Core drilling is often viewed as an obscure profession by most non-experts. Unlike other jobs like installation, carpentry, and plumbing which even most non-experts still have some level of knowledge about, to most people, core drilling is a job clouded in mystery. In this blog post, we would be attempting to help demystify said mystery by providing you with all the information you need to know about core drilling in Sydney, what it is, what it entails, and how it’s done!

What Is Core Drilling?

Core drilling is a drilling process carried out with special tools called “core drills” which are used for drilling into various materials to remove a portion of said material called the core. These drills used here are strong enough to bore into hard materials like wood, ice, cement, and even rocks, and the core obtained is usually a cylindrical portion of the drilled material. 

What Do Core Drills Look Like?

Core drills are made up of a motor, a handle, and drill bits (the part used for the actual drilling). They come in various sizes and each size also has different sizes of bits which can be interchanged depending on the material you are drilling into. These tools are power tools so they typically require electricity to function, although some are powered by gasoline.

Core drills have a hollow centre and this is what allows them to extract the sample (core) of whatever is being drilled. For most core drills, this hollow centre is cylindrical.

Types of Core Drilling

There are two major types/methods of Core Drilling in Sydney. They are: 

  • Soft core drilling or Soft coring.
  • Hard core drilling or Hard coring.

Soft Coring

This is a core drilling technique used to drill into materials like layers of clay and sand that are not so hard. It can reach depths of around 500 feet. It works with something called a “punch core system” which is used to protect the collected sample from air or fluid, and also protect the hole from collapsing by an outer core barrel.

Hard Cording

This is a core drilling process used to drill into hard materials like ice, cement, and rocks. It is often also referred to as diamond coring because the drill bits are laced with small diamonds so that they can cut through the hard materials they would be used on.  In this case, the sample is washed with the drilling fluid or air, because the samples are hard and have no risk of disturbance or contamination.

When Exactly Will You Need Core Drilling Done?

The major question now is, what exactly do you need the collected samples for? Why are we drilling and extracting the core of the materials in the first place?

Well, in the field of construction, the extracted core is considered waste since core drilling here is usually done to simply make openings for example to create access or pass utility conduits through concrete structures. In the area of material testing, however, retrieving the core is the objective of drilling.

In the field of material testing, coring is used to clearly define layers of geological formation. There are other methods too that can be used to gather such data, but they can be error-prone and miss several inches of the layer under investigation. For projects with almost no room for error, we can’t afford to miss such crucial data.

That is why core drilling is used in such cases. The samples obtained from soft coring can show different layers of formation, and consultants can detect how deep contamination has gone and how to avoid contamination. Hard coring is used in projects that seek to detect fractures in the ground to also detect the spread of contamination. Also, hard coring can be used for exploration during mining to determine the depth and direction of drilling for ore or minerals.

The drilled cores of construction materials like asphalt or concrete installations allow us to get samples to be tested in the laboratory to know the quality of the material used, to know if the materials are in compliance with the specifications of the project and if their structural strength has not been compromised.  Core sampling programs can be part of the assessment of already existing structures, usually when there is a reason to believe quality or strength has been affected. Tests that are performed include thickness, permeability, density, petrographic analysis, alkali-aggregate reactivity (AAR) or air content/distribution etc.

Core drilling also has several applications in the field of plumbing, manholes and drainages.

How Is Core Drilling Done?

The major concern in the location, planning and drilling of core samples should be safety first. Smooth surfaces can conceal water or electric pipes, utility lines or even reinforced steel which when drilled can be quite frustrating or have catastrophic consequences that could cause tragic accidents that irreparably damages the structure.

The best way to avoid this is to previously check existing plan drawings, have discussions with those involved in the design and maintenance of the building, and alert the local utility protection services. Also, several electronic scanning devices can be used to detect problems below visible surfaces, examples of which are metal detectors, rebar locators, concrete cover meters and ground-penetrating radars.

Core drilling is done on sediment or rock samples by drilling them with a specified drill bit, and an inner core barrel which is passed through the centre of the drill pipe. As the core barrel is pushed forward, the samples are collected in the coring barrel, after which the coring barrel which is filled with the core samples are returned back through the wireline.

The core barrel is then removed from the drill pipe, and the plastic core liner where the core sample is stored is extracted. The core liner is moved to a cutting area, where it is cut and analyzed.

So, there you have it. All you need to know about core drilling in Sydney, when you need to get core drilling done, and basic knowledge about how It’s done. This information is bound to help you out if you ever find yourself needing to carry out DIY coring on a small scale. But, if it’s a very large project, take our advice on this, it’s often best to simply hire the professionals. 

Disclaimer: This is a generic Information & post; content about the services can be changed from time to time as per your requirements and contract. To get the latest and updated information, contact us today or visit our website.

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