Drilling Using Sonic Drill Rigs: A Complete Guide

The capabilities of today’s drilling techniques are significantly superior to what has been possible in the past.

With the introduction of highly efficient and versatile drilling equipment such as the sonic drill rigs, drillers can now achieve better results even in previously unsampled or considered not viable projects.

This article describes sonic drilling technology, its applications, and its benefits compared to other standard drilling methods.

What is Sonic Drilling Technology?

Sonic drilling is a subsurface exploration technique that reduces the frictional resistance on the drill string and drill bit by utilizing a high-frequency vibration to generate a liquefaction effect on the surrounding particles and a temporary reduction of the porosity of soil.

A sonic rig can penetrate a wide variety of substrates and formations more efficiently and quickly. Once the core barrel has been advanced, the drill rig’s telescopic casings are placed over the core barrel to enable the core retrieval. And eliminating any risk of collapse, even in more unconsolidated substrates. Although these drilling rigs are effective in more solid formations, they work perfectly even in overburdened conditions.

Uses of Sonic Drilling Method

There are many applications for sonic drilling technologies including, but are not limited to:

• Geotechnical Drilling
• Geothermal Installation
• Mining
• Well Drilling
• Infrastructure
• Exploration
• Construction and Development

Benefits of Using Sonic Drill Rigs

Superior Samples

One of the benefits of using sonic rigs is its ability to retrieve core samples far superior to others.

The innovative advanced casing of sonic rigs is responsible for capturing undisturbed, high-quality samples with as little as 1% deviation.


In conducting site investigations, the flexibility of the equipment is vital as the situations on the site can be very challenging and unpredictable. Only sonic can quickly adapt to fit in different circumstances and conditions.

For instance, if the drillers face a challenging condition where hard materials are present such as bedrock, sonic drilling can efficiently penetrate the subsurface.


Traditional geotechnical site investigations frequently resulted in serious physical injuries to personnel operating the equipment.

These injuries include broken digits, fractures, and heavy wounds. Smooth rods, casings and hands-free operational systems featured in sonic drilling rigs mitigate these risks.

Additionally, other safety features of sonic equipment include braiding for hoses, safety cages, guarding measures, counterbalance valves, non-skid walking platforms, and more.


Compared with conventional rotary drilling, sonic drilling rigs operate up to 400% faster. The speed doesn’t just come in the form of the drilling itself but because sonic drilling rigs can perform continuous coring.


The IDW or the investigation derived waste produced from a site investigation is one of the challenges faced by drillers. Not only does this waste pollute the environment but also contaminates samples, thus compromising its integrity.

Sonic technology, on the other hand utilizes an innovative casing advancement system that is responsible for providing and maintaining the sample’s integrity and with up to 80% less IDW than other methods.

Lastly, sites can be a lot easier to manage using a sonic rig, and drillers can lessen the environmental impact of drilling by using such a rig.