Large Diameter Core Drilling at Houston Intercontinental AirportHouston, Texas
Core drilling is performed for many different diameters — some large some small. Drilling large diameter holes cannot be done by every concrete cutting contractor, however. It takes specialized drilling equipment. More importantly, it takes the right team of workers. The drills used to cut holes up to five feet in diameter are difficult to use. These are not easy holes to cut. A steady, strong hand is required to control a drill bit that large. Cutting one hole can take up to eight hours depending on the depth of the hole. Aggregate Technologies and its workers are the right choice to cut clean, large-diameter holes.
Large-diameter holes can be called for on any type of job. Aggregate Technologies was called on by the Houston Intercontinental Airport to cut four holes, five feet in diameter. The holes were needed to install taxiway lights, and extreme precision was required. Drilling through three feet of concrete took time, over eight hours for some of the holes. Extreme care was taken to avoid drainage intakes and subsurface utilities. Overall, extreme attention to detail had to be paid to create a level, flush hole. The lights were to be installed perfectly flush with the existing tarmac, with little room for error.
Large-diameter coring is not common. That means it can only be performed by an uncommon construction firm like Aggregate Technologies. One hole may take eight very intense hours to cut, and not everyone can do it.
The following is an interview about the project with Ronnie Wills, president of the company.
ATI was contracted to drill holes for a taxiway project at the Houston Airport. What were the dimensions of these holes?
60” in diameter by up to 36” deep, or about 5’ diameter and up to 3’ deep.
How many holes were required for the project, and how deep was the runway concrete?
4 holes through about 36” of concrete.
Did you have any unique challenges associated with the project?
We have extensive experience coring large diameter holes. For this project we had to make sure the equipment was properly secured and lined up correctly to ensure a precision cut – and then carefully remove the nearly 3.5-ton core from each hole.
What will these holes be used for?
The holes will house new light cans along the taxiway that are mounted flush with the tarmac.
How long does it take to cut a hole like that?
It takes about 6-8 hours, depending on the slope of the concrete. Sometimes it took longer due to the grade of the taxiway. A couple of the holes were situated near drainage intakes, so those required more precise leveling. We used a very slow cut speed to ensure maximum safety and precision.