Most drillers are well aware of how the use of drilling fluid additives can improve drilling performance in many ways. From improving core recovery to extending the life of drilling tools, drilling fluid additives have proven themselves.
Over the last year and a half, we’ve published a few blogs on the importance of polymers and drilling fluid additives and how they can improver drilling performance. We’ve even written a few guides on how to mix them properly, which mistakes to avoid and which to use in certain ground conditions. I hope a lot of drillers are familiar with the products and the benefits they can bring.
Different soil conditions present different challenges for diamond drilling. As we have said often, choosing the right core bit for the type of ground in which you are drilling is an important decision. Non-stable and abrasive ground such as sand, gravel, or ground with pebbles and cobbles can be found in mineral exploration as well as in geotechnical drilling operations.
Lubricating your drilling equipment is a quick and easy way to protect it from rust and premature wear and tear. Some simple maintenance tips can result in:
- longer life for your rods
- lower operational costs
- better core recovery
Different products exist for specific applications and types of equipment, these include:
It used to be that when drillers needed to condition the borehole, the only choice was bentonite. Bentonite did a pretty good job of creating a filter cake on the bore hole wall, however it can restrict the flow of the cuttings while doing so. We find that bentonite is abrasive and can cause excessive wear on down hole tooling and the core bit, shortening its life.
The importance of “green” drilling operations
With a growing number of environmental restrictions and municipal regulations, drilling and mining companies alike are struggling to find ways to reduce their water consumption while respecting local regulations. We have been testing different filters and methods of disposing of the cuttings.
Drilling fluid additives are great products that can help resolve a lot of issues that are a result of difficult ground conditions often found in mineral exploration drilling. They are often a better alternative to bentonite because they do not have the abrasive qualities of bentonite.
By adding drilling fluid additives to the water you use in your drilling operations, you will be creating a mixture often called “drilling mud”.
The reasons for making a drilling mud are numerous and include:
- To more easily lift and flush our rock cuttings from the bottom of the borehole
- To create a film on the walls of the borehole which will stabilize the hole and keep it from caving in
- To seal the walls of the borehole to prevent loss of fluids
- To cool and clean the drill bit and to lubricate the bit and other drilling equipment.
The use of drilling fluid additives can have a huge impact on drilling performance in geotechnical drilling. Drillers routinely encounter abrasive or fragmented ground, flowing sands and dry hole conditions. In the past bentonite was often the product drillers reached for but bentonite is very abrasive and can wear down drilling equipment prematurely. Today, new drilling additives have been developed that resolve specific drilling problems. Here are 5 products that you should be aware of.
Before you start mixing drilling additives with your drilling fluid, there are a number of terms you should know. Understanding these terms can help ensure that your mix is blended properly, that you get the most benefit from the product, and that you don’t waste any product.