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Core Lifters: Small Parts with a Big Impact on Drilling Performance

posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

April 23, 2018

It’s not always the big pieces of equipment that can make or break drilling performance, the small parts that are sometimes taken for granted can play a big role in how profitable your operations are.

Case in point: core lifters. These small parts are a crucial part of core recovery. When you have a problem with your core lifters, you have a problem putting core in the box. That’s what happened with our customer in Brazil.

Fordia Drilling Accessories 2018

Our customer had been using a core lifter system that was unreliable when their drilling team drilled more than six meters. The core lifters looked relatively new, but the core samples that they were getting were broken. This was happening all over Brazil, regardless of the type of ground. The drilling team had made sure to use core lifter components from the same manufacturer because components from different manufacturers are not always compatible and could have a negative impact on core retrieval. The team was drilling deep holes in abrasive ground and a lack of experience, combined with breaking core lifter springs were all lowering productivity.

The parts in the core lifter system must be precisely machined and have the right level of hardness because this is directly linked to drilling performance. If a core lifter is too hard, it can break. If it is too soft it won’t have enough grip on the core sample. Our local Epiroc team suggested trying our core lifters because we have a strict quality control system that ensures the core lifters always have the right degree of hardness. We make sure the core lifters are heat treated properly, and to a very specific hardness, so that they last longer and perform better.

The customer tried our core lifters at one site for several months and saw consistent and improved performance. They expanded the use of Epiroc core lifters to all their projects in Brazil and the results were impressive. With the longer life and reliability of our core lifters, the drilling teams were able to get 40 to 60 meters instead of only six meters. Productivity increased by about 20%.  There was less downtime, less wasted time and more core recovery – all by switching out a small part like the core lifter system.

You can read more about this case here. All the equipment used in the drilling performance is important and should be chosen with care, from the core bit, head assemblies, and drill rods, right down to the core lifter system. Our technical field service team can offer advice on choosing the right equipment, so don’t be shy to contact them. Our mission is to help improve drilling performance and make drillers’ lives easier.