Rod WipesRod wipes OEM spare parts

We know that mine sites need reliable OEM spare parts that won’t fail, so in blog the Rig Parts Australia experts share our secret to our high-quality, durable rod wipes that stand the test of time, along with the common causes of wear and tear.

What are rod wipes?

On a mine site, rod wipes are used to prevent water, mud and cuttings getting up onto the deck area of the drill rig, something that is usually caused by down hole air pressure.

By minimizing the dust and cuttings, it reduces the risk drilling operators are exposed to fibrous – and potentially harmful materials such as asbestos and silica.

By creating a seal around the rotating drill string, rod wipes clean any unwanted material from the drill string as it returns upwards through the drill deck.

Without a drill wipe, the unwanted mix of rock and water can cause issues such as:

  • Seize or damage hydraulic components
  • Potentially crack cabin glass
  • Unsafe, dirty deck
  • Harmful to health of operator

Other common names for rod wipes

Rod wipes can also go by:

  • Wiper seal
  • Deck Seal
  • Deck wipe

3 common reasons rod wipes fail

There are a several different causes of premature rod wipe failure. Here are the most common ones from our experience on-the-ground working in Australian mine sites:

Operational issues

Rod wipes are designed to stretch around the rods, however, they are no match for a high-speed, rock-smashing drill bit being pulled through them at max hoist pressure by a trainee or green operator.

Operators can also become meter-hungry, and the quantity of holes becomes priority over quality. Hole deviation is a contributing factor to a shorter lifespan for rod wipes and deck bushes. Deviation results in the rod rating at an angle, which will wear the rod wipe.

Poor quality materials and construction

Some companies DIY their own rod wipes from cheap, inadequate materials such as conveyor rubber. The incorrect diameter hole in the rod wipe can cause the rod wipe to wear prematurely or not touch the rod at all.

Another problem for supervisors on sites is when suppliers produce rod wipes in bulk for certain machines but don’t first check exactly what size drill rods are being used.

We’ve also seen shortcuts during manufacturing – like gluing 2 layers of rubber together to achieve the desired thickness – which we don’t recommend as it leads to premature failure. Here at Rig Parts Australia we understand cost is a key criteria, but not at the total expense of quality and durability.


Most rod wipes are held in place by cover plates with retainers. Failure of the retainers or cover plate can also result in the rod wipe assembly falling apart during drilling operations and causing unwanted damage to the plenum chamber or deck base.  

Our secret to long lasting rod wipes

As a custom OEM parts manufacturer we aren’t responsible for operational issues or maintenance, however we are committed to providing unrivalled quality spare parts to mines across Australia.

Our rod wipes are made to each customer’s specific requirements and built to last. We match our internal hole diameters to the customers drill rod specifications and include angled slits to allow for damage-free movement of the drill bit. This removes the need for the rubber to stretch and prevents unwanted wear when exposed to severe deviation.

We know that larger blast hole rigs require 50mm thick rod wipes, and we can confidently achieve this thickness with a high-quality rod wipe that is NOT glued from 2 x 25mm sheets, unlike some other suppliers.  

Ready to order rod wipes?

For superior custom spare parts, the only answer is Rig Parts Australia.

For prompt service and expert knowledge, request a quote for Rod Wipes (or other OEM spare parts) here.