A series of diamond drilling tests has been conducted with a laboratory instrumented diamond drill. During the tests the following measurements were gathered and studied: the thrust, the rpm, the penetration, the torque, the flow of drilling penetration, the torque, the flow of drilling fluids, the vibration and the bit wear. The laboratory diamond drill simulated the hydraulic type diamond drilling machine. Masonry type thin wall drill bits were tested in various rocks including limestones, granites, a quartzite and others. The data logging permitted the elaboration of a preliminary automatic control strategy. The preliminary automatic control strategy. The strategy was verified by simulating manually the control of the instrumented diamond drill. The strategy keeps the drill machine and bit system within normal operating conditions as it is faced with different ground and rock conditions attempting to maximize the rate of penetration and minimize the rate of wear of the bit. The application of such a control strategy on a field diamond drilling machine is discussed.


One of the objectives of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources is to improve the means of discovery, mining, processing, transportation and use of the processing, transportation and use of the mineral and energy resources available in Canada. The objective of the Mines Branch, Mining Research Centre in its Systems Engineering Program is to develop mining technology that is important for exploiting Canadian resources. The investigation of the application of automatic control to drilling processes was carried out by members of the Rock Fracture Group, Mining Research Centre in Quebec City, P. Q., under the Operations Control Project.

Diamond drilling is a standard well-known process for the boring of holes in rock. It is used extensively by the mining industry mainly for exploration work where the main purpose is to retrieve a rock core for further evaluation. The petroleum industry uses diamond drilling for exploration as well as for the boring of production wells in hard formations.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.