To many engineers rock drills may appear a small, even esoteric area of interest. Yet the history of tool development is one in which the interchange between those who work underground and those who labor on the surface has always been fruitful. From the time that antler horn was used to mine chert and flint, to be shaped into arrowheads and cutting tools, advances from one field have helped the other. Recent advances undertaken to improve rock cutting and drilling have found useful application in the manufacturing industries. Improvements in these areas, for surface use, may well have considerable benefit when applied to underground rock drilling. Introduction The powerful machines available today, fitted increasingly with automated, or semiautomated controls raises the question as to why new drilling ideas should be necessary. To respond, one must give both a historical and a geotechnical answer, since while development of drilling equipment has followed that of the shaping, cuttin..
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