When Work Is A Blast: What Drilling And Blasting Experts Do All Day

Drilling and blasting are special skills held by licensed (and you do have to be licensed!) experts. Usually, they are demolition experts, but drilling and blasting are not limited to just demolition. In fact, a drilling and blasting expert may "blow up" a lot of other things that have nothing to do with demolition. The following shows some of the other ways and things in which these experts work on a daily basis, revealing how much their work really is a literal "blast."

Removing Hard Stone in a Quarry

There comes a time in every quarry when the rock layers hit by the excavation crews are just far too hard for their backhoes and pneumatic jackhammers to carve out. When that happens, they call in the blasting expert. The blasting expert assesses the chunk of rock, looking for ways to fracture it naturally.

Then he/she gets out a drill with an extremely powerful motor and a diamond drill bit. He/she drills holes into this really hard rock at key points in the rock. Sometimes it is enough to cause the rock to fracture and fall apart. At other times, the blasting expert has to insert blasting caps and/or CO4 (plastic explosives) into the holes in the rock. When the blasting caps are charged from a safe distance, it causes an explosion along natural fault lines in the rock, thereby shearing the rock into large chunks and little pieces.

Clearing a Path Through a Mountain (or Mine)

Sometimes you just need to clear a path through a mountain for building roads or creating a tunnel for trains. The only way to get through quickly is by blasting and excavating. The blasting expert begins by entering a slightly opened area in the mountain. Explosives are placed. Blasting happens. The crew goes in, removes all of the debris, and waits for another explosion before repeating this process. After doing this about five or six times, it is safe for the construction crew to build supports into the walls and ceiling of the mountain tunnel. This keeps going until the tunnel is clear through the other side of the mountain.

Similarly, a mine is excavated the same way. The only exception is that a mine will not tunnel through and lead to an exit point. Instead, the mine goes deeper and/or splits off into separate directions to create new mining tunnels. The blasting expert has to be careful how to drill and install explosives so that the mine does not collapse completely and delay the miners' work.

For more information, visit a business like 3 - Rivers, Inc., Drilling & Blasting.