Have you ever wondered about the diamonds in a diamond drill bit? Kelvin Brown, from IMDEX, has given this subject a lot of thought and he recently shared his ideas on what the future holds for drill bits and core sampling with GeoDrilling International.
Unlike the James Bond theme song by Shirley Bassey, diamonds are not forever when it comes to diamond drilling. Companies continue to try to refine the synthetic diamond core bit, altering the size and concentration of the diamonds and the composition of the matrix, but as far as IMDEX global lead, Directional Drilling, Kelvin Brown is concerned "it's still a diamond core drill bit."
"The traditional core bit has gone about as far as it can go" Brown says. "The technology has not changed much. There hasn't really been a significant step-change; we still use synthetic diamonds in a matrix."
With the core bit reaching the limit of improvements, IMDEX is concentrating on other aspects of drilling technology. Brown says IMDEX is the only company that offers the industry a true step-change improvement in core drilling.
"The most exciting advances are with our IMDEX COREVIBE and IMDEX XTRACTA drilling optimisation technologies.
"COREVIBE uses high-frequency, energy pulse-assisted drilling for wireline coring and will provide significant advancements in core drilling productivity.
"XTRACTA enables drill bits to be inspected or changed without retrieving the rods, significantly enhancing productivity, increasing safety, and maintaining the integrity of the drill hole.
"These are the most significant advances in core drilling in my 30-year career."