Blasting and explosives company AEL unveiled a technologically-advanced range of non-detonating, self-stemming rock breaking cartridges at the Institute of Quarrying conference and exhibition in Cape Town in April.
Speaking at the conference, AEL’s Account Manager for South East Cluster – Northern Region, Velly Mngomezulu, presented the revolutionary benefits to safety and uninterrupted operations which the InstaStem cartridges provide.
“InstaStem cartridges produce no shockwaves which means these products are safe and ideal for use in vibration-sensitive areas. Furthermore, the non-detonating nature of this range of products ensures safer operations because they provide no over-break detonation damage in the tunnel ceiling or floor,” says Mngomezulu.
With these products there is no risk of auto-ignition and they have a shelf-life of 18 months. By South African legislation, InstaStem cartridges do not require transportation by an explosive truck for quantities less than 250 kg because they are classified as UN:0323 cartridges, power device, Class 1.4S.
“InstaStem operations are also suitable in areas of low-ventilation as the blasts emit harmless gasses which are quickly diluted even in low-ventilation areas and there is a minimal gas re-entry time of about 15 minutes,” notes Mngomezulu.
As there is no stemming or required change of existing drilling patterns, these products provide “drop-and-go” ease of use and do not impact on support infrastructure. Therefore, there is no interruption or down time caused to the quarry or mine because there is no need to remove equipment or staff.
“Although these products deflagrate – as opposed to detonate – at 360 m/s, the energy content contained within these cartridges is comparable to that of a high explosive.”
InstaStem is also highly accurate, delivering no over-break in the visible barrels left behind after the blast, coupled with a reduction of commodity loss in fines and dust.