In an attempt to study the mechanics of diamond core drilling in rocks, an investigation on rock drillability was conducted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A series of drilling and coring tests was conducted on six types of rock using several different diamond bits. Factors involved in a diamond coring and drilling process such as weight-on-bit, rotational speed, and rock type were identified and the effects of those parameters were experimentally evaluated based on the penetration rate, applied torque, and specific energy. Statistical techniques were used to design the drilling tests and to develop drilling models. Fundamentals of rock failure mechanics in relation to rock drilling were reviewed. Several existing rock drilling models were also examined with the data from this study. Results indicated that all of the three drilling parameters, i.e., the penetration rate, applied torque, and specific energy, were significantly affected by the weight-on-bit and rock type. The penetration rate of a bit was also affected by the rotational speed. The effects of the rotational speed on the applied torque and specific energy, however, were found to be insignificant. It was also found that the theoretical models can be used to predict the maximum effective weight-on-bit and penetration rate. Among the four theoretical models examined, the elastic model predicted the most accurate penetration rate. The maximum effective weights-on-bit predicted by the plastic model and the two fracture models, however, were close to each other and in agreement with the experimental observation. Statistical models developed in this study were used to predict the penetration rate in the Rock Drilling under the Greenland Ice Sheet project. The variation between the predicted value and the actual value was less than 10%.
Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1995
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