How Sonic Drill Rig Manufacturers Point Out the Difference between Air Mud Drilling and Sonic Drilling?

The vast majority of sonic drill rig manufacturers agree that the type of drilling method you will use for any kind of project is a critical decision to make. It is because it can easily have a significant impact on the project’s outcome. 

For this, you may need to factor in a number of things, such as project objectives, groundwater, and geologic conditions, and a schedule.

Sonic drilling rig manufacturers are likely to suggest that you consider sonic drilling technique or rotary as the drilling method of choice, particularly if you know that you will dig through more complex geological formations and deeper boreholes than usual. 

drilling machine

Sonic Drilling and Rotary Drilling: How Do They Work?

Rotary drilling penetrates a borehole by crushing the formation at the drill using impact energy from an above or below-ground impact hammer and rotation. Circulating compressed water or air is used to take away formation drill cuttings from the borehole. 

If conditions are deemed unstable, bentonite chemicals can be put into water, which is referred to as “mud.” Cuttings are chucked into a catchment and channeled into a cutting settling pit using air and water or mud. After that, the cuttings are recycled and driven back into the borehole.

Sonic drilling progresses a borehole by fluidizing the formation at the drill bit with resonant high-frequency vibrations. Vibrations generated at the top of the drill string by the sonic head travel swiftly up and down the drill string, producing strong vibrations at the drill bit.

Resonant frequencies between 50 and 200 Hertz, which are audible and hence the name “sonic,” can be adjusted to suit the formation type. When drilling in denser geological strata, rotation can be incorporated. Sonic drilling may be employed in a wide variety of geological materials and is particularly useful in challenging drilling circumstances.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Rotary Drilling?

Sonic drill rig manufacturers also say that rotary drilling is the most often used technique for drilling mining and geotechnical oil mining projects, as well as an array of formation materials.

mining projects

While air rotary is appropriate for deeper boreholes and the majority of known challenging geologic formations, mud rotary is highly recommended for unconsolidated and unstable ground formations.

Rotary drilling is capable of carrying out the majority of downhole testing operations, instrumentation, and sampling. 

One drawback to rotary drilling is that disposal of drilling debris, which may sometimes include considerable amounts of water when drilling right underneath the water table, can be more costly.  

It tends to become a less effective technique when drilling through challenging drilling conditions such as fill, boulders, and landfills. Furthermore, the use of mud may have an impact on contaminated samples. Variations in techniques in rotary drilling may place restrictions on some types of testing and sampling. 

What are the Possible Pros and Cons of Sonic Drilling? 

Borehole advancement is similar to that of rotary drilling with sonic drilling. This technique is somewhat useful in challenging drilling conditions such as fill/landfill, gravel, and boulders, as well as in softer formations such as worn basalt, or weathered basalt, or sandstone limestone. 

Sonic drilling produces up to 10% less waste material compared to rotary drilling. The vibration created by sonic drilling facilitates casing removal for grouting projects, and the use of air minimizes borehole wall smearing during downhole testing and environmental and geotechnical sampling. 

Drilling vibration, on the other hand, might disturb adjacent formations or create new fissures in dense bedrock. When this happens, it may impact aquifer or structural testing. 

Sonic drilling is not economically viable. This is true, according to sonic drill rig manufacturers, when it is utilized instead on small or shallow borings, hard bedrock, or easy drilling formations. 

Drilling heat created by this method may modify the texture, pollutants, or moisture conditions in some geological formations, but this effect can be mitigated with the use of drilling fluid. Finally, the production of sonic vibrations may require the use of additional hearing protection.