Our expert team offer a variety of services, one of which is rotary drilling services. This is a relatively common technique, which can suit a variety of projects, both large and small. Today, the expert team here at Borehole Solutions wanted to investigate how this method, which dates back over 3,000 years, can be implemented. As you will soon find out, although frequently used, it is certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ solution.
What is the process?
The drill bit usually comes in two forms, either fixed cutter bits or roller cone bits. Both are widely used and generally speaking there isn’t a preference of one over the other. The rotary drilling rigs employ high levels of both rotation and torque to operate, between 50 and 120 rpm! The fixed cutter bits are often known as PDC bits (polycrystalline diamond compact bits). This is slightly disingenuous as there are other types of fixed cutter bits available, but the PDC option is far more prevalent, so all bits tend to be known as the same.
The dual speed and high frequency of rotations ensure that this form of drilling can easily carve through both soft and hard rock formations. Either air or drilling fluid will clear through the borehole in order to cool the drill bit down whilst reducing friction, which ensures optimal performance.
What rock formation is best for rotary drilling services?
There are a wide range of geological formations in which rotary drilling can be used. Should you be drilling a deep borehole, rotary drilling using air will be the best option. However, mud tends to lend itself to unstable, unconsolidated formations made up using sand and gravel, so air will not be suitable. As such an additive is mixed with the drilling fluid which coats the sides of the borehole to help steady and support the process. When using this method, we can drill a hole thousands of metres deep; as such, this is a popular choice in mining or quarry settings. This isn’t to say it cannot be used in conventional sites though, it often is! Rotary drilling can be configured to fit the job at hand to ensure a high quality of core recovery for optimal analysis purposes.
Benefits and limitations
As you can imagine, with any type of drilling, rotary drilling has both its drawbacks and its benefits. Some of the benefits include:
- Speed: Rotary drilling is a quick effort. In fact, it is significantly faster than many other conventional methods of drilling; importantly, this does not compromise quality.
- Flexibility: Rotary drilling rigs are an absolute dream to work with. They are easy to set up, dismount, and transport. As such, they can be used in many locations and you can use them to their full potential as a result.
- Reliable: This is a tried and tested method that has been refined and honed over the years. Companies such as ours have been supplying rotary drilling services for decades and as such, know exactly what will get you the best result.
In terms of limitations, no one form of rotary drilling, like everything in life, is perfect. As you can see for the information above, there are several methods in which one can rotary drill, and there are options we have not even discussed today, such as dual rotary and reverse circulation. So, if one type of rotary is not right for your needs it’s more than likely that another form could be textbook. For example, if you need to preserve the integrity of the borehole, mud rotary is the best solution. If cross contamination is a concern, air rotary solves this.
Overall, there is no doubt that this is one of the most versatile and effective methods of drilling. If you need expert rotary drilling services in the UK, click here to get in touch and speak to a member of our expert team.