Official site for Nonex™, Nxburst™ and Fragmentor™

Overview

 

Nxco's cartridges: The better way to break rock and concrete.

Our cartridges break rock and concrete with 100% controllable fly rock, low vibration and reduced dust and noise.

These cartridges only require localized clearance of equipment and personnel.

 

How does it work?

 

The Nxco cartridge technology is based on a non-detonating chemical compound enclosed in a cartridge which reacts very quickly when ignited to produce high volumes of harmless gas that mainly consists of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and steam.

 

When the cartridge is sealed (by means of stemming) in a drill hole, the gas generated by the ignition of the propellant enters into the micro fractures created from the percussion drilling process and into natural fractures and planes of weakness on the rock to produce a shearing of the rock or concrete called splitting.

 

How do you use them?

 

Nxco cartridges are available in 13mm, 28mm, 34mm, 42mm and 60mm diameters. There are four variations available:

  • Standard - Electric
  • Non-Electric
  • Underwater.
  • Self-Stemming

 

The procedure is as follows:

  • Drill a hole
  • Insert a cartridge
  • Stem the hole with stone screening/aggregate
  • Clear the local area
  • Connect up and fire

 

There are no expensive initiation systems or special tools required, just a fully charged shot-firer and a Nonex™ Blasters Certificate. It is fast, simple and most importantly, safe when handled correctly.

 

Applications:

 

  1. Oversize Boulders on building sites, roads and in gardens.
  2. Mass Rock Removal for shopping centres, highways, and other civil projects.
  3. Trenching and Pipelines.
  4. Pipejacking and Tunneling.
  5. Harbour deepening and underwater rock removal projects.
  6. General Rock removal underground – sliping, tunnel widening, increasing the height of the hanging wall, lowering the footwall, pillaring and removal of cubbies.
  7. Stopping and to a limited extent, development ends.
  8. Any general rock and concrete removal where explosives are not permitted.

 

Features:

 

Environmental Constraints for Rock breaking

 

The major environmental constraints which normally apply to rock breaking in environmentally sensitive areas are air blast over pressure, noise, ground vibration and fly rock.

 

It is critical to control these elements in environmentally sensitive areas to prevent or minimise possible damage to people and infrastructure.

 

Airblast Overpressure

 

Air blast overpressure (pressure above atmosphere) is caused by vibrations or compressional waves transmitted through air, produced by the rapid expansion of explosive gasses and the rapid movement of the rock, resulting in the sudden displacement of the air surrounding the blast.

 

Overpressure levels produced by Nxco cartridges are low when compared to conventional explosives and of a shorter duration and much less damaging frequency. This gives our cartridges a major advantage over explosives in environmentally sensitive areas.

 

Noise

 

Noise is the part of the air blast overpressure wave which falls within the audible frequency region of the human ear and is a nuisance factor, rather than a damaging influence. The high frequency portion of the air pressure portion is not audible but can cause structures such as windows in turn to respond and produce secondary noise such as rattles. A well-stemmed Nxco cartridge in granite will generally produce a noise level of 80 – 85dBL at 50m from the hole, well within the safe level of 128dB specified by the US Bureau of Mines. Noise levels can be tempered by the use of conveyor belting, other matting or ground cover to cover the holes being fired.

 

Ground Vibration

 

Ground vibrations from blasting can cause damage to buildings and infrastructure which are in the close vicinity of the blast. The degree of vibration induced damage caused by blasting is dependent on the magnitude, frequency and duration of the vibration.

 

Nxco cartridges have a vibration signature which is produced by the combination of high frequency vibration waves with low duration and low magnitude which enables them to be used in close proximity to vibration sensitive sites where conventional blasting is prohibited or impractical.

 

A Nxco cartridge’s specific vibration equation has been developed from monitored data collected from several rock breaking excavations in sensitive civil applications. This data has been collected by an independent group to reduce a practical graph which relates vibration levels (PPV) to charge weight and the distance from the shot at which the vibration is being measured. Ground vibration from our cartridges falls well within the maximum levels specified by the US Bureau of Mines.

 

Flyrock

 

Flyrock can be a very dangerous side effect of blasting. A Nxco cartridge produces optimal pressurisation of the cartridge within the hole for a given burden and type of rock. The velocity and distance travelled by the dislodged rock are limited when using our cartridges by the characteristics of the pressure pulse of Nxco cartridges.

 

Controlled gas released from Nxco cartridges at relatively low pressures results in a minimal quantity of low velocity fly rock which is generally contained within 20 – 50m of the rock breaking event.

Flyrock is 100% controllable by covering the rock with sand or rubber mats.

 

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Nxburst™/Nonex™?

    The Technology is based on a non-detonating propellant compound enclosed in a cartridge, which reacts very quickly when ignited to produce high volumes of harmless gas, mainly consisting of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and steam. When the cartridge is sealed in a drill hole, the high pressure gas generated by the ignition of the propellant enters into the micro-fractures created from the percussive drilling process and into the natural fractures and planes of weakness of the rock, expanding the fractures and propagating cracks towards the nearest free face of the rock. The number of cracks propagated is related to the maximum pressure and peak pressure rate achieved by the expanding gasses within the drill hole. The gas pressure, within the drill hole and propagated cracks, then causes the fractured rocks to heave apart, producing a shearing of the rock often called splitting.

     

  • What is Nxburst™/Nonex™ used for?

    The Nxburst™/Nonex™ rock breaking technology was developed to solve problems associated with specialist excavations and rock breaking in sensitive conditions. The collateral damage associated with excavations using explosives in poor rock conditions or in blast sensitive areas often creates a larger problem than the original explosive solution set out to address. Problems of blast damage in highly jointed rock and collateral damage to sensitive installations and infrastructure have persisted in the industry for many years due mainly to the absence of credible alternative methods to address such situations. Nxburst™/Nonex™ offers the industry a solution, which allows a controlled approach to excavation in these difficult situations without the vestiges of damage associated with traditional methods of rock breaking using explosives.

     

    The Nxburst™/Nonex™ rock breaking method, developed by NXCO Mining Technologies, has recently been applied to several applications in a wide variety of rock conditions. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ technology allows a tailored rock breaking (“TRB”) approach whereby energy can be applied more efficiently to break and dislodge the rock in a controlled fashion, which can be optimally adapted to suit the rock breaking requirements of any particular situation in all types of rock conditions.

  • What are the advantages of using Nonex™?

    (1) Nxburst™/Nonex™ is environmentally sensitive

    • minimal fly rock (< 10m)
    • minimal vibration
    • lower noise and overpressure levels than conventional explosives
    • negligible noxious gasses

    (2) Only localised clearance of personnel is required with Nxburst™/Nonex™

    (3) Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges are safer to transport, store and use than conventional explosives.

  • Do the same low vibrations impact underwater?

    Yes, divers only need to withdraw about 20 metres, because no shock wave is produced; as a result there is minimal damage done under the water, fish are safe and the environment protected

  • Is Nxburst™/Nonex™ an explosive?

    The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge is classified as a 1.4S product under the United Nations hazardous substances classification, in the same category as small arms ammunition. This classification is given to products that do not explode when ignited in their original packaged state and as such the classification defines Nxburst™/Nonex™ as a non-detonating product for transport and storage purposes.

  • Does Nxburst™/Nonex™ detonate?

    The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge is classified as a 1.4S product under the United Nations hazardous substances classification, in the same category as small arms ammunition. This classification is given to products that do not explode when ignited in their original packaged state and as such the classification defines Nxburst™/Nonex™ as a non-detonating product for transport and storage purposes.

  • How does Nxburst™/Nonex™ rock breaking differ from rock breaking using conventional explosives?

    The major difference between Nxburst™/Nonex™ and explosives can be summarised as follows:

    • Explosives can explode in their packaged state whereas Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges do not explode in their packaged state.
    • Explosives are designed to detonate whereas Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges are designed to deflagrate
    • Explosives produce a destructive shock wave giving rise to high vibration-levels, which damage the surrounding rock mass whereas Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges produce a controllable pressure wave with low vibration levels.
    • The rock breaking event produced by explosives is a largely uncontrolled, violent event producing large amounts of fly rock, noxious gases and dust whereas the deflagration of a Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge confined in a drill-hole is a controlled event which produces minimal fly rock, low concentrations of noxious gases and negligible amounts of dust.
    • Rock breaking using Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges can be carried out continuously with re-entry periods measured in seconds whereas explosive blasting using conventional explosives requires the mine to be evacuated for up to 4 hours after each blast.
  • What are the transport and storage requirements for Nonex™?

    The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge is classified according to the United Nations Classification of Hazardous Substances as a Division 1.4S hazardous substance. The UN classification system is used by most countries of the world to classify hazardous products according to the danger that each of the products poses whilst in storage and transport. The 1.4S classification that applies to Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges is the same classification as that applied to small arms ammunition. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge was tested by a UN accredited testing agency and subsequently classified under UN1.4S as a “Cartridge Power Device”.

     

    The UN 1.4S classification is defined as follows:

     

    “Articles and substances that present no significant hazard.”

  • What applications are Nxburst™/Nonex™ used for?

    Nxburst™/Nonex™ are used in a wide variety of rock breaking applications, which include the following:

     

    1. Secondary breaking (i.e. breaking of oversize rocks) in surface mines, quarries and underground.
    2. Civil excavation and demolition on environmentally sensitive sites.
    3. Sliping or stripping of underground tunnels & excavations
    4. Shaft sinking
    5. Mass rock breaking
    6. Underwater demolition
  • What is involved in the drilling and breaking cycle?

    Nxburst™/Nonex™ application is simple, however in the modern world today, accurate planning, method statement and risk assessment is part of the process. The operating team must be properly trained and certificated, led with discipline and experience, adequately clothed and protected by regulation PPE, follow due safe process and procedures.

  • How to find out more

    Gert Barnard

    NXCO Mining Technologies (Pty) Ltd

    gert@nxco.co.za

    +27 83 636 8373

    +27 12 3055237

Building P5200, Gate 1, NECSA Industrial Park, Pelindaba, Broederstroom, 0240, South Africa

Telephone (RSA): +27(0)12 305 5237

 

info@nxco.co.za

 

Partnering sites:

nonex.com                  nxburst.com

  • What is Nxburst™/Nonex™?

    A. The Technology is based on a non-detonating propellant compound enclosed in a cartridge, which reacts very quickly when ignited to produce high volumes of harmless gas, mainly consisting of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and steam. When the cartridge is sealed in a drill hole, the high pressure gas generated by the ignition of the propellant enters into the micro-fractures created from the percussive drilling process and into the natural fractures and planes of weakness of the rock, expanding the fractures and propagating cracks towards the nearest free face of the rock. The number of cracks propagated is related to the maximum pressure and peak pressure rate achieved by the expanding gasses within the drill hole. The gas pressure, within the drill hole and propagated cracks, then causes the fractured rocks to heave apart, producing a shearing of the rock often called splitting.

     

  • What is Nxburst™/Nonex™ used for?

    A. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ rock breaking technology was developed to solve problems associated with specialist excavations and rock breaking in sensitive conditions. The collateral damage associated with excavations using explosives in poor rock conditions or in blast sensitive areas often creates a larger problem than the original explosive solution set out to address. Problems of blast damage in highly jointed rock and collateral damage to sensitive installations and infrastructure have persisted in the industry for many years due mainly to the absence of credible alternative methods to address such situations. Nxburst™/Nonex™ offers the industry a solution, which allows a controlled approach to excavation in these difficult situations without the vestiges of damage associated with traditional methods of rock breaking using explosives.

     

    The Nxburst™/Nonex™ rock breaking method, developed by NXCO Mining Technologies, has recently been applied to several applications in a wide variety of rock conditions. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ technology allows a tailored rock breaking (“TRB”) approach whereby energy can be applied more efficiently to break and dislodge the rock in a controlled fashion, which can be optimally adapted to suit the rock breaking requirements of any particular situation in all types of rock conditions.

  • What are the advantages of using Nonex™?

    A. (1) Nxburst™/Nonex™ is environmentally sensitive

    • minimal fly rock (< 10m)
    • minimal vibration
    • lower noise and overpressure levels than conventional explosives
    • negligible noxious gasses

    (2) Only localised clearance of personnel is required with Nxburst™/Nonex™

    (3) Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges are safer to transport, store and use than conventional explosives.

  • Do the same low vibrations impact underwater?

    A. Yes, divers only need to withdraw about 20 metres, because no shock wave is produced; as a result there is minimal damage done under the water, fish are safe and the environment protected

  • Is Nxburst™/Nonex™ an explosive?

    A. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge is classified as a 1.4S product under the United Nations hazardous substances classification, in the same category as small arms ammunition. This classification is given to products that do not explode when ignited in their original packaged state and as such the classification defines Nxburst™/Nonex™ as a non-detonating product for transport and storage purposes.

  • Does Nxburst™/Nonex™ detonate?

    A. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge is classified as a 1.4S product under the United Nations hazardous substances classification, in the same category as small arms ammunition. This classification is given to products that do not explode when ignited in their original packaged state and as such the classification defines Nxburst™/Nonex™ as a non-detonating product for transport and storage purposes.

  • How does Nxburst™/Nonex™ rock breaking differ from rock breaking using conventional explosives?

    A. The major difference between Nxburst™/Nonex™ and explosives can be summarised as follows:

    • Explosives can explode in their packaged state whereas Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges do not explode in their packaged state.

    • Explosives are designed to detonate whereas Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges are designed to deflagrate

    • Explosives produce a destructive shock wave giving rise to high vibration-levels, which damage the surrounding rock mass whereas Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges produce a controllable pressure wave with low vibration levels.

    • The rock breaking event produced by explosives is a largely uncontrolled, violent event producing large amounts of fly rock, noxious gases and dust whereas the deflagration of a Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge confined in a drill-hole is a controlled event which produces minimal fly rock, low concentrations of noxious gases and negligible amounts of dust.

    • Rock breaking using Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges can be carried out continuously with re-entry periods measured in seconds whereas explosive blasting using conventional explosives requires the mine to be evacuated for up to 4 hours after each blast.

  • What are the transport and storage requirements for Nonex™?

    A. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge is classified according to the United Nations Classification of Hazardous Substances as a Division 1.4S hazardous substance. The UN classification system is used by most countries of the world to classify hazardous products according to the danger that each of the products poses whilst in storage and transport. The 1.4S classification that applies to Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridges is the same classification as that applied to small arms ammunition. The Nxburst™/Nonex™ cartridge was tested by a UN accredited testing agency and subsequently classified under UN1.4S as a “Cartridge Power Device”.

     

    The UN 1.4S classification is defined as follows:

     

    “Articles and substances that present no significant hazard.”

  • What applications are Nxburst™/Nonex™ used for?

    A. Nxburst™/Nonex™ are used in a wide variety of rock breaking applications, which include the following:

     

    1. Secondary breaking (i.e. breaking of oversize rocks) in surface mines, quarries and underground.
    2. Civil excavation and demolition on environmentally sensitive sites.
    3. Sliping or stripping of underground tunnels & excavations
    4. Shaft sinking
    5. Mass rock breaking
    6. Underwater demolition
  • What is involved in the drilling and breaking cycle?

    A. Nxburst™/Nonex™ application is simple, however in the modern world today, accurate planning, method statement and risk assessment is part of the process. The operating team must be properly trained and certificated, led with discipline and experience, adequately clothed and protected by regulation PPE, follow due safe process and procedures.

  • HOW TO FIND OUT MORE

    Gert Barnard

    NXCO Mining Technologies (Pty) Ltd

    gert@nxco.co.za

    +27 83 636 8373

    +27 12 3055237