Drilling large diameter holes in concrete

Diamond drilling machines

Diamond drilling machine is a group of tools designed for making large diameter holes in concrete, brick, artificial and natural stone. Based on the diamond technology, the drilling machine allows to make holes up to 250 mm in diameter in reinforced concrete. Diamond core bits of different diameters can be used with every machine for drilling in concrete. That is why this group of tools is in demand for pipe laying, ventilation and utility installations.

The diamond drilling machine consists of an electric motor, a spindle assembly, a gear shift knob and a water supply assembly. Some models have these elements mounted on a guide pillar and move up and down by pushing a lever, for others they are combined into a structure resembling a peorator. An electric starter is available for activating the machine. Mode of operation is selected by shifting the gears and affects the cutting speed. Transport handle and wheels for easy transportation of large machines.

Operating principle

Before starting the drilling machine is secured to the base with anchor bolts and the diamond drill bit is mounted on the spindle unit. The machine is connected to the mains and the coolant system. User selects the mode of operation and presses the start button. tool starts to rotate. The lever must be pushed gently into the material to penetrate it. Smooth running of the crown and water cooling allows to make high quality holes.

  • Power. The performance of the machine depends on this parameter, and consequently so does its capabilities. For example, a diamond drilling rig with 1600 watts has a drilling diameter of 120 mm, the model with 2700 watts. 355 mm.
  • Number of speeds. With several speed ranges, the drill press can be adapted to different material hardnesses. Models may have 2 or 3 speeds. There are simple installations with one speed, which is quite enough for work with one material.
  • Angle of inclination. If the equipment has a tilt stand, holes can be drilled at an angle. For example, many models have this parameter can be adjusted from 30 to 150 °.

Diamond drills are among the most powerful representatives of this tool. Their use is associated with high loads and long periods of trouble-free operation in extreme conditions. Diamond drills are the choice of professionals for fast turnaround applications.

Drilling with diamond core bits. is a relatively young dynamically developing technology. It is performed with powerful drills using special attachments. drill bits with diamond inclusions.

Advantages and disadvantages of diamond drilling

diamond drilling produces even, precise holes in the concrete.

  • the holes are precise and round;
  • The drilling and hole-drilling process is almost silent;
  • Only 220 V mains power supply and running water required;
  • No dust;
  • Retaining the load-bearing capacity of the walls;
  • high drilling and drilling speed;
  • no cracks and chips in or out of the holes;
  • drilling depths of up to 3 m with a diameter of up to 1 m
  • possibility of working on curved surfaces.
  • the highest performance can only be achieved by increasing the axial thrust of the tool and its peripheral speed;
  • Diamond drilling does not allow even the smallest shifts and tool runout;
  • tool requires running water for cooling.

areas of application

Holes in concrete are made for utilities, ventilation, installation of gas risers, heating, etc.

Diamond tools are used when drilling holes in concrete for:

  • For laying utilities;
  • installation of anchors;
  • installation of heating, sewage, gas and water supply risers;
  • garbage disposals;
  • ventilation arrangements;
  • air conditioning units;
  • installation of handrails on staircases and flights of stairs;
  • drilling test cores into structures;
  • making niches in concrete and brick walls.

Approximate rates for diamond drilling in concrete and reinforced concrete are given in the table:

Diameter of drill hole to be prepared, mm Price per 1 cm of the aperture, rubles
For concrete For reinforced concrete
25-52 18 20
62-72 22 24
82-102 24 26
112-122 26 32
132-142 30 34
152-162 34 36
172-202 40 44
225-252 52 58
302-325 58 68
352 74 96
402 94 124
452 116 138
502 132 156

Separate estimates are required when drilling holes larger than 502 mm in diameter or placing large cavities in monolithic profiles. The above rates are minimum, the final cost of the work depends on a number of factors:

  • If the content of reinforcement in reinforced concrete over 100 kg / m3 the costs increase by 20%, when working with high-density concrete grades. by 50%.
  • If the drilling depth exceeds 50 cm, the costs are multiplied by a correction factor that increases in increments of 0.5 m.
  • When working in winter or at night, the cost estimate increases by 10-20%.
  • When drilling at height, the correction factor depends on the presence or absence of scaffolding at the site and varies from 1.1 to 1.7. The same for hard-to-reach areas. 1.15.
  • When drilling holes in the ceiling or at an angle, the price given in the table is multiplied by 4.1.
  • In the absence of water on site or when working at a remote site, a fixed minimum per shift and higher for each employee is stipulated).

These coefficients are necessarily considered when preparing an estimate, the final value is specified after inspection of the facility and assessment of the condition of structures. Additionally, factors such as time constraints, safety requirements, costs of preparing concrete surfaces and drilling sites, and the need for cleaning up sludge or construction debris are monitored.

How to drill holes in concrete

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The ability to drill holes in concrete is quite a useful and handy skill. With it, you can easily hang shelves, hang pictures, install light fixtures, and do a lot more work around the house in a quick and safe way. The process of drilling concrete is simple enough, but with the right tools and understanding of the principles of the work you will save yourself a huge amount of time.

  • If you buy a tool it is usually wise to pay more for a more powerful drill (at least 7-10 Joules) of a well-known brand. [3] X Source of Information Other useful features to consider include variable speed, adjustable drilling depth, a comfortable grip on the tool, and the availability of a second grip.
  • Be sure to follow safety precautions. This includes wearing safety glasses to prevent concrete chips from getting into your eyes, wearing earplugs to prevent damage to your hearing, and wearing thick work gloves to protect your hands from excessive friction and hot drill bits. A respirator is also recommended for extended work that generates a lot of dust.
  • For the peorator you must use special drill bits, or so-called drills, marked SDS or SDS-MAX (for drilling holes up to 1.5 cm in diameter) or punch drill bits (for holes of 2 cm or more in diameter). [5] X Source of information
  • Reinforced concrete is much harder to drill if the depth of the hole has to be deeper than the steel reinforcement in the concrete. Once the concrete drill bit reaches the rebar, replace it with a metal drill bit. [6] X.
  • Concrete is a hard and dense material so a hole 2.5 cm deep is enough to install the dowels for light weight hangings. Heavier objects will require longer screws with dowels or even anchors, the minimum insertion depth of which should be indicated on the packaging.
  • Increase the hole depth you require by 5 mm to leave room for any dust that may have accumulated during drilling. [8] X Source of information It is not required if you are going to clean the hole from dust afterwards (read more about this). [9] X
  • When working with hollow concrete blocks or thin concrete surfaces, be sure to read the instructions for the fasteners used. Some plastic anchors require strong support along their entire length and can simply fall out if inserted into a through hole in a thin wall.

Hold the drill correctly in your hand. Hold the drill with one hand like a gun and place your index finger on the trigger. If your drill is equipped with an extra grip, hold the extra grip with your other hand and use it to get a better grip. Otherwise, simply hold the drill from underneath with your other hand closer to the back of the housing.

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Mark the point to drill the hole. Mark the spot on the wall where you want to drill with a soft pencil or an X on the wall.

  • If your project involves a large-diameter drill, consider using a smaller-diameter drill for the pilot hole. This way you can increase the stability of the drill during further work. [11] X
  • Apply enough pressure to keep the drill in position, but do not force it forward too much (this causes more wear and tear on the drill bit and can lead to breakage). How much pressure you have to apply to the core drill is a guide to your own practical experience.
  • Switch the drill off and out of the hole at regular intervals to allow the tool to cool down in a few seconds. This applies especially to conventional drills without impact function, because they easily overheat from prolonged use.

Distinctive features of concrete drills

There are several criteria to distinguish a concrete drill bit from tools for drilling other materials.

  • Wood drill bits have the sharpest tip, which pierces into the material during the initial machining phase.
  • The tip of the tool for working on metal is cone-shaped, it does not have a sharpened part.
  • Rather blunt tip of concrete drills is made of pobedite plate.
  • Metal drill bits have an angle of 140°.
  • Tools used for processing brass, bronze and duralumin have such an angle of 110-120°.
  • Drills for aluminum, copper, wood and plastic have an angle of 90-100°.
  • Drills used for metal processing have black color surface.
  • Tools for carrying out work on wood are characterized by the usual metallic color.
  • Tools, by means of which drilling of concrete constructions is carried out, have white metal color.

And a little video on what to do if you run into a rebar while drilling a concrete wall.

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Diamond drill bit

Diamond drilling in concrete is quite popular, it is used both for independent construction, and on an industrial scale. This type of equipment for working on the concrete surface has an impressive cross-section:

  • With this device you can quickly drill a pipe, concrete wall, reinforcing bars, as well as foam concrete. This happens because of the special properties of diamond, which has increased hardness.
  • This type of equipment has a special tubular structure, which helps to drill to any depth in just one operation. To begin with, the walls or pipes are drilled, and then one piece of concrete is pulled out.
  • The device has another feature. it is water cooling. In the process of working with the device will not cause a lot of dust. this is an incomparable plus of the product.
  • With this device you can drill holes in foam concrete and other materials with high precision. If its caliber is about 25 centimeters, then the resulting hole will be about the same size. There are no deviations from the norm and errors in the operation of the device.

It should be noted that such a good device also has its own disadvantages. The main one is the high cost. The drill bit and the crown itself cost a lot. But if in the apartment there is work on the drilling of minor materials, for example, tiles, you can buy small crowns, their price is affordable to any user.

This kind of drill bit is usually mounted on drills or peorators that are not cooled with water. They have a certain limit on the depth of drilling performed, due to a certain amount of cladding. It is a diamond drill bit that can make a hole at any angle.

The main advantages of the device can be considered the ability to drill a variety of construction materials. porcelain, granite, brick and some others.

Special features of concrete

  • When drilling a concrete construction, a lot of dust is generated. It is very harmful to human respiratory system, besides abrasive particles are clogged inside the ventilation holes of the tool. Cooling is hampered, and ingested dust causes rapid wear of device parts. It is worth using tools to trap dust, for this there are special attachments for vacuum cleaner.
  • It is difficult to clean the dust from the opening of the device. In order not to severely overload the drill, it is necessary from time to time (every 3-5 centimeters of passage) to clean the noise with a vacuum cleaner. During work with clogged sludge, it is easy to break the drill bit of the device.
  • The abrasive elements in the concrete surface get very hot from friction. The metal of the drill during this time loses its hardness value and is quickly worn down. Therefore, it is best to cool the drill bit with liquid or at least take breaks during long drilling.

In this kind of work, it is worth listening to professionals in their field. Every other builder will tell you: “I start drilling after the marking on the work surface is finished, it’s the only way to be sure that the drilling will be done correctly”.

No matter what type of tool you are using, you should first switch the machine to a lower RPM. In this condition, it is necessary to drill a small hole in the material. Through such manipulation, it is possible to create a hole with the least amount of labor. Since the drill itself will not work in a disorderly motion, the accuracy of drilling will also be fully respected. You can then add more speed to the device by switching it to percussion mode.

If the device has plastic dowels, the hole should be slightly deeper than the length of the dowel. In the process of drilling material in the hole will accumulate a large number of colored components, so it must also be taken into account when performing the work, creating a depth with some reserve.

It does not matter if you are drilling into walls or reinforcing frames. in any case such process is physically demanding. The equipment is quite heavy, and it is also affected by the vibration from the drills. It is also worth remembering about the large amount of dust that occurs during construction work. But it’s not hard to cope with dust if you buy a dust collector beforehand.

What to drill a concrete wall?

Conventional concrete drills are not suitable. It is better to use carbide drills, for example, pobeditovye. Such concrete drills have special soldered inserts of carbide material (mainly a mixture of tungsten carbide and cobalt in the proportion of 10 to 90%) on the ends. Carbide tips are easy to recognize. they are shaped like a “house”.

If the holes are planned a little and they are relatively narrow, then at home you can use a drill with

percussion function. Impact drill at home is suitable for holes in concrete with a diameter no larger than 12-13 mm, otherwise it is better to take a more expensive peorator. As for the regular drill (“without impact”). then for concrete it is advisable to use it only as a last resort, if you do not have at hand other working tools.

The peorator is suitable for all concrete drilling. it is more efficient because of its crushing function, but more expensive than an impact drill. The drill combines the rotation of the drill bit with a reciprocating action and is therefore considerably faster. A peorator is good when there is quite a lot of drilling work to be done (e.g., when you need to attach battens to the ceiling or walls). Note that the rotary drill is more powerful than the core drill. It is therefore not suitable for cellular concrete, for example, because it can cause the wall to collapse completely. And when drilling with an ordinary concrete perorator do not overdo it. take care not to sprinkle plaster.

Special drills (“SDS Plus” and “SDS-Max”) of different diameters, from 4-5 mm and up to 7-8 cm, are used for drilling. In order not to buy a very expensive full set of drills, choose drills for peoratora should be according to the diameter of the future dowel, and just in case “plus or minus” a couple of neighboring in size.

In addition to drilling with a percussion drill and a rotary drill, there is another method. the so-called diamond drilling. Only for this option need special drills and diamond drill bits. This type of drilling in concrete is very expensive, and as a rule, it employs a team of repairmen. Diamond drilling is used when a lot of repair work is planned for drilling a concrete base, or when large holes or slots are needed (for example, when laying utilities in the wall or floor). The advantage of this method is that there is no dust left after the drill. it feeds water to the hole, washing away the dust and cooling the drill.

Using diamond systems

In order to make large diameter holes in concrete, diamond cutters are often used

These units are attached to the wall with special attachments. Water is pumped into the machine to keep the cutting tool free of dust and cool.

Diamond drilling produces a hole that is precise and accurate in shape and size

Only a large company can afford such a machine. But in case of need you can always order such drilling of walls.

In this video you can see the process of drilling a hole for an installation box using a diamond drill bit: