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What is the function of drilling fluid in rotary drilling in site investigation?

Drilling fluid in rotary serves two main purposes:

(i) Facilitate the rotation of drilling tube during rotary drilling;

(ii) Act as a cooling agent to cool down heat generated during drilling operation.

Traditionally, water is normally employed as drilling fluid. However, it suffers from the following drawbacks:

(i) It affects the stability of nearby ground with the introduction of water into the borehole (borehole for soil; drillhole for rock);

(ii) It affects the quality of sample by changing the water content of soil samples collected from the borehole/drillhole.


Substitutes are available in market to replace water as drilling fluid (e.g. white foam).

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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