What is Tamping:
The purpose of tamping is to effectively contain and distribute explosive energy in the blast hole. If tamping is not used, a great deal of blast energy is lost, resulting in a poor blast.
Tamping increases the effectiveness of the charge while reducing its net explosive weight. This has several positive effects such as the reduction of over pressure, reduction in possible damage to the surrounding area of the charge, and the reduction of the minimum safe distance (MSD) to the charge just to name a few.
Traditionally, most tamping is done using water bags, IV bags, and cryo-packs. All of these methods are effective however they have several limitations. Water is heavy and when used as a tamping agent, the charge becomes heavy, difficult to handle and transport. Furthermore, this added weight and size make the charge more difficult to place and in many occasions requiring special adhesives and or a prop stick to hold the charge in place. all of this added construction increases the amount of shrapnel and the possibility of injury and property damage. Once a water charge has been detonated water tends to cover the breach point creating a major slip hazard. Lastly, in cold weather conditions water will freeze and therefore couldn't be used as a tamping agent.
What is UTK 50:
The Ultra Tamping Kit 50, is a patented tamping device that is rubber/gel based. The kit comes in three interlocking sections each measuring 26.5"x1.5"x1". Once all three sections are connected they have an overall length of 79.5" and an approximate weight of 5.5 pound. The kit can be used in a verity of configurations from one strip to unlimited length since all kits are interlocking.
The advantages to using UTK are as follows:
- Light weight
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to hang
- Easy to store
- Highly effective as a tamping agent
- Can be used in all weather conditions
- Non toxic
- Can be used in both pushing and blasting charges
- No melt
- No slip hazard
- Easy to modify on the fly
It should be noted that the UTK50 kit is best used with 50 grains or less of det cord per liner foot.