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.

Versatility

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.

Safety

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.

Speed

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.

Clean

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.

What To Do With Drill Bit Problems According to Top Drill Rig Companies?

oil platform rigDrilling a perfect hole is easier said than done, and the top drill rig companies in the country agree to this. If you are not a professional in this area or don’t have any prior experience on this, engaging oneself in such an arduous, physically taxing undertaking can easily escalate, in no time, as a major problem. 

You grab yourself a suitable drill bit, and onto your drill press you will attach it, turn it on. Then, all along you are doing things great and good, and then in a snap, a slight thing goes wrong and everything about the hole you are drilling goes awry and far from being perfect.  

Drill rig companies are used to that and have found out some good and practical workaround in some of most complained about issues in the drill rig business. 

We have below a rundown of some of the most common issues anyone can encounter with their drill bit and ways on how you can avoid them.  

Broken Drill Bit

Everyone can experience this kind of problem when working on a drilling project. It is important to understand, though, that you will never be at fault here. There are a handful of underlying reasons why this issue can happen:

Frayed Corners

You can keep this problem from taking place if you will check your speed and at the same time also make sure you are using the right kind of coolant. The use of the wrong coolant will pave the way for an excessive run out while the drill is breaching the metal.  

Clogged Flutes with Chips

If you seriously want to shun this issue from happening to your drill bits, you can just opt to use ones that come with wider flutes, instead. Alternatively, you can also take out the drill bits at certain intervals. This will significantly help a lot in clearing the chips away. 

If the chips are not broken, you may consider the use of a chip breaker design or heavier feeds. Moreover, you can also try using polished flutes here.   

Excessive Feed 

We have but one easy workaround for this kind of concern, and that is to decelerate the feed.  

Too Dull Twist Drill

Before you commence any drilling work, consider checking out the drill bit first. There are times that you just need to give it some resharpening work. Or that it might be calling for some replacement part already. 

Drill bit slipping

Have a closer look at the chuck and see to it that it is holding tight your drill bit. Otherwise, you may just resort to using a drill bit with a shaft that comes with 3 flats. This allows you to have a better, more powerful grip on it, preventing it from slipping away.  

drilling tower

Damaged Point Angle

You will have this issue if you happen to hit the drill into the socket by virtue of the metal hammer. You can prevent this issue from happening by taking advantage of a soft lead instead, such as a plastic hammer. 

Be reminded also that you need to be extra careful not to mishandle the jobber drill.  

Too Large Hole

You may be using just the right size of the drill bit, however, if the issue is you have a hole that is either too large or too small, you may try the following suggestions:

  • Your drill point may be off-center. In such a case, replace or repoint it to enhance accuracy levels. 
  • Consider making tweaks to the machine spindle. It may not run the way that it did before or it is not rigid enough.  
  • Finally, tighten your work. 

Hole with rough edges

Drill rig companies say that nothing can be more disappointing when you have a hole with rough edges. You can prevent this kind of problem though by replacing the jobber drill.

The odds are high that the drill bit you are using here is dull already and that the ground point is incorrect. Also, make it a point that you will reduce the feed and that you are having a proper coolant for this purpose.