Trenching with Royex

Trenches are generally built for pipelines of oil, water, sewage, and cables. The nature of these installations and services often entails working in densely populated areas. The use of low energy Royex propellant charges minimizes the risk of ground vibration, fly rock, dust and noise. 

Further, deep trenches almost always requires good wall integrity making wall and over break control essential to avoid trench collapse. Using larger diameter Royex cartridges in center holes and smaller perimeter cartridges in the outer wall holes allows for a minimal wall damage. 

The video to the right illustrates the result of a large trench developed with Royex.  As can be seen the operation was done in a highly urban area just centimeters from a brick house.

Controlled blasting

Controlled civil blasting with Royex

Royex is ideal for blasting operations in urban areas in close proximity to houses, swimming pools, electrical installations, roads etc. The system allows for increased control of blast vibrations and fly rock. As the Royex system offers a wide array of diameters and charge weights, it is possible to choose just the right cartridge for any rock type and drill pattern.

Combined with blast mats, fly rock can in practice be completely eliminated which allows for continuous blasting and use in very tight spots in residential or commercial areas. 

The first video to the right is a good example of the above where hard rock where removed on a drive way just meters from houses and roads.  

The second video illustrates a shaft blast for a elevator shaft at a public school. Blasting was carried out during school hours without any risk to children or personnel.

As these videos illustrate, a great amount of rock may be removed with small Royex cartridges. In combination with blast mats, fly rock can in practice be completley eliminated allowing Royex use in dense urban environments and can also allow for blasting operations close to roads without the need for road closure. 

For information on typical vibration leveles, visit our FAQ page.



Rock and Stone Quarrying

Rock and Stone Quarrying applications

As a quarry blasting technique the Royex rock breaking system can be used both as a primary and secondary blast or rock breaking alternative. Since the system is very precise and causes minimal rock vibrations and fly rocks , drilling and blasting operations can be done simultaneously. This also means that efficient quarrying is possible close to other structures and in cities. 

The three  most frequent applications for Royex is pre-splits, secondary breaking and satellite charging.

 A pre-split is basically a last row shot with tight hole spacing to create a split which will protect the remaining quarry wall from the fractures generated by the main blast. For this, Royex cartridges are placed in the holes and fired before the main shot which allows for a minimal back break and conservation of the hanging wall.

Secondary breaking is common in quarry applications as oversize is almost always generated when blasting. Rocks to big to handle or to fit in crushers may be broken very safely using Royex even if close to loaders and other pit equipment.

Satellite charging is a concept where a Royex cartridge is placed in the middle of a stemming column and fired with the main blast. This breaks up the crown rock minimizing the risk for oversize due to tall stemming columns. 

The videos to the right shows a full quarry blast using Royex and also an example of secondary breaking close to a crusher.

Royex Break and pull for Quarries

For quarries with challenges in using conventional explosives, the
Royex break and pull concept could mean a drastic increase in productivity. By drilling aggressive patterns, and charging with a suitable Royex cartridge, in-situ rock can be split and moved into bigger pieces.  A video example of a Royex break and pull shot can be found here to the right. 

The Break and Pull concept has been proven and is averaging an approximate 260% production increase with significant economical saving in contrast to breaking with mechanical tools.  
For more information, go to our Break and pull concept page.

Concrete breaking, cutting and demolition

concrete demolition and breaking with Royex

Concrete breaking, cutting and demolition is a proven application for the Royex rock breaking system particularly as concrete often is associated with buildings and other sensitive structures. In demolitions in urban areas where noise, vibrations, dust or efficiency must be considered, mechanical concrete breakers has proven to be less effective than using micro blasting techniques such as Royex.

With controlled blasting more efficient results can be achieved since the concrete is broken from the inside and not from the outside. This means using tensile forces instead of compressive force. By using tensile forces applied from within a borehole in the concrete wall, slab or other object the force needed to break the concrete can be lowered by approximately 10-15% compared to compressive force applied by mechanical breakers.

High explosives like dynamite are a common alternative to micro blasting but are becoming less and less of an option since high explosives are difficult to control and cause high levels of vibration, noise and are logistically more complex than pyrotechnical products such as Royex due their strict regulatory requirements.

Royex cartridges in small load weights and are ideal for removing concrete to expose the reinforcement structures for sawing and cutting. The cartridges are proven to break even heavy reinforced concrete using relatively small charge weights and cause minimal vibration, noise and impact on surroundings when initiated. Royex is significantly faster than to mechanical breaking or sawing.

By careful borehole placement, the concrete structures can be broken in basically any way the operator wants. Breaking effect and direction can easily be controlled by changing borehole angle, depth and using advanced stemming techniques. This is an advantage when demolishing large concrete structures such as apartments buildings or similar. This makes Royex an excellent alternative for demolishing concrete or breaking concrete structures in sensitive areas.Concrete breaking, cutting and demolition

Block stone blasting

Block and dimensional stone blasting with Royex

Block or dimensional stone blasting is a very specific type of blasting where big slabs of rock is extracted and then post processed to become construction material or ornamental pieces. 

What is generally required in this type of blasting is removal of fractures or introducing weak panes into the resulting block. This means that the explosive used must be very forgiving to the rock yet powerful enough to break it out.

Royex does exactly this. As Royex does not produce a shock wave upon initiation, the Royex cartridge splits the rock without generating cracks. This means that Royex can increase productivity for dimensional block stone quarries. 

Another advantage of using Royex is that the product is water proof. This means that it may be used when the face is ready for blasting regardless of water content in the holes. This is a great advantage compared to black powder or low density ANFO. 

Royex is especially suitable for Slate, marble and limestone type rock. The video to the right illustrate operations in a slate quarry with highly segmented slate. The picture below illustrates the ideal wall integrity after a Royex shot. 


Royex no back break

Bench blasting

Bench blasting with Royex

Due to the characteristics of Royex, significant output can be achieved in bench blasting per gram of Royex. This means that very low powder factors may be used without compromising breakage and fragmentation. Using lower powder factors combined with eliminating the shock wave makes Royex ideal for larger bench blasting projects in urban areas. 

In large scale rock removal projects in cities or close to other sensitive structures Royex offers a very cost competitive and quick solution. As the system also minimizes fly rock, gas and vibration, Royex also comes with an significant safety improvement compared to conventional explosives.

Royex cartridges are supplied in lengths up to 1100 mm which means that high bench shots can be achieved. Most common heights are 3-8 meters with burdens between 1,2-2,5 meters. 

 The video to the right illustrates a common Royex bench shot. Notice the excellent fragmentation and integrity of the back wall. 



Tunnel development

Tunnel development blasting with Royex

The Royex rock breaking system is one of the few rock breaking systems in the world that has been successfully used in tunnel development. Royex has been used both in civil engineering projects where tunnels had to be developed with very sensitive methodology and in mining projects where logistics of 1.1D explosives where impossible or where rock conditions did not allow for detonating explosives. 

Royex has up to date been used to develop more than 2000 meters of underground tunnels in dimensions from 2,5 x 2,5 to 8,6 x 13,6. Blast as deep as 5 meters have been successfully done continuously. Fragmentation is normally around 300-400 mm. 

The Royex cartridge is ideal for tunnel blasting where vibrations, NOX and CO gas,  and over break must be strictly  controlled. Traditionally, electronic detonators are used for this but Royex offers a better solution at a better cost. As the Royex cartridge minimize over break it can be used as an excellent perimeter control product. The cartridge can be connected into a normal tunnel blast (assuming shock tube and blocking/detonating cord tie ups are used) allowing it to seamlessly integrate to normal tunnel blasting operations.

Another advantage is that the Royex cartridge minimized crush zones. This improves recovery of precious ores such as gold, platinum and diamonds.

The system can also be used for maintenance and expansion work in tunnel systems in operations. As an example, the third video to the right illustrates Royex used to develop a water pumping systems inside an under city tunneling system right by an metro train line in operation.

Secondary breaking

Secondary, Slyping and boulder breaking with Royex

Royex is ideally suited to secondary blasting applications. Due to the low presence of fly rock, dust and noise, oversize boulders and rock can be broken whilst normal operations continue. In addition nearby equipment such as crushers, haulers and drilling equipment will not need to be moved from the operating site.

Secondary operations underground is normally problematic, especially for mining operations in block cave mines and similar. Oversize or slype blasting must happen on shift and be part of ventilation time frames. Oversize blocking draw bells or passages cases significant delays and poses risks to underground personnel.

Using Royex to break such boulders are an ideal solution as the Royex system minimizes toxic gases such as NOx and CO. Royex is today frequently used in underground mining applications for just this purpose.  Basically, Royex breaks rocks that causes blockage or other problems in operations on shift without the extensive need for ventilation clearance.

In underground operations where slyping is normally required in the infrastructure maintenance work, Royex is an ideal solution as these tunnel expansion or similar blasting can happen with minimal risk. 

Royex integrates smoothly into any centralized blasting system and can be use in any hole direction with our without water content.  

The videos to the right shows some examples of overhang and secondary breaking in a quarry application.

Underwater blasting

Underwater blasting with Royex

The Royex system is an revolutionary approach to under water rock breaking and blasting applications. The reason for this is that the Royex cartridge removes rock as effectively as conventional explosives, but, in contrast to detonating explosives Royex saves marine life.

Fish and water mammals such as dolphins and manatees are sensitive to pressure changes in water. They contain pockets of air which service them as buoyancy control organs. When using detonating explosives in water, massive pressure waves travels very long distances and the pressure differential crushes these air pockets, instantly killing the animal over large areas.

As the deflagration process eliminates the peak pressure behavior, the Royex system can effectively break rock underwater without destroying marine life (fish and other marine lifeforms).

The majority of our worlds population lives near water. Or, is dependent on a harbor or other water infrastructure. To ensure safe development of underwater structures without killing marine life, Royex would be the evident go to solution. Royex works down to depths up to 30 meters. 

Royex underwater
Royex underwater blasting


ROYEX CARtridges

The Royex cartridge is a non-detonating rock breaking cartridge. It is classified as a pyrotechnic article and holds a 1.4S transport classification. In the European Union, the cartridge is classified as a P2 product, under the European directive for pyrotechnical articles, by the BAM laboratory in Berlin, Germany.

The cartridge consists of a plastic housing containing a pyrotechnic propellant mixture. The robust plastic housing is designed to protect the propellant mixture and the igniter during handling and charging. Royex cartridges are currently offered in three diameters: 22, 32 and 38 mm in lengths from 70 mm to 1100 mm.

The 22 mm cartridge has been specially designed for very precise pre-splits where fracture zones must be eliminated and wall integrity is paramount. Typical applications are dimensional stone breaking in slate, limestone, granite, marble and similar rock types. or for tunnel perimeter blasting.  The 22 mm cartridges are also ideal for concrete demolition or in areas where only small diameter drilling equipment is available.

Royex 32 mm cartridges are the product of choice for highly sensitive civil projects. Containing enough breaking power to be cost efficient, the 32 mm cartridge maintains an excellent vibration control and fly rock minimization. Typical applications include precision civil projects such as bench blasting in urban environments or indoors. Trenching, wells or tunnel development applications are also situations where the 32 mm cartridges has multiple uses.

A Royex 38 mm cartridge is ideal for tunnel development or surface developments where larger burdens and hole depths can be allowed. It is also suitable for bigger operations where small hole drilling capabilities are scares or unavailable.

The article names for the Royex cartridge product line are denoted <diameter> / <length>
in millimeter, NEQ is noted separately.

 Note that all information and content on this website is subject to local law, permits and certifications. Product variations may apply. For availability and regulatory constraints, please read our website disclaimer or contact us for advice.



UN Number:                                                      0432
Shipping classification:                               1.4
Compability group:                                       S
Tunnel restriction code (ADR):               E


CE notified body ID:                                      0589 – BAM
CE certificate ID:                                             0589-P2-0103
EU product category:                                    P2
EU product type:                                             Gas Generator
EU product sub-type:                                   Rock breaking cartridge
USA:                                                                        US DOT (EX no: EX2018112203)
Canada:                                                                 NRCAN  (ID avaliable on request)
Australia:                                                             NSW, QLD, TAS (ID avaliable on request)


Energy:                                                                  911 Kcal/Kg (3,81 MJ/Kg)
Gas volume:                                                        923 Liter / Kg
IInitiation:                                                            Electrical / Shock tube
Speed of deflagration (confined):           330 – 850 m / second
Speed of deflagration (unconfined):      0 – 1 m / second
Maximum pressure (confined):                520 Mp
Maximum pressure (unconfined):          ~0 Mp
Storage:                                                                 Dry storage. Max temp 55° C. No direct sunlight.
Shelf life:                                                               18 months 


Efficiency (In situ):                                          1 m³ / 100 gram cartridge
Efficiency (Boulder):                                      20 m³ / 100 gram patron cartridge

Powder factor (in situ):                                0.6 (Anfo, 1,00)
Powder factor (Boulder):                           0.01 (Anfo 1,00)
Water resistant:                                              Yes


Nitrogen:                                                                 41%
Steam / water vapour:                                     37 %
Carbon dioxide:                                                   19 %
Carbon monoxide:                                              << 0,01 %


Cartridges are packed in UN DG approved cardboard cases in three sizes. Packaging densities and case sizes are available in the table on this page.