºC to 50 ºC, while the CE 4 Tagger’s temperature limits range from –30 ºC to 60 ºC.

While the V8 Tagger uses a user-replaceable 9 V alkaline rechargeable battery, the CE 4 uses a single-cell 3.7 V rechargeable internal lithium battery.

The CE 4 Tagger, like the V8 Tagger, weighs 600 g.

“However, the CE 4 Tagger offers improved usability for explosives operators, as its high-quality liquid-crystal display screen of 128 × 128 pixels, which is 44.78 mm × 44.78 mm, is scratch resistant,” De Villiers pointed out.

She added that the CE 4 Tagger has a backlit raised silicone alphanumeric keypad, which is also glove friendly.

“The CE 4 Tagger offers significantly improved operating times of 12 hours under standard operating conditions, compared with the V8 Tagger, which had a maximum operating time of six hours.”

Further, potential buyers could opt to buy an external battery pack for the CE 4 Tagger to warm the unit in temperatures of –15 ºC.

The unit is significantly more robust, as it has an international ingress protection (IP) rating of 57 for water resistance, whereas the V8 Tagger only has an IP rating of 55 for dust splashproofing.

“The IP 57 rating means that the device is significantly more moisture resistant in terms of submersibility and can be submerged in water to depths of about 1 m,” De Villiers highlighted.

She added that AEL’s centralised blasting units were well established in the global mining industry, as they were the company’s “. . . preferred option for setting off blasts in an underground environment . . .”

She added that mining companies globally also used the shock tubes in combination with the centralised blasting systems.