Powergel X² is designed for surface mining applications where extreme blasting conditions such as hot blast holes and reactive ground, or a combination of both, exist. The product is differentiated by the fact that most competitor products available in the market cater for either reactive ground or hot holes, but not both.
"Powergel X² is an emulsion explosive employing some very clever chemistry corroborating extensive field experience and practical know-how," said Franky Botha, product portfolio manager for explosives. "The product is unique in that it doesn't sacrifice any performance, yet it is able to be deployed in areas where extreme ground conditions are present."
In addition, the new AECI product also has excellent fume characteristics and is water-resistant. Another unique feature is that Powergel X² can be doped with technical grade ammonium nitrate (TGAN) to achieve certain required blast outcomes. This, however, is dependent on the level of reactivity in the rock.
"Powergel X² provides a single solution for customers who experience these extreme ground conditions," said Botha. This, he says, provides far-reaching benefits and reduced risk while simultaneously negating the need for high levels of inventory. It also eliminates the expensive and time-consuming practice of having to sleeve holes in reactive ground.
To prove the concept, the product has already been tested by exposing it to extreme external temperatures at Alkantpan in the Northern Cape, South Africa. "The product fared exceptionally well in all the tests conducted," Botha said. "In VOD tests conducted to date, the product performed beyond expectations."
In terms of targeted sectors, Botha said the product, with its heat resistance capabilities, will provide a significant advantage to clients in the coal sector by giving them a single solution for extreme ground conditions. "Its inhibitive qualities against reactive ground may certainly lead to possibilities of it being used in other sectors too," he concluded.
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