You might have learnt from Middle School Geography that rocks and soils consist of many minerals. But just how much minerals do these landforms contain? Core drilling provides the most accurate path to answering that question. In this blog, we bring you everything you need to know about core drilling and its applications in the world of the construction and mineral explorations.
What Is Core Drilling?
Perhaps once or twice you have used a drill on a personal project and managed not to screw a hole in your hand. Either way, you should be a bit familiar with how drills work. Core drilling works on similar principles.
Core drilling is a rotary drilling method that makes use of ring-shaped drill bits which sometimes have diamonds or carbides of tungsten around them. These diamonds and carbides used in core drilling are the drill’s cutting tools.
In core drilling, the core drill is placed against the surface of the material to be drilled─in this case rocks. Once turned on, the drill begins rotating, usually in the clockwise direction, at a high speed until a core sample is obtained.
And what exactly is this core sample?
Simply put, the core sample is the round bar of material ─ in this case rock ─ you get after a certain portion of the material has been drilled.
How does Core Drilling Assist in Determining Rock Properties?
Core drilling is a process that can be used to produce high-quality core samples. It is this core samples that will be used to check for the mineral content in the rock.
These core samples can be taken to the lab and analyzed, subjecting them to both qualitative and quantitative analysis to ascertain their physical properties. The properties of these samples discovered after the analysis usually provide an accurate idea of the property of the rock it was drilled from.
Other Applications of Core Drilling.
Here are some other applications of core drilling in the geological field:
● Infill Drilling in underground mines.
● Determining the suitability of grounds for construction
A rock mechanics engineer after core drilling can analyze the rock mass to determine its mechanical and hydrological properties. By doing this, the engineer is able to decide whether construction can be done in the area from which the rock mass was obtained.
In soil mechanics, the geotechnical engineer uses the soil sample gotten from the core drilling site to obtain information on whether the soil layers must be reinforced or sealed to withstand the stresses of the proposed construction.