Rock drilling is a significant activity widely used in the exploration of marine mineral resources and offshore civil engineering such as marine mining, petroleum and deep-water drilling. The characteristics of size and shape of particles produced during rock drilling influence drilling efficiency and energy consumption. We report a series of drilling experiments on sandstone, limestone and shale to systematically examine particle size distribution and shape and correlate these with original rock structure and composition. Correlations are established via metrics of particle size distribution, average circularity and specific surface area. Impact breakage and contact abrasion of individual particles during rock drilling are the main mechanisms controlling particle size and shape. Impact breakage is controlled by the structural distribution of mineral phases, while contact abrasion is principally related to the hardness of mineral phases. The particle size distribution is affected by the structural distribution of mineral phases. The average circularity of the drilling particles is mainly controlled by the hardness of mineral phases. The specific surface area of rock drilling particles is determined by both structural distribution and hardness of mineral phases–with homogeneous structure and low average hardness of the phases reducing the resulting specific surface area of the drilling products.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Ocean Engineering