Sonic Drilling Rigs for Sale in Australia: How Different Are They from Rotary Air Mud Drilling?

If you have been keeping an eye in this industry, you will notice that there is an increasing number of sonic drilling rigs for sale in Australia? Trailing behind this is the rotary air mud drilling method. Question is, which among these two drilling processes will work best for your needs?

If you have a new project, the selection of the drilling method that you will use is going to have a huge impact on the outcome. There are a number of factors that you will want to put into  account here such as what your project goals are, the groundwater and geologic conditions you’ll be having, and finally the time table or schedule you need to follow. 

If your upcoming drilling project will involve drilling of deeper boreholes, anticipate that you will be working on difficult or challenging geologic conditions.  

How Do Sonic Drilling Rigs and Rotary Drilling Work?

In a rotary type of drilling, the borehole is advanced by virtue of impact energy coming either from above or below the impact hammer plus rotation. This measure should significantly help in crushing the formation right at the drill. Formation drill cuttings would be taken away from the borehole with circulating compressed air or sometimes water would be used instead. 

If the ground conditions are unstable, additives such as bentonite can be mixed with water, called mud. The cuttings are blown using air and push them towards the direction of a catchment, and with the use of water or mud, it will be funneled towards a cutting settling pit. 

What happens to the cuttings? 

They will be recycled and will be returned to the borehole.  In sonic drilling, the borehole can be advanced by virtue of resonant high-frequency vibrations. This measure will help fluidize the formation found at the drill bit. The sonic head that is located at the top of the drill string creates vibrations that move fast in an up and down fashion on the drill string. The vibration at the drill bit is much more intense than in any other. 

A 50 up to 200 Hertz of resonant frequencies are considered as audible, and thus they are “sonic”. They can be controlled so they become suitable for the type of formation being worked on. When you deal with hard geologic formations, rotation can then be added. Sonic drilling can be applied to various types of geologic materials, even those that have seemingly difficult drilling conditions.  

What Are the Advantages And Disadvantages of Rotary Drilling? 

Rotary drilling works perfectly well with many different geotechnical oil and mining drilling projects and various formation materials. This drilling method is a good choice if you are anticipating to work on deeper boreholes and difficult geologic formations. As for the mud rotary, it is a practical choice if what you have instead is going to be unconsolidated and unstable formations. The majority of downhole testing, instrumentation, and sampling can be accomplished with the use of rotary drilling.  

One rotary drilling disadvantage is the sky-high disposal costs for drilling waste. This would include the hefty volumes of water you will use should you be drilling way below the water table. This method of drilling is also not as efficient as it should be when drilling into difficult formations or conditions such as landfills or boulders. In addition, the use of mud also runs the risk of contaminating the samples. Variations in rotary drilling may put some restrictions on certain types of testing and sampling.  

What are Sonic Advantages and Disadvantages? 

Borehole advancement in sonic drilling is comparable to rotary. Somehow, this method is proving itself effective to a certain extent when it comes to drilling difficult ground conditions such as gravel, boulders, landfill as well as softer formations like weathered basalt and sandstone limestone.

sonic drill

In complete contrast to rotary drilling, sonic drilling produces 10% less waste volume. The vibration generated by sonic drilling facilitates seamless casing removal for grouting projects. As for the use of air, this helps in mitigating borehole wall smearing for environmental and downhole testing and environmental sampling.  

However, drilling vibration can create a wave of disturbance in the surrounding formations. Sometimes it may even induce the appearance of new fractures in hard bedrock which can impact aquifer or structural testing. Sonic drilling can’t be qualified as something that is not cost-effective for shallow borings, hard bedrock and in easier, seamless drilling conditions. 

The heat produced by this type of drilling method in certain geologic formation is likely going to affect moisture, texture or contaminant conditions. Nonetheless, a side effect of this kind can be put under control with the use of drilling fluid. And lastly, the generation of sonic vibrations will necessitate you to have some kind of hearing protection.

With all the points indicated above, the various pros and cons that we usually associate with drilling rigs for sale in Australia should make your decision-making efforts a lot easier since they  will open your eyes to see how they can work to your business’ advantage.