Sonic drilling is not a new concept in this rapidly evolving drilling industry. This method of drilling that uses sonic technology can be traced back approximately 100 years ago.
For several decades, industry leaders conducted extensive research and development on this revolutionary technology in search of effective and efficient drilling methods.
Sonic is a low-impact technology. It is safe to use in any site investigations because fewer crews are needed to handle and operate the equipment. Operating systems and artificial intelligence (AI) are now being used by manufacturers to improve safety.
This drilling technique is also known for its speed and versatility. The penetration rate is faster of up to four times than conventional methods. Sonic can be also be used side by side with another tooling to collect samples.
Although this technology is still in its adoption phase, drilling rig companies are already using sonic because of its many advantages compared to the conventional methods.
How Sonic Works
Generally, sonic drilling is a soil penetration technique that fluidizes the porous materials surrounding the drill head by using sonic frequencies.
The most common procedure of using this drilling technology involves four steps.
The first step is core barrel advancement using sonic frequencies. After the core barrel is advanced, the next step is over-casing. The casing is advanced over the core barrel to protect the borehole integrity using the sonic frequencies.
The third step is the core retrieval. During this stage, the core barrel is retrieved, producing a nearly 100% undisturbed core sample.
And the last step is a repeat process where steps 1-3 are repeated to the desired TD, providing a continuous core sample with less than 1% deviation.
Applications for Sonic Drilling
Sonic technology is considered the most reliable and field-proven choice for fast, cost-effective drilling in any type of soil condition.
Its applications include environmental explorations, building construction, and geothermal investigations.
Advantages of Sonic Technology
Sonic technology is ideal for deep and shallow drilling operations that require undisturbed core samples.
Compared with other drilling methods, this powerful technology provides many advantages.
• Faster and cost-effective than conventional overburden drilling methods.
• Have better and improved sample integrity even through unconsolidated materials.
• Reduces the investigation derived waste (IDW) by up to 80%.
• Reduces the possibility of cross-contamination
• Prioritizes operational safety and mitigates potential risks.
• Energy-saving and environmentally conscious
• Delivers superior information and undisturbed core samples.
• Very simple to operate
• It’s a clean drilling
Drilling is a complex process that requires effective solutions. This amazing technology is an efficient way to drill for particular projects.
Lastly, sonic technology may not be the solution to all drilling projects. But this method holds the potential of achieving great results and quick success even in unviable projects and on challenging sites.