How To Drill Rock: Best Practice


A range of auger variants may be used to drill through rock. If your project requires rock drilling, Tebco Australian rock augers can save you time and trouble at your site. With rotating pick teeth which maximise the penetrative capacity of the drill, they are useful for shattering and excavating strong rock structures when required on construction or mining projects. In this article, we provide some tips to assist you drill effectively and efficiently.

Drills are sometimes be a one-off investment. Making sure they’re well-cared for is therefore crucial to a consistent project rollout and compliance with budgeting. Rock drilling can result in damage to equipment when performed improperly. The primary risk of harm encountered when undertaking drilling operations in solid rock are subterranean heat pockets that cause damage to the auger.

Heat Pockets in Drill Holes Cause Uneccessary Damage to the Auger 

When air is trapped in rock for extended periods of time, friction causes the environment to heat up and this can put undue pressure on rock auger drilling equipment: they can melt. This buildup of thermal energy can also cause a glazing effect on the surface of the rock, making the surface harder and even more difficult to drill through.

How To Mitigate Damage to my Drill

Recommended practice in these scenarios is to withdraw the rock drill from the drill site periodically; every five minutes or so to allow cooler air to flow into the open hole and reduce propensity for harm to equipment. Drilling must be stopped completely before the auger is lifted to the surface, or risk of a splay of sediment will be present. When the drill has been shut off entirely, it may be withdrawn using controls to a safe height above the surface of the hole. By doing this, you also allow the drill to cool down, which minimizes the risk of your equipment melting. 

Choose Your Point of Entry Carefully

Another tactic to ensure that rock drilling is as safe as possible for your poor augers is to pick the spot where you enter the rock carefully. Choose a location in the matrix where there is moisture. The rock will be softer and grip the auger better, which reduces overall friction present in the reaction and thereby the risks materializing from trapped underground heat. Drilling in a moist spot reduces damage to drilling equipment.

Use of Water and Drilling Fluid

On that note, applying a small amount of water or drilling fluid to the spot where you are excavating can help soften hard granite, gneiss and quartz. This technique is applicable in any rock drilling environment: from residential construction to diamond mining. At the end of the day, the softer the rock is, the easier it will be to withdraw and the safer your site will be. 

If you are looking for rock augers to use in your construction, mining, civil or infrastructure project, just call Tebco today to place an order. We have a vast selection of high-quality rock auger bits and pieces available for sale. Check out our online store, call us on (02) 4677 2649 or reach out via our contact page to ask any questions about our auger teeth or to place an order for our products today.