It probably comes as no surprise that it takes a very different skillset and completely different equipment to core through rock as opposed to boring through the sand and clay soils that are more commen near the ground surface.
The correct core bit (i.e. the part of the drill string which cuts the rock) selection is the key to obtaining high quality quality core samples. Each rock type requires a specific core bit to cut it cleanly and efficiently. So, to achieve the best results, we carry a range of different core bits with us at all times. Our drilling crew recently used our T6 coring barrel to core to depths of 25m in a range of geology from conglomerates to slate and everything in between.
So, you might say that coring is not boring. Fact!
OK so we can’t say whether this will (or should) get the final go ahead from government. But what we can say with absolute confidence is that we have more experience of working airside at Heathrow than any other geo-environmental consultant.
We are the only consultant with permanent airside passes, both for our staff and our vehicles. We are also well versed in navigating our way through the airport’s complicated permiting system.
Just last week one of our investigation teams worked through the night to install several deep monitoring wells adjacent to one of the existing runways. The third runway will need thousands of similar geotechnical borehole drilling in the next few years. We believe that having an airside presence and an in depth knowledge of the geology gives us a head start when it comes to providing this service.
When it comes to sites that have narrow or restricted access, we reckon that there is no better drill rig than our Terrier. It may be the baby of our drilling fleet, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you.
In the past year it has worked in basements, narrow side passages between houses, amid demolition debris and in a host of other conditions that would have precluded larger rigs being used.
If you add in the fact that it can work on inclines as steep as 30 degrees I think you’ll agree that our Terrier is a little gem.
This week we’ve been using the Terrier to carry out post-demolition verification sampling. We’ve been able to pick our way through the demolition rubble, getting access to the entire site to drill a pattern of boreholes to 5m depth.
For further information, or to discuss your drilling requirements, please contact Angus Gale – 01296 739433
The Standard Penetration Test, or SPT, has been the mainstay of geotechnical site investigations in the UK for decades. The test is simple, quick and cheap and it’s particularly suited to the light cable percussion drill rigs that are so widely used in the UK.
What isn’t generally appreciated is that even a low tech test such as this requires proper calibration in order to yield consistent, reliable results. In fact Eurocode 7 requires the SPT hammer to be calibrated annually. Unfortunately very few drilling contractors bother to do this and, in our experience, few consultants know that they should be asking for it. Given that results from out of spec hammers can vary by as much as 50%, we think this is something that should be given more attention.
We’ve put our money where our mouth is and now all our SPT hammers are correctly calibrated and all our drill rigs come with up to date LEAA inspection certificates. If you’d like to know more about our drilling capabilities please contact Angus Gale – 01296 739433.
We are accustomed to working for the big hitters of modern industry. However, today we were handed the opportunity of working around one of the big hitters from history. This WWII machine gun bunker holds listed status, and rightly so. It’s one of 18,000 built, around the coastal areas of the UK during Churchill’s defence against Operation Sea Lion.
Our plucky little rig was able to negotiate perimeter fencing, dense undergrowth, steep inclines, tank traps and machine gun bunkers just to get on site. It all sounds more “Band of Brothers” than “geotechnical site investigation”. In all 28m of dynamic windowless sampling with SPTs (and 2″installs) plus 80m of dynamic probing were effortless completed.
No-one can say that our workload isn’t varied. Last week one of our drilling crews completed the following schedule:
Monday – Geotechnical investigation including U100 sampling and SPT testing with our Terrier drill rig;
Tuesday – Water well installation using rotary rock roller with our Commachio 205;
Wednesday – Environmental investigation at a filling station using hollow stem augering, again with our Comacchio 205, while a new canopy was being installed;
Thursday and Friday – Deep water well installation using down the hole hammer to penetrate into a limestone aquifer.
We love a bit of variety in life and this week has proved it so. Time for a rest…….next week looks busy………
Actually, there is nothing mythical about Subadra being commissioned to install shallow monitoring wells at the Daedalus Airfield Development! We constructed several shallow wells over the course of two days using our Hollow Stem Auger drilling system.
Lee-on-Solent is known for its sand and a dense gravels which are more or less guaranteed to make drilling difficult. So to avoid this we used our powerful Comacchio drilling rig which ensure we reached the target depth at all the drilling locations with minimal disruption to the site. We then installed 50mm diameter wells to allow future groundwater sampling. All our materials were sourced locally to enable us to take the minimum of equipment and vehicles thus reducing our carbon footprint for the works.
We even had time to the collect soil samples for the Principal Contractor and get them
analysed for WAC by our in house lab facility. As a result of our prompt and efficient service the client retained us to carry out a more detailed geotechnical investigation at the site. No myth there then!
The combination of restricted head room and a ‘confined space’ presents major obstacles to any site investigation. However, our Terrier rig was able to gain access and complete a geo-environmental investigation in such a space. Its quite amazing where this little rig can get.
Access was through a standard doorway working with an overhead ceiling clearance of
less than 30mm with the machine set up. Precision operation was required to ensure we completed five boreholes, each to 6 metres in depth, with SPTs every metre, all in a safe and efficient manner.
The nature of the confined space meant that exhaust gases from the Terrier’s engine had to be vented to an outside area. We used an extendable sectional exhaust pipe to ensure a safe working environment. But just in case we also carried out carbon monoxide monitoring to ensure our crew’s safety.
Even better, our work was completed without the need to close the car repair workshop we were working in. allowing our client to continue panel bashing, filling and spraying to his hearts content.
We were commissioned to carry out a geotechnical investigation, including rock coring, at a site located just a stone’s throw from the busy harbour of Dover.
Our Commachio 205 and drilling crew were able to produce high quality cores and gain SPT/CPT data from 4 boreholes, each drilled to a depth of 20m below ground level. All completed on time and on budget.
Voids were encountered at various depths fueling rumours of secret smuggling tunnels similar to those we found in Margate last year. Unfortunately the only treasure recovered were metres and metres of chalk. Better luck next time lads!