Air Core Drilling uses hardened blades made of tungsten or steel to drill a hole into unconsolidated ground. Air Core Drilling uses a special reverse circulation drill. Drill bit used in air core drilling uses three blades arrangement around the bit head. Compressed air is injected through annular to remove cutting from hole. These cuttings move inside a tube which sits inside the hollow rod to which bit is attached. These cuttings are blown back to the surface where they pass through sample separation system. The cuttings are collected if needed. Drilling bit having tungsten or steel blades cannot drill through fresh rock so it is only used to drill weathered regolith.
Air Core Drilling is a much faster process than Rotary Air Blast (RAB) drilling technique. Cuttings are moved to a receptacle through a tube rather than spilled on the surface after being pushed upwards by compressed air. Cuttings which are retrieved from Air Core Drilling need not to be processed to remove any contaminations. In good conditions Air Core Drilling can achieve depths of approximately 300 meters.
Increasing investment for the exploration and production of various unconventional sources to meet energy demands is driving this market. More drilling activities are expected in near future to fulfill energy deficiency. Some of the key players in Air Core Drilling market include Outback Drilling, Drillwest, Resource Drilling Services, Capital Drilling Ltd., Raglan Drilling and Layne among others.
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