Int. J. Rock Mech. Mining ScL Vol. 2, pp. 57-73. Pergamon Press 1965. Printed in Great Britain.

THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING
R. TEALE
Mining Research Establishment, National Coal Board, Worton Hall, Isleworth, Middlesex
(Received 5 July 1964)

Abstract--The fundamental problem in rock working is the breakage of fragments out of
the face of a solid wall of rock. Mechanically this can be dorte only by forcing a tool into
the rock surface, after the manner of an 'indenter' such as is commonly used for testing
surface hardness. Since the process breaks rather than cuts solid rock into small fragments
of assorted sizes it cart be regarded as essentially one of crushing. As in crushing processes
generally, energy/volume relationships are therefore of interest. 'Specific energy', defined as
the energy required to excavate unit volume of rock. is a useful parameter in this context
and may also be taken as an index of the mechanical efficiency of a rock-working process.
In drilling data from a number of sources its minimum value appears to be very roughly
correlated with the crushing strength of the medium drilled in, for rotary, percussive-rotary
and roller-bit drilling. The implications of this are discussed.
INTRODUCTION
ALL mining operations consist essentially of the excavation of various kinds of 'rock',
the word here being used in its strict geological sense to mean all those solid substances
which constitute the Earth's crust. When in place in that crust, however, rocks form a
solid body with only one free face and excavation from such a body must be preceded by
the breakage of small fragments out of its surface. Only when such small-scale breakage
has been concentrated on a narrow front--as in drilling a shot-hole, for example--and a
second free face has been created within the body of the rock, can excavation proper take
place on a larger and more economical scale.
Even as mining proceeds, the same situation recurs continually. If a heading is being
driven, then at any time its face presents the same characteristic: it is the single free face of a
solid body of rock into which further penetration has to be made. If this further penetration
is effected by drilling a shot-hole into the face, then the pattern is repeated on a smaller scale
at the bottom of the hole itself.
This problem of penetration into the solid is fundamental to all rock-working, that is to
all mining, processes. Since the body of rock is always large in relation to the entry which
has to be made into it, the problem may be generalized as that of making an entry into a
semi-infinite rock solid through its one and only free face.
D R I L L I N G AS I N D E N T A T I O N
If only mechanical methods of rock excavation are considered, penetration into the solid
can be achieved only a fraction of an inch at a time, at the tip of some form of drilling tool.
Since penetration is essentially measured normal to the original surface, it is unlikely to be
greatly influenced by any lateral components of the force on the tool, whatever they may be.
Thus fundamentally the action of a drilling tool resembles that of an indenter, such as is
commonly used for measuring surface hardness, particularly of metals [1]. The indenter,
57

It is as well to point out here that the 'cutting' actions referred to above are not really cutting at all. When a flat-ended. is the basis of all mechanical rock-working processes. Hence the 'cutting' action is essentially one of breakage. To the author's knowledge. TEALE penetrating the surface of a semi-infinite solid of brittle material under a normal thrust. The roller-bits used for oil-well drilling are essentially arrays of indenters. the result of reducing one existing size distribution to another.) . This process repeats itself. since it is determined by a stress pattern which is itself geometrical. Existing types of drilling tool are very few. 'cutting'. is broken into fragments of assorted sizes. Indenters and drills may therefore be regarded as primary crushers. particularly if designed for soft rocks. combining them in more or less arbitrarily determined proportions. it is possible to conceive of them being applied separately and alternately. as in other crushers. mounted in the form of teeth on rollers which run round on the rock surface under a thrust normal to it. out of the face of a semi-infinite solid. by which the bit is given a lateral movement to break out fragments of rock. The simplest is the hand-held chisel which. Indenters and drills--in brittle materials--have this in common: they all result in the breakage of an assortment of fragments. by which the cutting edges of the bit are continuously pushed into the rock to give them a bite. by volume rather than by mass. Orthodox percussive drilling is essentially a mechanized version of this crude process of 'percussive indentation'. subsequently. back to the original surface. such energy relationships must play an important part in the understanding of rockworking processes. fragments of rock break out from the bottom of the indenter hole. SPECIFIC E N E R G Y A useful parameter which can be defined in this field is 'specific energy'--the work done per unit volume excavated. 'penetration' being followed cyclically by 'breakage'. produces a circular hole. the applied energy is accepted as an important parameter and many attempts have been made to relate it to the properties of the material crushed and to the dimensions of the product [2]. covering a wide range of sizes. when it has penetrated some distance. broadly speaking two things happen: the indenter first penetrates by crushing and compacting the rock in front of it. being a brittle material. (The quantity of rock broken is logically measured geometrically. no work has been done on energy/size relationships in the sort of primary crushing which drilling and indentation represent. In this present work. They may have a slight scuffing or 'cutting' action. parallel-sided indenter is forced into a hard rock surface. as is that of indentation. repeatedly struck and turned to a new position. In all cases the rock. but otherwise work almost entirely by a process of repeated indentation under static thrust. except that of WALKER and SHAW [3] referred to below. Percussive-rotary drilling adds percussive indentation to the static indentation and lateral 'cutting' of the pure rotary process. a start has been made by examining the energy balance of actual drilling operations. With a tapered indenter the process is similar. Though these actions are in practice virtually simultaneous.58 R. Nevertheless. In the study of crushing generally. 'primary' because their product is broken from the solid and is not. Rotary drilling may be regarded as a combination of two distinct actions : 'indentation'.

is equal to . The volume of rock actually broken must therefore provide the index. was only about 70. work is done both by the thrust.200. Putting e as the specific energy. It must level off at some finite value and decrease more slowly. say. The volume of rock excavated in one minute is (Au) in 3. F i b .2~'NT) in. and the torque. If the rotation speed is Nrev/min. since the minimum amount of work required to excavate a given volume of rock cannot be measured against any absolute standard.000 in. is equivalent to the mean 'pressure' exerted by the thrust over the cross-sectional area of the hole.000 in. for example. the increment of work done. in friction between tools and rock (which amounts perhaps to the same thing on a microscopic scale). They measured the energy required to grind various sizes of both steel and rock from the solid and found.5 x 10 -3 in. lb/inZ. the area of the hole or excavation A in 2 and the penetration rate u in. that to grind marble to a particle size smaller than about 2. Breaking the debris into 'smaller fragments than necessary' may have a disproportionate effect on the energy needed to excavate the given volume. Its amount will depend entirely on the nature of the rock. The mechanical efficiency of a rock-working process cannot be measured directly. (2) (2~r][NT] er = ~'1 \ ~-1 (3) in. Real mechanical processes might or might not approach this theoretical minimum: the difference between actual and theoretical requirements would be a measure of work dissipated in. dividing work by volume. gives e ~ (A) + ( ~ ) ( N j ) in. possibly so slowly as to become virtually constant as the particle size increases indefinitely. say. lb/in a) is equivalent to (lb/in2). or in mechanical losses quite outside the rock system. E N E R G Y IN R O T A R Y D R I L L I N G In rotary non-percussive drilling. but the specific energy itself increases considerably as the particle size is reduced.. lb/in 3. It fell rapidly as the particle size increased and at the largest size produced. This idea of constant specific energy carries important implications for the study of rock-working processes. breaking the excavated rock into smaller fragments than necessary. so that mechanical efficiency is a maximum when specific energy is a minimum. (1) Using subscripts t and r to denote the 'thrust' and 'rotary' components of e. It will be noted that the thrust component. This effect is illustrated by WALKERand SHAW [3]. lb/in 3. d W say. T l b in..lb. in fact. Specific energy is. lb/in 3. for it sets the maximum mechanical efficiency it is possible to achieve. dimensionally identical with pressure or stress.5 × 10 -5 in. The specific energy clearly cannot continue to fall indefinitely at this rate./min. 1. lb/in ~. to excavate a given volume of rock. the total work done in one minute is (Fu q.. a certain theoretically attainable minimum quantity of energy will be required. (F/A). The volume of rock broken per unit energy input is the reciprocal of specific energy as already defined. the specific energy was 1. (Physically this arises from the fact that if a force F acting on and normal to a surface of area A moves it through a distance ds. et = ( F ) in. since (in.THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING 59 It is axiomatic that. Not only do more particles have to be broken needlessly. for example.

It will fall fairly rapidly. it offers a possibility of relating the drilling process to some parameter of rock strength. the size of particle broken will also increase. The reduction in efficiency at this stage will cause the specific energy to rise again until the drill stalls. however. dV say./rev). Since the amount of energy required to break brittle materials like rock is not much affected by the rate at which it is applied. the work lost in friction will constitute a rapidly decreasing percentage of the total work done. For given A and N. operating at a fixed rotation speed in a particular rock. it is apparent that specific energy will reach very high values at low thrusts. Thus (T/u). Now the torque/penetration-rate curves for rotary drilling. approximate to straight lines through the origin. Together. er is proportional to (T/u). lb/in a. The volume change effected by the movement. until it reaches a value beyond which it either will continue to decrease so slowly as to remain virtually constant or will actually start to rise again. this fall will not continue indefinitely. It follows that for given A and N. Below a certain value. to study the extent of the variation. As the thrust increases. However. as the thrust increases. The ratio (T/p) may therefore be a useful index of specific energy. a stage may be reached when the tool is pushed so heavily into the rock that it becomes overloaded and clogs. It is of interest. . will increase of itself as the particles broken become smaller. Then from equation (3) er = '~4 Pin. the thrust will be inadequate to effect penetration of the bit. then e = d W/d V ~. (4) T is the torque required to remove a layer of rock of depth p in one revolution. these effects will cause specific energy to tend towards infinity at zero thrust. which would be the slope of such a line. is also approximately constant.) For a given size of excavation. the relationship between T and p may not be significantly affected by changes in rotation speed. Together. these effects will contribute to a fall in specific energy. Finally. TEALE Fds. The lowest value attained is a measure of the maximum mechanical efficiency of the particular tool in the particular operating conditions. over a fairly wide working range. The specific energy.60 R. is Ads. or remains constant over a range of thrusts--are of considerable interest. er and therefore e itself should not vary a great deal over the working range referred to. PRACTICAL M E A S U R E M E N T S OF SPECIFIC E N E R G Y Experimental data relating to rock drilling from a number of sources have been examined.against friction. The volume excavated will then be zero but a finite amount of work will still be done. then. Considering the application of the above to measurements made on an actual drilling machine. its relationship to other variables and whether or not it exhibits a minimum value. For a practical drilling tool. Another approach to the above is to put p as the penetration per revolution (p ~ u/N in. the pressure at that point. sometimes negligible. A is constant so that et is directly proportional to F. It enables comparison to be made with any other type of tool operating in the same rock. Its characteristics--whether it occurs as a sharp turning point at one particular thrust. If e is the specific energy at any point. as has been seen. It is always small in comparison with et. it is to be expected that the specific energy at low thrust will be high.F/A ~ P. This is consistent with the suggested constant value of specific energy at large particle sizes.

both of 12½ in.~4.LEY DALE SAN DSTONE 0 O O I 20.W 7 ~ Bi t J OF CRUSH. that is. It drills faster than this bit in Pennant sandstone.000 l 60~000 DRILLING THRU. M3 Bit "} I N DAP.. Specific energy for two roller bits in two media. the thrust component is negligible in comparison. dia. It will be seen from Fig. 1 that the measured specific energy does behave as predicted. it has fewer teeth and greater scuffing action than the W7R.000 - . Tri-cone roller bits The first evidence [4] relates to a few tests made with a 'Security M3' and a 'Hughes W7R' roller bit.THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING 61 In all cases where it has been possible to calculate specific energy at different thrusts it has behaved much as predicted. as noted above. 1.ENGTH _ . Figure 2 shows the relationship between thrust and penetration per revolution. but presumably at the expense of greater wear. I. the curves tend to become concave downwards above a penetration per revolution of about 0. The rotation speed was 24 rev/min in all cases.T. An interesting point which has arisen is that the minimum energy in all cases is of the order of the quoted compressive strength of the material drilled. The correlation. however. based as it is on a variety of results in very variable materials. (Only the rotary component is shown. there is a close correspondence between these values and the minimum specific energies attained.. ~ i37110 Ib/in. + ~ . though the ensuing rise again occurs only i n certain types of drilling. The fall to a minimum is always apparent. the units in which specific energy is expressed are dimensionally identical with those of stress in which compressive strength is expressed. F ~ FIG. The reported crushing strengths of the rock and concrete used are also indicated in Fig.000 I 40. In Pennant sandstone they are approximately linear even at the highest thrusts. The tests were made in Pennant sandstone and in a concrete with an aggregate of Darley Dale sandstone. In the Darley Dale concrete. is not precise but since.(.___. Except for the M3 bit in Pennant sandstone. The 'excess' specific energy is taken to be associated with this greater scuffing action.. . M3 Bit I l N PENNANT SANDSTONE t. The discrepancy in the case of the M3 bit may be due to its being designed for softer rocks.1.15 in.NG STP.cJ o o[ ~ uJ _u u.) 30. This may be explained by a 'bedding in' of the bits in the . it is perhaps not altogether surprising that a relationship of some kind should exist.

so that they work less effectively.Cin..EVOLUTION. • / I- C o ~..W7RBit I DAP LE . 2.62 R. TEALE softer medium. Figure 3 confirms that for both bits the torque is proportional to the penetration per revolution. 3.ls PENETRATION PER P. YDALESANDSTONE CONCRETE o. Torque characteristics o f two roller bits in two media. Penetration per revolution for t w o roller bits in two media.~/ CONCRETE. however. except in Darley Dale concrete. z_ O 0-2F-- PENNANTSANDSTONE O-Iz O ta (1..o 0. . / 0 20 ft. Even here. = 40~000 60. / S- / / 4- tPEN NANT SANDSTONE/ 3.~ FIG. the departure from . which has more closely spaced teeth and therefore tends to spread its load more quickly.&~ o.£ • / ..000 0 20~(SOO I DRILLINGTHRUSTF (Jb? FIG.% o~Io o. The departure is most marked for the W7R./ M3 B i t +// 4-~----I.

780 7210 (Specific energies calculated from torque/penetration-per-revolution graphs) They agree quite well with. 3 intercept the torque-axis above the origin. In these. the results of 212 of them. lb/in 8. and in many of the earlier tests the instrumentation had not been perfected. if it does. show specific energy decreasing from high values at low thrust. 4. The values obtained are given in Table 1. plotted in Fig. wide. in a ring of concrete segments. deep. Roller-cutter tests The results of a number of roller-cutter tests are available [5]. the minimum values of Fig.M.THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING 63 linearity occurs only above a penetration per revolution of 0. 1. to values which lie reasonably well within the range (6730 to 10. describing the PPK-1 tunnelling machine. The straight line portions of Fig. which has already been noted as marking the onset of less efficient working in this rock. It follows that over this range either the size of particle broken does not increase or. the reduction in specific energy which theoretically such increase might be expected to produce is not significant.300 6400 5870 Crushing Strength 13. Russian tunnelling machine LOCHANIN [6].--E . up to 6 in. They operated over a fair range of thrusts and rotation speeds. TABLE I Specific energy (in. at zero thrust. er = -~ in.) Bit Pennant Sandstone Darley Dale Concrete M3 W7R 18. The intercepts represent work lost. lb/ina. This will be referred to later. This lost work may be eliminated by ignoring the intercepts and using the slopes of the straight line portions to give values of (T/p) for equation (4).790 lb/in 2) of measurements of the crushing strength of the concrete used. OPOLSKI [9] has used a similar method to assess a 'drillability' index for the rotary drilling of coal. gives the power consumption R. The resultsare subject to wide scatter.700 13. presumably in friction. a variety of cutters was used to cut grooves about 4 in. The high specific energy at low thrusts can be accounted for almost entirely by the work lost at zero thrust.15 in.. This suggests that the 'true' specific energy is constant over the wide range in which the torque/penetration per revolution relationships are linear. though they are somewhat lower than. Nevertheless.

OTHER TYPES OF D R I L L I N G Intuitively. •l . o. Specificenergy in tests on roller cutters. B. and the minimum energy which can achieve a given effect must be the same whatever the mechanical process used. the idea that minimum specific energy may be correlated with crushing strength can be extended to all methods of rock drilling..• • IO. These correspond to crushing strengths of about 8500-11.~e o. . lb/in 3.790 Ib/In. TEALE as 14 to 24 kWh/m a of rock---equivalent to overall specific energies between 7300 and 13..& o-~ o-ds c-d.~.300 and 14.S.1o PENETRATION PER REVOLUTION CIn. dia. CUT CUBES AND 4in.6s o. o. Small-hole rotary drilling Some of the experimental data on orthodox rotary small-hole drilling. o :t'¢o. ¢ o o.000 in. 4.200 lb/in 2 respectively (see Appendix) so that the rough correlation between specific energy and crushing strength is again apparent in this machine.~. • . u. CAST CUBES~.I. previously reported by FIsH and BARKER[7. The rocks drilled are described as sandy shale and sandstone with strengths on the Protodyakonov f-scale of 6--8 and 10 respectively. ~ o.) FIG. 8] have been re-examined.= t_ • • eo • . • ••e . were drilled in a single block of Darley Dale sandstone using orthodox two-winged carbide-tipped rotary . AND 6in..36 o .:'. " . II Q)~I ". They are all forms of crushing. producing fragments of much the same order of size. • • 6730 I b / i n t 8 o. A similar pattern emerges. o.64 ~.20- gO • • • x ""i:7. Referring to a set of experiments in which holes 1t~ in."~ CTHE HORIZONTAL LINES SHOW THE LIMITS OF CRUSHING STRENGTH OF THE"PENNANT CONC~ETF_~sUSED IN THE TESTS AS DETERMINED FROM 6in.:[ • .

no doubt due to the presence of zones of weakness in the less homogeneous shale.) Values both of r and of strength (on the Protodyakonov .EVOLUTION. ~ • ' 1Ae " 4" ~ + • . Since the cubes tested must have represented only the stronger.£ -~ 600- . using the same types of bit. P~r~. This is obtained from the slope of the power-consumption/penetration-rate curve and gives an index of r Wsec/cm3. though unfortunately no record of the actual strength of the particular specimen used is now available. lb/in a. • NEUTRAL RAKE A NEGATIVE RAKE + POSITIVE RAKE IOOO- ~ ' o• ALt.2 o!3 o'. AT 200 rev/ rain II100- 4- . The specific energy calculated from the slope of the line in Fig. Figures 7 and 8 show similar results of experiments in 'Chislet shale' (a mudstone from Chislet Colliery. Kent). J a. As previously mentioned. show similar patterns.THE CONCEPTOF SPECIFICENERGYIN ROCK DRILLING 65 bits with neutral. Torque and penetration per revolution for rotary drilling in Dazley Dale sandstone. This is also the order of the crushing strength of this rock. for both the sandstone and the shale. The results are more scattered. more homogeneous parts of the specimen (those containing major weaknesses would disintegrate in preparation) the correlation seems reasonable.lT TYPE'. Other results which have been examined. negative and positive rakes. (This is akin to calculating specific energy from the torque/ penetration-per-revolution graph. and also the crushing strengths of four 2½ in.+/ 4- -k÷ I t + S ° ~ 400- •~ " y A 200- 0 o o!t o'. Calculating specific energy from the slope of the (T/p) line as drawn in Fig. Ib/in3. 5 yields a value of 6250 in. Figure 6 shows that the specific energy in these tests fell to a value of the order of 6000 in. Fig./rcv~ FIG.4 o'-s PENETRATION PER P. cubes cut from the particular specimen drilled in. 5. lb/in 8. 5 shows how torque is a reasonably linear function of penetration per revolution. 7 is 5900 in. OPOLSKI [9] has calculated a 'drillability index' for coal. Figure 8 shows specific energies.

TEALE BIT TYPES i -NEUT P.in4rev~ FIG._= i • + • • dk +o • • • A= +• • &•• • %++ +.2 o's o! 4 o~s PENETRATION PER REVOLUTION~ P ~.66 R .~ 0'.~KE POSITIVE PAKE 02.ooo- A L L AT 2 0 0 .~ • 6000-- d- Q • + + L9 ~C w U 4000-- W 2000- O o o'.A L RAKE NEGATIVE P. Specific energy and penetration per revolution for rotary drilling in Darley Dale sandstone .'¢v/miR ~opoo- • + + BOOO- &+ % % . 6.

¢ / e~+ •/ 4000" -It./ x)@oo I~IT TYPE :• NEUTRAL RAKE • NEGATIVERAKE -t... 7. . o / o'. Torque and penetration per-revolution for rotary drilling in shale.~" 6 O00- .n 8000- . o% PENETRATION PER REVOLUTION) P Cin.67 THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING . 0% o% ~. • / 2 000- O /./rcv~ FIG./ / t5 p- D 0 .POSITIVE RAKE - / • ALL AT 200 r(v/m..

2 PENETRATION PER o'. o~. . one twice the other. . .25 7- ..3 o'. lb/in 3. .p Cn. but bearing in mind the crudity of the f-scale for coal (see Appendix). examined from the point of view of specific energy [10]._= -- .bl.ES.0 = 2900 lb/inL r = 20 Wsec/cu cm = 2900 in. Those representing pure rotary drilling with a percussive-rotary bit fall to a minimum which is on the same level as that obtained with this type o f bit when percussion was used. lb/in 3.8"96 Wsec/cu cm = 1300 in.CU. f-scale) are given for only two coals./rtv~ Fro. Coal 2: f = 2.ouR2~. 2000 ¸ O o o'.NO ~TRENGT. whereas those representing rotary drilling with a rotary bit proper are rather lower. This suggests that the minimum specific energy attained by a particular bit is determined by its geometry. °°°1 / rcv/min. Specific energy and penetration per revolution for rotary drilling in shale. . . . 0'.(.5 = 2100 lb/inL r ---.. _ . N o significant differences can be detected for the different levels of these variables. at the author's suggestion. CRU$. Figure 9 shows total specific energy plotted against penetration per revolution in Pennant sandstone. The percussive-rotary values shown represent three rotation speeds and two levels o f percussive energy input. 8..5 REVOLUTION. I / . ._ ._" • + c) ÷ 0 cC w uJ u 4OOO- u. o'. With or without .'.B 6000. Also shown are a few points for rotary drilling in the same rock. it can at least be said that the values are once more of the same order: Coal 1 : f = 1. .S 7. . Percussive-rotary drilling The results of a number of percussive-rotary drilling experiments were. TEALE TYPE BiT • N E U T R A L RAKE • NEGATIVE RAKE 4" POSITIVE R A K E IO)O A L L AT 2OO . ".68 R.n:~.

The minimum specific energy is about 2400 ft lb. 21.THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN R O C K D R I L L I N G 69 percussion.COO[n.ROTA~Y BIT :¢ . Figure 11.ll. shows very similar results for rotary and percussive-rotary drilling in 'Shiely Blue Limestone'.x x * 0 o'2 0 o'3 ol..000 to 22. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The experimental evidence which has been presented arises from scattered sources. . The compressive strengths of the rock specimens drilled in may. Figure I0 shows a similar pattern of results in Darley Dale sandstone. so . 0X .176)OOO ioo~oooALL bITS 111/16DIAMETER.x. . 4 d.. Rocks themselves vary. 9. or 28..O06. reasonably be expected to lie in the range 16.680 lb/in 2 parallel to the bedding. although of course the thrust required to attain a particular penetration per revolution is much higher when percussion is not used.6 per cent.ILLING AT IOO. Since the above results were obtained. this result being based on two measurements with a standard deviation of 18. ill li. four measurements giving a standard deviation of 2 per cent. 0 t.lb/min[ ROTARY DRILLING AT 2 0 0 roy/rain WITH PECUSSWE . The mean compressive strength of the rock is given as 23.000 lb/in 2. taken from their paper. lb/in 8. l (/"ROTARY DRILLING WITH PERCUS~LVE-) ~.~.710 lb/in ~ perpendicular to the bedding.~. those of PFLEIDERand LACAaANNE[11] have been examined. .o o o • PE]RCUSSIVEENERG'Y 4 0 0 . dia. specific energy for the percussive-rotary bit remains much the same for a given penetration per revolution. 2 0 0 AND3OO rcv/mln/ eo.X X. x °x • X" X X X X 0 0 O it x . using a 1 ~ in.~.s PENETRATION PER REVOLUTIONj p ~inJrcv'~ FIG. the compressive strength of which lies between 6000 and 9000 lb/in 2. The accuracy both of the measurements from which specific energy has been calculated and of the determinations of crushing strength is not known. 0 2qooo. percussiverotary bit in a laboratory rig. o o'.ROTARy BIT O WITH PURE ROTARY BIT 6o. in the light of previous experience.. PERCUSSIVE.ooo 4~oo~ ill II u. lmin X PERCUSSIVEENERGY I.ROTARyOI~. BOO in.000 in. Specificenergy and penetration per revolution for percussive-rotaryand rotary drilling in Pennant sandstone.

. Work required to drill one cubic inch of 'Shiely Blue Limestone' (after PrLEmER and LACABANNE) 1 ~ in.~ o'.~ PENETP.800 in. . .200 AND 300 rtv/m~n • PERCUSSIVE ENERGY400.~ THRUST . I0. Specific energy and penetration per revolution for percussive-rotary drilling in Darley Dale sandstone. TEALE ALL BITS II'/16 DIAMETER. . 11.a 65rcv/rnin \ \ ~ ~ 0 .~ 0 J. xx × • • x x.n X PERCUS5IVE ENEP. g.~ o'. lb/rn.70 R.n WITH PERCU~C.ATION PER REVOLUTIONj p ( i n ) FIG.~ 4.000- II ~ 2o.ROTARyDRILLING AT lOO.GY 728~ 400 in. diameter percussive-rotary bit. PERCUSSIVE.o o o o e~ X • o x jIxxvll X• II x ~X ~ ~ 0 0 xx xx. x • X X X u__ w.lb/min ROTARY DRILLINGAT 200 rcv/m. o o. 2- o ~3o .IVE--ROTARYBLT O WITH PURE ROTARy BiT 30..6o 8'00 (Ib) FIG.. 0 woOoo- o! . 23Orcv/mi n ------ 12 ROTARY PERCUSSIVE ROTARY 65 r c v / m l n x ~ 0 23Or¢ v/ram \ .

there must be some kind of relationship between them. very much an empirical measure of strength.000 in. must not. so resulting in the breakage of larger fragments from the surface. is much reduced. the most that can be said is that since compressive strength and specific energy are both functions of rock strength. to a first approximation. however. when hedged about with the restrictions enumerated above. can.6 or fall below 0.THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING 71 that their strength cannot be truly represented by a single number. at least until a better understanding of the mechanism of fracture is achieved. be regarded as a uniform pressure of the order of the compressive strength of the coal. though in practice chipping may occur so that the volume of an indentation is much greater than the volume actually displaced by the indenter itself. on the other hand. of course. On this basis the specific energy required to displace a volume v in a would be (q. lb/in 8.8. one. Indentation may provide such a measurement. The correlation is. measure of strength. however. It is dependent on the experimental technique used to measure it--the size and shape of the specimens. It may be possible. It cannot be said. BARKER obtained a minimum value of 14. It is desirable to devise some other index which is more directly related to the process of excavating fragments out of the solid. be allowed to mask the further fact that compressive strength is only one.15 in. the flatness and parallelism of their ends and the arrangements for applying the load to them--and unless the technique. EVANS and MURRELL [12] have shown that the resistance of a semi-infinite block of coal to penetration by a wedge-shaped indenter up to a depth of 0. furthermore. . which will help towards an understanding of the process itself. by using suitable arrays of indenters. In spite of this. immediately apparent. v)/v or simply q in.a virtue which. drilling a small hole by pure rotary drilling. the agreement between the separate values of specific energy measured in Pennant sandstone seems significant. This agreement between different workers may indicate that their results are in fact close to a real minimum. in fact. It may be noted that the effects of indenters need not necessarily be limited to local damage immediately around the tool. obtained a minimum value of 15. say. very crudely. this is significant. it remains a somewhat vague term. Even when all the required information is available. lb/in a while GUPPY. whether the suggested correlation with crushing strength stands the test of further investigation or not. The principal virtue is convenience of measurem e n t . and not necessarily the best. serve as a useful basis for further work and thought and it is apparent that the further investigation is called for. lb/in 3. the number of specimens tested and the scatter of results about the quoted mean are all specified. q lb/in 2. it is certainly more closely related to the drilling process. The first point which calls for comment is that 'crushing strength' is in no sense an absolute measure of rock strength. Further work on energy-breakage relationships in the indentation or 'primary crushing' of brittle materials is indicated. the load under which artificially prepared specimens of special shape fail when loaded in an arbitrarily standardized way remains. The correlation does. does the ratio specific energy/crushing strength rise above 1.. or near equality. that lower values will never be attained. Such information is not available for most of the results quoted in this report. to cause the stresses they induce to link up. The fact that in this first appraisal the relationship appears to be the simple and convenient one of numerical equality. all the results show a remarkable correlation between specific energy and crushing strength. Moreover. It has no obvious physical similarity to the rock-working process. Nowhere.000 in.

is necessary if tools are to be designed and used most effectively. Missouri. 34. lnstn Mining Engrs 116. a Bibliography. N. B. Unpublished report.R. The Hardness of Metals. Comparative studies of tools for rotary drilling in rock. The Forces Required to Penetrate a Brittle Material with a WedgeShaped Tool. It will have been noted. The problem of obtaining improved performance thus becomes one not so much of designing tools which have a higher mechanical efficiency in breaking rock as of devising means of transmitting more power into a given face area of rock while maintaining mechanical efficiency at its maximum attainable level. S. 313-20 0954).R.M.B. 389-401 (1956-7). Crushing and Grinding. pp. (Walton W. 12. Engng. PFLEIDER E. 12. PENNINGTON J. It appears that for most rocks the minimum specific energy for primary crushing by simple indentation is readily attainable with existing tools. H.72 R. Mechanical Properties of Non-Metallic Brittle Materials. EVANS I. National Coal Board. Flsrt B. Moscow.C. that minimum specific energy--maximum mechanical efficiency--sometimes occurs at a relatively low thrust. Coll. TABOR D. Oxford University Press. for example.S. London (1958).A. and BARKERJ. and at a correspondingly low penetration rate which is well below the best the tool can give.O. A. 11. Research in rotary-percussive drilling.) 10.R. 7. BARKERand G.C.S. B76-B88 (1954). 94. 30-34 (May 1955). M. LOCrtANIN K. Bull. Section B. Trans. 2.) Pergamon Press. 513-8 (1957) 9.C. Ugol. it is interesting to speculate whether. G. 3. 26.B. principally thrust and rotation speed. S. G. APPENDIX The Protodyakonov Scale The Protodyakonov scale is used to denote the strength of rocks : it assigns a series of numbers.B.J. 1958. pp. particularly for roller bits in soft rocks. any process of breaking rock from the face of a semi-infinite solid can be conceived which would require a lower specific energy than do the mechanical methods now available. 6. N. and MURRELL S.E. 432-9.. FISH B. 8.. There is some evidence. London (1951).F. REFERENCES I. School of Mines and Metallurgy. WALKER D. S. Rock failure in percussion. PENNINGTON[13] concluded that the power a roller bit can transmit is limited and that the only way to obtain significant increases in energy transmission (for oil-well drilling) is by percussion. BARKER J. 46-66 (1957). Speed of advance and power consumption in rotary drilling. No. A. Private communication. Acknowledgements--The author wishes to thank Messrs. S. No. Private communication. Engrs. 13. G.. however. R. and BARKER J. D. Petrol. Mining Engng 6. P. and LACABANNE W. FISH. Bergbautechnik.I. 5. GUPPYfor unpublished data on work carried out by them. Trans. A.. The design of rotary drilling tools. there must be a minimum attainable specific energy for a particular tool in a particular rock. f = 1 to . Ed. 4. pp. OPOLSKI T. An understanding of the way specific energy is governed by other variables. on physical grounds. (N. H. Finally. M. GuPPY G. London. TEALE As regards the practical problems of rock working. and SHAW M. D. V. 654-8 (1956).E. This has already been recognized. that specific energy is governed mainly by geometry--the shape of the bit and its penetration per revolution--and not much influenced either by rotation speed or the manner in which the energy is applied. from the percussive-rotary drilling results. Univ. It is emphasized once again that rock-working processes should be studied as mechanical systems for breaking rock into fragments and suggested that in this context the work done per unit volume broken is the basic factor which relates the process to physical properties of the rock and against which the behaviour of all other variables should be set. A1277.C.

Trans. It appears that Protodyakonov's f is simply a measure of the compressive strength of cubes. 20-24 (Sept. No. OPOLSKI[A3] remarks that ' . in ascending order of strength. He also states that: 'the compressive strength of coal. normal to the bedding varies from 50 to 300 kg/cm 2'.B. in relation to the output.C. PROTODYAKONOVare widely known among mining experts. A347. OPOLSKI T. to which the empirical methods are presumably not applied. on-the-spot methods for estimating f w h e n laboratory facilities for preparing and crushing cubes are not available. Ugol. . the (Protodyakonov) factor lies within a range of 0"4 to 3'0'. expressed in units of 100 kg/cm 2. this corresponds closely with the quoted strengths of 50-300 kg/cm 2. The translation of the scale into British units is not always clearly understood. Speed of Advance and Power Consumption in Rotary Drilling. investigating method (a). .2. Bergbautechnik. . by five blows of a drop hammer and (b) from the quarterly consumption of drilling bits in a particular seam. Critical Comparison of Workability Methods. Simple methods for the assessment of coal strength. A3. D. . 12. the conversion is likely to give only a crude approximation to compressive strength as usually measured. At 100 kg/cm ~ per unit.) A4. The following is a quotation from the earliest known reference to the scale [A1] 'The coefficients of strength of coals and rocks f proposed by Professor M. The reservation may not apply to rocks. REFERENCES A1. the unit factor being equivalent to 100 kg/cm~'. to determine these coefficients by the temporary resistance of cubes to uniaxial compression requires complex laboratory e q u i p m e n t . . 7 (1954). 654--658 (1956). The Determination of Strength of Coal in Mines. Clues to the interpretation of the original Protodyakonov scale are contained in two other papers. POMEROY[A4]. found that: ' . (N. J. No. In another Polish paper. and may be converted into lb/in 2 on this basis. It thus appears that the original scale of f was related to the crushing strength of cubes and that the two methods above are proposed as empirical. . This is not usually the case. pp. Inst. 50-54 (1957). . pp. ' The paper then goes on to say how two simpler methods of estimating f w e r e set up: (a) by crushing a sample of coal fragments.C. POMEROYC. . M. M. 1950). as it is described it exhibits several obvious faults that can give rise to unreliability in the results'. PROTODVAKO~qOVM. Trans. Yr 25. Conversions of f f o r coal must therefore be treated with reserve unless the method by which it has been measured is specified. WASILEWSK][A2] notes that: 'Protodyakonov's scale covers the full range of coals and rocks.) A. A1277. Fuel 30. if the index has been estimated by either of the empirical methods (a) or (b) above.B. However. WASILEWSKYK. Moscow. . Howevec. Prace Instytutu Mechanisju Gornictwa. contained in a cylinder. for the classification of c o a l .20. (N.THE CONCEPT OF SPECIFIC ENERGY IN ROCK DRILLING 73 ca.