Drilling applied to civil construction - Core Case

Drilling applied to civil construction

To carry out a real estate project, whether it is for one’s own home or for the construction of commercial and tourist buildings, and so on, it is necessary that all the soil study stages be carried out with the highest possible level of excellence and care, and one of these studies is the drilling.

Drilling consists in a process of terrain recognition and characterization, being a very efficient and complete way to know the site characteristics where the construction will be executed. 

According to Márcio Leão, geologist and post-doctorate in Geotechnics from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), “the purpose of a soil drilling is to provide representative geotechnical data about the terrain conditions that are relevant to the project under consideration”. 

Based on drilling methods used in civil construction it is possible to capture information such as:

  • identification of different soil layers;
  • classification of each layer;
  • water table level;
  • Strength of soil layers.

These data are crucial in the decision-making process regarding the project, allowing a more efficient, precise, safe and economical execution, based on information regarding the building positioning on the terrain and the best type of foundation, avoiding a series of pathologies to the construction work. (BELINCANTA,1985).

Drilling Types carried out in Civil Construction

Auger Drilling

Manual or mechanized, the most common are the clamshell (or auger) and helical.

This type of drilling consists of an excavation with a small diameter and reduced depth, whose purpose is to collect deformed samples to perform laboratory tests, making it possible to determine the profile of the soil under investigation.

Manual augers can also be mentioned in this category.

This method is generally simpler than other types, fast and economical, but is not as effective in depth, as it only penetrates soil layers above the water level and with low strength. 

Another method within this category is the Mechanical Auger: 

A method widely used on construction sites because it is a clean process that does not produce mud, is easy to transport and mobilize on site, requires a small number of operators, and is relatively quick to execute. 

Auger drilling is widely used in sanitation and road construction.

SPT percussion drilling

Also called SPT (Standard Penetration Test) is the most widely used process to determine soil type, strength and water level. 

It is a method of soil investigation where the drilling advance is done by means of an auger or washing, and a sampler is used to measure the indexes of resistance to penetration, obtain samples, determine the water level, and perform various tests in situ.

The number of blows required to drill into the rock allows the strength of the soil to be determined. 

SPT drilling is widely used in engineering works.

Rotary Drilling

It is the drilling type that presents the highest cost, but it is the drilling with the most advantages, since it allows the analysis of greater depths and several other types of soils to be drilled, besides being of easy transportation.

It consists in the use of a mechanized set for drill rock masses and obtain samples of rocky materials with a cylindrical shape, named as core. It can also sample soils and other materials.

It is one of the most widely used methods to qualify rock masses.

Data acquired from drilling

After presenting the main types, we can say that drilling 

  • Provide proper geotechnical data for all aspects of an economical, safe and reliable design of foundations, earthworks and temporary works, including an assessment of the effects of any previous uses of the site; 
  • Assesses problems associated with construction of the site arising from subsurface conditions, including temporary works, excavations, and drainage; 
  • Considers changes in the stability, drainage, or other geotechnical aspects of the site and surrounding buildings; 
  • Compares alternative construction methods and their impacts on the ground.

Do you see how drilling is an essential practice for civil construction?

Performing this step in your project brings financial security, efficiency to the processes, reduces risks during the work, and ensures safety for those who will buy/rent/frequent that environment after it is finished.

Count on Core Case in your projects.

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Core Case. https://corecase.com/br/en/core-case-blog/ 

Concrete Digital. https://digital.concreteshow.com.br/na-obra/sondagem-de-solo-para-construo-civil-dicas-e-informaes 

Alcance Engenharia. https://alcancejr.com.br/sondagem-de-solos/ 

Lajes Contim. https://www.lajescontim.com.br/construc-a-o/perguntar-o-que-e-sondagem-na-construcao-civil.html 
Revistas Braz Cubas. https://revistas.brazcubas.br/index.php/pesquisa/article/view/683/719

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