What is Core Drilling?



What is core drilling?


A core drill is a hollow, cylindrical drill that is used to make holes through a surface. It is made of metal, and the drill tips are usually coated with either diamond or carbide. A core drill is composed of a motor, handle, and drill bits. The main difference between a core drill and other cement cutting tools is that a core drill will extract a sample from the material. The center of the drill is hollow, allowing it to carve out a sample from the drilled material. This sample, called a core sample, conforms to the shape of the hollow walls of the drill.


A core drill can penetrate various surface types. It can cut cement, wood, rocks, and ice. It pushes through the surface with a twisting motion to create the hole. A different drill bit needs to be installed for each surface to allow for the best performance.


The size, power, and features of a core drill can vary, depending on what it will be used for. Individuals can use a small core drill at home, while a powerful, medium-sized drill can be used for buildings and mines. Large drills are usually used for the cutting of concrete on massive construction projects.


How does core drilling work?


Core drilling is generally done after preliminary GPR scanning. GPR concrete scanning, also known as ground-penetrating radar scanning, is a non-destructive method of concrete scanning an area to evaluate the structural integrity of an area before drilling. This ensures that the drilling processes can proceed safely.


By using a core drill, a column of rock, or other material, is extracted from the area. The concrete coring drill is mounted on the rotating part of a concrete core-drilling machine. It is then secured to the surface of the material needed. As the shaft rotates, it drills into the surface removing a core of concrete or whichever other material is being assessed.


The process provides a column of sediment, known as a “slug”, as well as a perfectly round hole in the ground. The sediment sample is useful for geotechnical analysis and can provide insight into the composition and properties of the material for validation purposes. The resulting hole is also useful for creating space for building materials to be situated.




Why use Core Drilling?


While it can be used for a variety of purposes, the primary reason for using core drilling is to analyze sediment in an area. Core drills can retrieve an undisturbed sample that is representative of the composition of the material. With this sample, scientists can observe and catalog the properties that are present.


The properties can include the quality of the material, the strength of the material, the capacity of the material, meaning how much weight it is capable of holding, and even the present deterioration of the material, which could make an area vulnerable to any excess weight or construction.


Additionally, core drilling can be used in construction projects to carve out the space needed for materials to pass through.


What projects need core drilling?


A majority of construction projects can benefit from core drilling. Core drilling is particularly useful in building any major subsurface structures, like tunnels, pipelines, or even parking garages. However, its utility is also helpful when needing smaller spaces for wires, cords, and cables.


Specialized concrete core drilling techniques like horizontal directional drilling (HDD) are used in more complex projects. HDD, which is the process of core drilling horizontally into a surface, is often used in gas and oil industries. This method is useful for creating spaces that can house pipes and plumbing. Because of its accuracy, it won’t damage existing structures and pipes that may already exist in the area.


When remodeling a home or building, core drilling is used to improve sprinkler systems, HVAC systems, plumbing, and phone and cable lines. Because of its efficiency, this is often a process chosen by those who are on time crunches.


Call A-Core for Your Concrete Drilling Needs


Since its start in 1974, A-Core has been at the forefront of construction specialists. Our flexibility, advanced technology, and dedicated staff have made us a top choice for all your concrete needs. We are here to offer solutions for any construction challenge, no matter the industry or region. For more information on our concrete drilling services, contact us today.