Geology & GeoMetallurgy

Geology & GeoMetallurgy 2017-04-04T06:58:01+00:00
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Drill Core Storage (3 replies)

Bill Fraser
2 years ago
Bill Fraser 2 years ago

It has been noted that most Geologists I have talked to have a preference for one meter of core being stored in each row of a core tray. Very few core trays manufactured have this capacity so why do we not manufacture core trays 700 or 800mm long. That way they would be much easier to handle, when full, at the drill site and core yard. What is a great Drill Core Storage equipment and storing core samples procedure?

John Koenig
2 years ago
John Koenig 2 years ago

I believe you have already answered your own question.  Most geologist prefer at least 1 m trays or slightly larger. It's because the core is logged in meters and therefore it is logical to assume that 1 meter intervals is better for viewing and loging the core .

In Canada we use 5 foot wooden boxes because core is still drilled in feet but logged in meters [5 feet = 1.52 meters]. Also the wooden boxes are relatively cheap to make in North America and are strong and light weight. We don't have the problem of insects and rot as they have in tropical regions where they prefer shorter, wider but more flimsy plastic trays.

Material selection of core trays is based on cost, availability, suitability and personal preference. I've seen cardboard trays used in desert regions. Try using cardboard trays in a rain forest and your drill program will come to a grinding halt really fast.

I don't think you will ever see a universal standard for core trays in our lifetime. Cost, availability, suitability and personal preferences are highly variable around the world. If you are a manufacturer of core boxes then you need to make a selection of different lengths and materials for every conceivable condition in the field.

Plastic or composite trays are better for some people and regions but are flimsy and flex too much when being carried. Therefore they are made in shorter lengths and wider widths.

North American style wooden trays are stronger, more rigid and can hold more core in longer but narrower boxes. Also wood is better in sub zero conditions where plastic trays tend to become brittle and easily crack.

I've logged drill core for more than 30 years and have used a variety of core box styles. Personally my preference has changed over the years and I'm most comfortable with 4 foot wooden boxes.
If you want to make a better core box then find a ratio of width to length so as when it comes time to photograph the core boxes side by side, the boxes will fill the entire screen of the average camera picture frame.

Bill Fraser
2 years ago
Bill Fraser 2 years ago

Thanks for the feedback. Could not agree more that you could never have a one style suits all but that is no doubt the case with many things in Geology. Throughout Australia, Pacific Rim and probably most of Africa core trays/boxes are only approximately a metre in length so therefore one metre cannot be stored in each row when you take into account broken core and markers that are used. A 1200mm long (four foot) tray/box certainly makes more sense if it saves time or makes it easier to log. However as I say the majority in our part of the world do not do this which is why I ask the question why not make the trays considerably shorter and therefore much easier to handle at least.

It is the major advantage with manufacturing steel core storage trays as they be easily made to suit whether it be longer, shorter, narrower or wider. Timber is a great product for manufacturing trays/boxes from but not practical in many parts of the world.

As is the case with our day to day life in general these days, there are many choices of many different products that we need to make. Wish you happy times ahead. Let's hope those commodity prices start to rise!

John Koenig
2 years ago
John Koenig 2 years ago

Stamped metal trays would be good for most geologist's applications and could be reusable if necessary. However in northern climates, freezing weather is a problem and metal trays would just be too cold to handle and therefore are rarely used.

Three things come to mind with regards to a core boxes optimal dimensions.

  • If no core racks are used then the core boxes are stacked in piles. A width to length ratio that allows the boxes to be stacked side by side to form an exact square would make a more stable pile and more efficient use of space. This would be slightly different for each core size or dimension.
  • Again a width to length ratio that allows the core to be photographed efficiently filling the entire space of the core photo without cropping of the picture.
  • A core box shape that allows another identical core box to be placed over the filled core box to serve as a lid for long distance transport of the core to a logging facility is a useful feature. These "core box" lids would simply be sent back to the drill site to serve as actual boxes or again as lids.

Any core box length under a meter will not meet the conditons for scenarios no.1 & 2.

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