Mobile Microdrilling

Microdrilling is a small scale vacuum drilling system which provides minimally intrusive characterisation of structures, all while creating virtually no secondary waste or airborne contamination.

Benefits of Microdrilling

  • Eliminates secondary liquid waste completely and solid waste to almost zero
  • Significantly less invasive than traditional characterisation techniques
  • Captures all materials produced by the drilling system in a sealed and HEPA filtered system, preventing any release of dust and activity to atmosphere
  • Improves sample productivity by up to three fold
  • Reduces dose to operators
  • Provides samples in a form ready for laboratory analysis with no secondary preparation

What is Microdrilling used for?

Microdrilling is a small scale vacuum drilling system developed to obtain samples of structural materials (brick/concrete/tiled walls/floors). This means operators can determine the depth distribution of radioactive contamination.

This information helps to categorise decommissioning wastes and ensures the selection of the most appropriate decommissioning or decontamination methods. Because of its compact size, Microdrilling can also be used in areas where access is difficult.

How it works

Microdrilling uses a hollow drill string, through which dust created by the drilling process is drawn. A powerful vacuum pump is used to draw this dust up the inside of the drill string to be captured in a suitable container/filter. 

This is the sample material. The quality of the sample is ensured by draw­ing material only from the drill tip and it is possible to accurately assess the depth range from which the sample is taken. The drilling system has a maxi­mum drilling depth of 5m and is available in both 15mm and 25mm diameter drill versions.

To build on this system, we're currently developing additional real time chemical and radiological characterisation tools. They can then be used in conjunction with Microdrilling to provide operators with fast, detailed information on the material found along the depth of the drill hole.