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How Drilling And Blasting Are Connected In The Construction World

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Drilling is a perfectly normal part of construction. You absolutely know that drilling has to be done in order to put wires and cables through floors, beams, and walls. On commercial or industrial construction sites, drilling is used for more than just openings to thread wires and cables through. Then drilling has a connection to blasting as well. Here is how drilling and blasting are connected in the construction world:

Getting Past Hard Blockages

Tunneling through a mountainside is no easy task. It is more than just mining rock and dirt o create the tunnel. It is getting through really tough rock that simply will not budge with any machine or tool available. Despite the fact that a construction company is working towards getting through the mountain and adding train tracks or building a road as they go, a blockage of super-hard rock is going to stop the process. It is then that drilling and blasting come together.

Studying Rock Formations

There is a right way and multiple wrong ways to blast hard rock. The right way includes studying the rock formation and assessing it for danger zones. If the blasting caps are placed into the rock at the wrong points, the surrounding tunnel could collapse. Once it has been determined where the blasting caps would have the best effect at removing the blockage without damaging the tunnel, the drilling begins.

Drilling Acts as the Prep Step for Blasting

Powerful drills that can put holes in the hard rock are used to make small cylindrical openings for the blasting caps. At the designated spots on the rock's face a demolition expert drills one- to two-inch wide holes several inches deep. The interior surfaces of these holes have to be smooth enough to allow blasting caps to drop right in. The holes are checked and cleared of debris.

Dropping in the Blasting Caps

Finally, the blasting caps are inserted into the holes in the rock. They are wired to go off together, so the ignition wires make a little web of sorts over the rock. Then the entire thing is wired to a detonator, which is either controlled remotely, or wired to a detonation box far outside the blast zone. The blasting caps destroy only the rock that is to be safely removed. Then the construction crew clears the rubble and continues on their way through the tunnel, constructing road, or laying train track as they go.