The key to a successful foundation drilling operation lies in the selection of the right equipment, tooling and the cutting system depending on the geological conditions.
Rohit Reddy, Deputy General Manager, Earth Cutting Business, Kennametal

Throughout the world, rapid urban growth and development activities are increasing the demand for construction equipment—the global market size for which is expected to reach a value of USD 225.1 billion by 2028. India, too, is currently undergoing an infrastructure overhaul, riding on the impetus of the Government’s plan to invest over $1 trillion over 5 years. All of these developments suggest growing demand for innovative, high performance construction solutions, including foundation drilling.

Foundation drilling is one of the most valuable processes that can make or break a construction project. It involves using a drill rig to bore a large hole deep into the ground to enable the insertion of structures (like piles) for providing maximum load-bearing capability underneath the foundation’s main body to construct massive structures such as skyscrapers, highways, bridges and more. It is a demanding job, which makes equipping the drill with the right cutting tools and wear protection even more important. The key to a successful foundation drilling operation lies in the selection of the right equipment, tooling (core barrels, wall cutters, buckets, and augers) and the cutting system (cutting tools and holders) depending on geological conditions.

rock quality designation (RQD)Kennametal offers a range of foundation drilling solutions to cater to customers’ needs

Powerful Cutting Systems for Every Environment and Application
Choosing the correct cutting system is key to a successful foundation drilling operation. Kennametal is prepared to help you choose the right system by offering tooling capable of working in various environments and on key pieces of equipment. A broad range of tungsten carbide tip styles and grades are available to ensure that users achieve the desired productivity and tool life. Selection of the right conical tool depends on the following factors:
  • Method of drilling: using hydraulic rigs or diaphragm wall cutters
  • Type of tool: auger, core barrel, etc.
  • Machine power
  • Cutting conditions: uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), rock quality designation (RQD), abrasivity index, etc.
rock quality designation (RQD)

Typically, for soft cutting conditions, soil teeth are the first choice but for medium to hard conditions, it is recommended to use tungsten carbide tipped conical tools (rock bullets), which range in size from 11mm-38mm and can work in rock formations from sand and clay to granite and sandstone. For optimum performance of conical tools, the general guidelines to follow are:
  • Conical tools should turn to self-sharpen
  • Blocks’ attack and skew angles should be set correctly
  • For harder conditions, there is a requirement of shorter gauge, plug tip, slower RPM, higher pull-down, bigger shank size, and addition of tools
  • For softer conditions, there is a requirement of longer gauge, cap tip, higher RPM, lower pull-down, smaller shank size, and reduction in number of tools
  • For higher abrasion (steel wash), there is a requirement of cap or NB tip as well as a bigger collar.
rock quality designation (RQD)Hydraulic rig with core barrel/auger tool

We, at Kennametal, help customers choose the right system by offering tooling capable of working in various environments and on key pieces of equipment.

Built to Last Solutions
rock quality designation (RQD)Diaphragm Wall Cutter (Trench Cutter) with conical tools fitted on cutting wheels
Kennametal has a wide range of foundation drilling tools. Our cutting systems are designed and manufactured to be exceptionally durable. The proprietary heat treatment process in manufacturing of our conical tools enhances the wear resistance properties of the tool body without compromising the shank strength. The superior strength wide collars provide increased block face protection, and retainers have intense holding power, while also maintaining a smooth rotation for the conical tools.

Kennametal holders, i.e., blocks for foundation drilling tools, are an ideal choice for challenging foundation drilling applications. Their features include increased height and a larger footprint for greater stability and weld strength, as per the application specific needs.

Keeping our customers’ priorities in mind, our sales and application engineers collaborate with them to provide the right tooling for the right application. We also make sure that the holders are positioned at right angles to cut effectively and thus enhance productivity and tool life. Our material science and design engineers keep abreast with the ever-evolving needs of our customers to improve existing products and introduce new, more superior products.
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