DOI: 10.3390/su16010008 ISSN: 2071-1050

A New SJ* Value Based on Sievers’ J-Miniature Drill Tests to Determine the Drillability of Limestones

Víctor Martínez-Ibáñez, María Elvira Garrido, Carlos Hidalgo Signes, Roberto Tomás, Martina-Inmaculada Álvarez-Fernández
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This research presents a new drillability value (SJ*) that corrects the most-used Sievers’ J-value (SJ) by removing the accommodation effect of the drill bit in the first tenths of a millimetre to better represent the real drillability of limestones. Moreover, this research demonstrates how such an effect is more notable when porosity and micro-cracking increase, which in this study has been achieved by inducing thermal damage in the samples. To do so, limestone samples from the Prada formation were subjected to temperatures of 105, 300 and 600 °C and then cooled at fast and slow rates to induce porosity and micro-cracking. Two characteristic zones were identified in the penetration–time plots: (a) a shallow region (Zone 1) with a variable drilling rate including an initial peak and (b) a deeper region (Zone 2) where the drilling rate stabilises. These drilling rates increase with thermally induced porosity and micro-cracking, and the authors propose a new method to delimit Zones 1 and 2. Zone 1 is attributed to the time it takes for the drill bit to adjust and settle in the rock surface, while Zone 2 more realistically represents the drillability of the material. The above influences the SJ value derived from Sievers’ J-miniature drill tests, so a new drillability value SJ* is proposed that corrects SJ by excluding Zone 1 and giving more weight to Zone 2. The novel SJ* presented in this research constitutes a more accurate tool to assess and predict the drilling performance in limestones.

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