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How Does Sonic Drill Work?

Posted on June 27, 2019 in Oil and Gas

Sonic Drill Technology

 How Does Sonic Drill Work?

Sonic drilling is an effective way to penetrate the soil. This is made possible by reducing the amount of friction that occurs on the drill bit and drill string by virtue of inertia effects,  liquefaction and the temporary reduction of soil porosity. All these factors together will make the drilling process on different types of soil, easy and seamless for our tooling and sonic rigs. Furthermore.  this technology allows for faster penetration rates in most types of bedrock.  

Sonic Mechanics

By engaging the drill head, you are actually taking the entire drill string to a vibration frequency of 150 Hz. This will cause a thin zone that is directly surrounding the bit and drill string to lose hold of its structure. This explains the reason why friction of the drill cuttings and soil is reduced and becomes fluid so that they can be flushed out or discarded off  from the borehole immediately with great ease. 

The drill bit vibrations will cause the soil to loosen up its structure and thus in the process will change its porosity and density. By this process, the cuttings and the soil in the sample barrel as well as up the drill string will eventually help the tooling to advance freely. 

The inertia effects and liquefaction will let you collect continuous and long samples. The drill string will remain extremely straight, with a slight deflection, because of its vertical,  high-frequency movement. 

Why Is Sonic Drilling  Valuable? 

  • Very much efficient with an extremely fast speed in penetration of the ground soil. 
  • Applying numerous types of samples 
  • Exceptional power output
  • Tooling penetration in a light-weight rig
  • Can be used even at severely polluted locations
  • Minimal smearing
  • Can extract high-quality samples, even in saturated soil layers
  • Pre-pack monitoring wells comes with a pre-shaped bentonite collars  
  • Low noise as opposed to the hammering element of probe rigs
  • Less wear and tear of casing threads compared to hammering
  • Casing threads have less wear and tear compared to hammering. 
  • Tiltable drill head  allows for easy handling of samplers

Fewer Problems, Lesser Power

Since the friction on the drill string is reduced, sonic drilling is now going to require less power in order to achieve the same conventional drilling effect. This is one of the unique attributes of sonic drilling that keeps the occurrence of drill string torsional forces at bay. 

Another key benefit of sonic high-frequency application is the great ease on drill string retrieval,  even if it is in boulders or expanding clays or in any other difficult situation. All rods used in drilling, tooling, and casing can be pulled off much easier and way faster.  

Sonic Drilling is Clean

There would be instances that you would not want to have anything to do with drilling mud, or perhaps even with water during a drilling process taking place. In sonic drilling, you don’t necessarily need drilling mud or air while the drilling process is taking place. 

With sonic drilling eliminating the need for water during a drilling job,  consequently it made this method a method of choice among geo-construction, geotechnical and even in environmental applications, too. Additionally, there are some special projects were sonic drilling was rendered so dry in overburden conditions.