Over recent years, there has been a definite trend within the geotechnical industry: an increasing number of drilling companies are opting for sonic drilling solutions. Why is this technique becoming so popular? Unlike more conventional drilling methods, a sonic rig is much more versatile, cleaner and efficient.
Here at Borehole Solutions, we offer geotechnical drilling solutions across the UK, including sonic drilling services. In fact, this is also our preferred method of choice! This week, our experts share why we believe sonic drilling deserves to be in the spotlight and how it can help with your geotechnical project.
What is Sonic Drilling?
Sonic drilling involves advancing a core barrel downwards into a substrate using high-frequency energy generated inside a sonic head. The vibrations create a liquefying effect on the surrounding soil, loosening the integrity and allowing for smoother drilling. Following this, a telescopic casing is placed over the barrel to retrieve the sample core, whilst preventing any risk of collapse.
As a minimal waste drilling method, a sonic rig is ideal for environmentally conscious site investigations. It also has a faster drilling time compared to other techniques, meaning less energy and money is spent on running the power-hungry heavy machinery. It’s a no-brainer really – site investigators can retain high-quality yields with minimal environmental impact to surrounding areas.
What are the Benefits?
There are plenty of advantages when it comes to sonic drilling in comparison to other auger techniques. The efficiency can’t be flawed, but why else has it become so widely popular?
Impressive Recovery Rates
Sonic drilling provides the best recovery rate compared to any other geotechnical drilling method. In fact, the Eijkelkamp SonicSampDrill, a sonic rig that we use here at Borehole Solutions, achieves recovery rates of at least 95%!
Every site investigation has different conditions. This means a variable degree of flexibility is required. As such, rubber caterpillar tracks are fitted to the drilling rigs to provide greater manoeuvrability across tough terrain. Moreover, the rigs are straightforward to operate as they use an on-board master console.
Superior Safety Measures
Understandably, geotechnical site investigations come with the risk to personal safety. Many of these hazards stem from things being caught in a rig’s components, such as the auger flights. With a sonic drill, however, the hands-free operating system reduces the chance of this happening. They also feature safety cages, counterbalance valves, non-skid walking platforms, and much more for additional reassurance.
How Do I Maintain My Sonic Rig?
As you can imagine, a sonic drilling machine is one hefty piece of equipment. There is a lengthy list of parts that require maintenance to ensure a rig is running in its best condition. This includes the load-sending hydraulic system, high-pressure water pump and magnetic rod loading arm, to name a few.
Maintaining your rig is a small investment for the time and costs that otherwise significant failures on-site would cause. Plus, the geotechnical industry is incredibly weather-dependent and time-critical, so any time spent on repair work is money down the drain.
Borehole Solutions believes that every geotechnical drilling company should have a sonic rig in their fleet. After all, sonic drilling is both the present and future of the drilling world. To find out more about our geotechnical services, get in touch with us today on 01733 200501 or click here to speak to the team.