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Geotechnical Drilling
Geotechnical Drilling

Any major engineering feat has to start with a Geotech Driller. Regardless if it is a 50 story skyscraper, 5000 ft oil well, or the exploration of gold, the first thing contracted is a geophysical survey. These surveys will explain what type of soils will be encountered. This data is important to make sure that skyscraper doesn’t collapse in a earth quake, that our 5000ft oil well doesn't contaminate the surrounding area or that it doesn't cost too much to pump out of the ground. And yes, a geophysical survey determines if there is “gold in them their hills.”


The most common type of Geotech Drilling that uses drill fluids is coring. Core drilling, when done with the right tools, is very simple. The goal is to retrieve fully intact cores that allow a geologist or engineer to get a first hand view of exactly how the ground is layered. This is done by drilling with thin hollow rods attached to a diamond carbide bit with an open end. A typical size and type rod is a NQ coring rod. A NQ rod is measured in millimeters with an outside diameter of 69.90mm and a inside diameter of 69.30 or 2.75 inches OD by 2.72 inch ID. The idea is to spin the bit just fast enough to create a core that is then pushed inside the rod. After a few feet, the core is extracted using a retrieval tool.


In order to keep the core intact and the bit cooled, a bentonite drilling gel and water is required. As the diamond tooth or hardened bit it cuts out the desired core, very fine drilling cuttings are created. Depending on the material being drilled these cuttings can become very abrasive and heavy to pump out of the hole. These ultra fine cuttings can cause many issues down the hole such as broken cores, lost cores, damaged to circulating pumps and premature bit wear.


With less than .60 mm tolerances it is important to keep the drilling fluid clean. A desirable clean fluid would be any fluid less than 9.0lbs per gallon mud weight and a sand content of less than 1%. A Mud Puppy solids control unit can remove the ultra fine cuttings by using its de-sanding cones allowing the fluid to stay below 1% sand. The scalping screen and desander will manage the mud weight at or below 9.0lbs if used correctly. By keeping the mud weight down it will allow you to use the minimal amount of drilling fluid to complete the job. In coring, it is imperative to retrieve good cores to give the geotechnical engineer the best data possible. If you choose a Mud Puppy solids control system the odds of staying on schedule and being successful are increased.


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TIBBAN MFG Inc.

15064 Anacapa Rd.
Victorville, CA 92392

Hours: Monday-Friday
             8am-5pm Pacific
            *Closed on Holidays

Phone: 442.242.7507
Fax: 442.242.7511