How does Sonic Drilling work

Sonic technology is a drilling technique that is applicable for shallow and deep drilling. This soil penetrating method decreases friction on the drill bit and drill string, makes penetrating easier and faster in most bedrock for a sonic rig and sonic tooling.

Sonic rigs have oscillator inside its drill head that generates a vibration with high frequency. This resonant energy generated by the sonic drill rig goes down through the drill string, and is combined with a rotational movement, distributing the energy evenly during the drilling process. The amount of vibration produced by the sonic drill head can be controlled by the drill operator. Soil and bedrock formations may vary in solidity and toughness. This is why the sonic vibration should equal the force that is needed for the penetration of specific soil and bedrock.


Mechanics of sonic drilling

With the sonic vibration produced by the drill head, the vibration passes through the drill string with a frequency of 150 Hz. This vibration loses the surrounding structure or zone that is surrounding the drill bit and the drill string. Because of this technique, tough soil decreases its resistance, making drill cuttings easy to remove and flushed from the borehole.

The sonic vibrations generated by the drill cause the soil to be dense and porous, as it loses its structure. The inertia and liquefaction effects of sonic drilling make it ideal for continuous collection of samples in a loner period. The drill string and drill bit remain very straight because of its high frequency vertical movement.


Less power, fewer problems

Sonic drilling actually needs less power because of the decreased resistance on the entire drill string. This does not mean it is less effective. In fact, with lesser power, sonic drills achieve the same result as other traditional drilling techniques. With sonic vibration at a high frequency, the drill string is easier to retrieve even in difficult conditions such as with boulders or clays that could quickly expand. With this drilling technique, it is also easier and faster to pull all the drilling rods, tooling, and casings.


Sonic drilling is clean drilling

In most drilling methods, worker use water, mud or air during the drilling process. However, some companies do not want to use these methods, which is why they prefer sonic drilling because it does not require mud or water while drilling. Sonic drilling is the preferred method for environmental applications, geo-construction, and geotechnical.

With the sonic drilling method, drilling projects can have significant savings. Environmental drilling projects typically entail a considerable amount of money and time when disposing waste. Sonic drilling is also ideal for mining projects where adding air or water is not recommended, as it is a disturbance and can likely change or influence the soil’s mechanical properties. It can cause erosion and landslide. Thus, sonic drilling can help in protecting the environment as well.

see also: drilling rigs