12 Jul, 2023
Simtec Materials Testing Laboratory

At Simtec Materials Testing Ltd, our expert team has the experience and specialist testing capacity to carry out diamond coring utilising the latest technology.

Diamond coring, or diamond core drilling, is a common requirement in civil engineering and is widely considered the elite method for drilling holes. Read on to find out more about what it is, and the key uses and benefits of diamond core drilling.

What Is Diamond Core Drilling?

Diamond core drilling is a popular geotechnical technique for creating openings and extracting core samples of materials. It can be done either routinely or for investigatory purposes.

This method uses a rotary drill with a diamond encrusted drill bit attached in order to create precisely measured holes. During diamond core drilling, a drilling rig is utilised to revolve the cutting segments, which are attached to a core barrel. The cutting segments grind away the material it comes into contact with as it rotates. The cylindrical core samples are either collected in the core barrel or left in situ to be extracted manually.

Simtec utilises cutting-edge hydraulic drilling equipment with core barrels of various diameters incorporating high-quality diamond segments. Simtec can swiftly and neatly cut holes from 50mm to 600m.

Uses for Diamond Coring

Diamond coring is used for a variety of geotechnical investigations, including the testing of the lower unbound layers, where minimal disturbance of the existing surface is a requirement. It is utilised in a variety of environments where precise-sized holes are required. The primary materials for diamond core drilling are concrete and asphalt, although will generally cut through most natural solid surfaces.

Collecting samples from these materials for further laboratory analysis can provide valuable information about the classification, composition, structure, and quality of the material being drilled. This can be useful for making informed decisions in various projects.

Find out more about the use of diamond coring in concrete and asphalt below:


·       Logging and photography of cored specimens

·       Compressive strength of hardened concrete

·       Void assessment and density

·       Cement content

·       Depth of carbonation


·       Logging and photography of cored specimens

·       Bulk Density and Air voids

·       Maximum density

·       Binder and grading analysis

·       Bitumen recovery

·       Bitumen needle penetration & softening point

·       Tar content

Key Benefits of Diamond Core Drilling

As well as the variety of uses for diamond core drilling, this technique offers a few key benefits in comparison to conventional drilling:


Although primarily used in concrete, diamond core drilling is extremely versatile and can be used on a range of materials and in almost any working environment.


A diamond drill bit is one of the hardest materials, so it can be used to efficiently drill through just about anything.


Diamond core drilling is a very quick and efficient method, meaning less labour time which makes it extremely cost-effective. It also minimises any costly errors that could occur via other methods.

Lightweight & Portable

With lightweight, portable, and compact equipment - this technique is useful for situations where space or access is limited.


The use of a diamond drill bit allows for extremely precisely clean-cut holes, providing very little chance of error or damage. This results in accurate and intact samples.


As a non-percussive technique, diamond coring is less prone to cause any damage, so structural integrity is maintained when drilling.


As well as being non-percussive, diamond coring is also very quiet. This means it can be done anywhere, without creating excessive noise or too much disruption.

Simtec Specialist On-Site Diamond Core Drilling

All members of our highly qualified team of diamond drillers hold CSCS certification and are capable of precise coring and excellent re-instatement.

Would you like to find out more? Our team of experts are ready and waiting to discuss our range of on-site, nationwide materials testing services for any project.