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Rock Solid Tips: How To Drill Through Hard Rock

Rock Solid Tips: How To Drill Through Hard Rock

When you’re using an auger to drill through hard rock, it’s different from boring holes through soft dirt. There will come a time when a construction site has tough bedrock beneath the surface instead of soil, which you’ll need to drill through in order to place posts for the foundation and other applications. Keep reading to understand better how to perform this process and what techniques or components you’ll need to use to accomplish a successful drill.

Test the Ground Hardness First

It is never the best practice to guess the ground’s hardness before drilling into it because you will damage your auger and the components. Before making a solid plan, the construction crew must determine the hardness of the ground so they can ensure they’re choosing the correct tools to work with. Use a scratch test to compare the rock on the Mohs scale; the number you conclude with will reflect the hardness of the ground.

Select the Right Bit or Teeth

A diamond bit is usually the component added to the driller to cut through harder rock. You will need a bit or tooth with a higher Mohs number than the rock beneath the surface. Otherwise, it will not cut through the material and could damage the machine. As the number on the bit increases, the more diamonds within the matrix will become exposed, giving more power to the tooth to drill through hard rock. Using the wrong tooth can limit your application, ruin the machine, or break the bit completely.

Watch Your Parameters

Some parameters you must keep an eye on throughout the drilling process are the feed pressure, rotation speed, and water flow. If these are not within tolerance, you could strain the matrix on the bit, ruining the diamonds you need to cut the rock. Never use a broken bit; look for signs that you need replacement auger teeth before each application to ensure the machine is ready for use.

Too little water flow can burn the bit during the drilling process, and too much water will disallow the bit to sharpen. Low rotational speed will tire the machine out quicker and strain the matrix; a higher speed can ruin the tooth by polishing the diamonds inside. Find the balance between these two parameters to ensure you’re correctly drilling.

Do not rush this process—if you’re drilling through rock instead of soil, this could take a while. Remember that rock is a more rugged material that requires denser components to ensure the machine can adequately drill through it. The bottom line is to choose the correct bits or teeth for your auger for successful rock drilling.

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