Sonic Drilling


What is Sonic Drilling?

Sonic drilling works by sending high frequency vibration from the drill head through the drill string (or pipe) to the drill bit.  The Sonic Drill Rig Operator can adjust the resonance frequency to suit the type of rock or soil being drilled into (usually to a frequency between 50htz and 150htz). This resonance causes fluidization of the rock or soil at the drill surface.  Similar to a hot knife through cold butter, sonic drilling drastically reduces friction allowing for drilling speeds 3 to 5 times faster that conventional drilling methods.  The reduced friction negates the use of mud or lubricants during drilling, requiring only compressed air or water to flush the cuttings.  Sonic drill rigs are capable of drilling to depths up to 100m or 300ft. 

Sonic Drilling Rig

Benefits of Sonic Drilling vs Conventional Drilling Methods

1.    More Environmentally Friendly.

Sonic Drilling requires only air water or compressed air to flush cuttings to the surface.  Mud or lubricants do not need to be introduced into the hole, reducing contamination in sensitive environments and producing less waste overall.

2.    More Efficient 

Reduced friction while sonic drilling means faster drilling rates. Reduced disturbance to the surrounding geology and environment means faster site clean up. 

3.    Lower Costs

Sonic drill rigs are generally smaller and use less horsepower resulting in lower fuel cost to run and transport. Faster drilling rates and less waste on-site also translate into lower labour costs and lower overall costs per foot on the drill site.

4.    Adaptability

The Sonic Drill Rig Operator can adjust the frequency of the vibration to match soil type, allowing the sonic drill to continue operation through mixed, ‘difficult’ soils where conventional drills would jam.

Sonic Drilling Applications

1.    Environmentally Sensitive Environments

Sonics Drills operate without minimal disturbance and without mud or lubricants reducing contamination. The sonic drill’s increased drilling rates also mean decreased time spent in sensitive environments. Sonic drills are a good choice for water well drilling.

2.    Challenging Conditions (Mixed Soils)

The ability to change vibration speeds to match soil geology means that sonic drills can drills through mixed and difficult terrain that conventional drills would get stuck in.

3.    Geothermal Installations

A sonic drill rig can drill, case and install loop and grout for geothermal heating all in one operation.

4.    Environmental Investigations

Sonic drill rigs can drill through landfill debris, take core/water samples at any depth and are suited for investigating heavy metal, organic and other types of contamination.

5.    Mineral Exploration

Sonic drills are a good choice for geotech drilling and exploration. Sonic drills can easily take high quality continuous core samples.  They drill a much straighter hole than conventional drill rigs and are able to take samples in difficult soil conditions.  Sonic drills can produce cores from sensitive sites such as oil sands and mine tailings with minimal compaction and disturbance.

 Total Drilling Solution Sonic Drilling Equipment

Total Drilling Solutions supplies a multitude of products for sonic drilling rigs including sonic drill pipe.  This is a heavy wall drill pipe with large deep threads that can withstand the forces associated with sonic drilling.  

Sonic Drilling Equipment