In this study, the relationships between Drilling Rate Index (DRI) values and the Specific Cutting Energy (SCE)were investigated by experimental work for twelve different carbonate rocks which are produced as natural stones in various regions of Turkey. Physical and mechanical properties of rocks were determined on rock samples in excavation laboratory prior to determining the DRI values of each rock type. In order to determine the SCE of the rocks, the samples were prepared in compliance with the testing standards. Cutting tests were carried out on prepared rock samples using the equipment having a circular saw. The relationships between the DRI values and physico-mechanical properties of rocks were investigated by using simple regression analyses, which yielded relationship equations with meaningful correlation coefficients of 0.81–0.94 between the DRI and physical properties of rocks whereas the relations between the DRI and mechanical properties of rocks yielded as well significant correlation coefficients ranging between 0.79–0.87. A high correlation coefficient of 0.91 between the DRI and SCE may suggest that the SCE of rocks be a useful tool in estimating the value of the DRI of rocks and vice versa.
The parameters influencing the efficiency of an excavation may be divided into two major groups depending on the rock medium and excavation equipment. Although it is possible to alter the parameters of the excavation equipment, changing the parameters of rock medium is not. Therefore, identification of the parameters depending on rock properties by taking into account the excavation equipment is important in terms of efficiency.
Cutting processes constitute a significant share in natural stone quarries and factories. Thus, determination of excavation parameters and carrying out related performance tests become important to optimize the cost inputs.
Energy spent during the cutting varies depending on the rock type and the parameters of sawing machine. Physical and mechanical properties of the rock and hard mineral content will affect the sawing process. In addition, the rotation speed (peripheral speed), the feed rate (cutting speed), the depth of cut, the structure of cutter socket and the machine's power will affect the specific energy. Various researchers have studied the specific energy values for several rock types and established meaningful relations between specific energy, cutting parameters and the physico-mechanical properties of rocks.