Theoretical investigation of the energy transfer efficiency under percussive drilling loads

  • Yandong Yang
  • Hualin LiaoEmail author
  • Yue Xu
  • Jilei Niu
  • Liping Yang
Original Paper


With the deepening of oil and gas exploration, high performance drilling is required in these hard rocks now being penetrated. It is demonstrated that percussive drilling could promote the ROP (rate of penetration) effectively, and several impact drilling techniques have been applied to enhance the drilling performance. However, due to the various designs of rotary drilling tools as well as of working conditions, different shapes of stress waves would be generated during impact, which corresponds to different rate of penetration. The essence of percussive drilling is transmitting the impact energy in the form of stress wave, the objective of this research was to compare the energy transfer efficiencies of four different incident wave shapes, thereby providing theoretical guidance for the down-hole percussion drilling tool design. In this paper, the governing general equation of force-displacement was established in percussion drilling, and then the energy transfer efficiencies of four different incident wave shapes (exponent, rectangle, triangle, and sine) are calculated. Results show that 81% and 80% of the energy for rectangular and sine incident stress waves are used to break the rock, while for the triangular wave, only utilizes 41% of its energy to break the rock. Therefore, the research could contribute to the design of systems for percussive drilling of rock and lower cost drilling in the exploration of hard units.


Percussive drilling Incident stress Wave shape Energy transfer efficiency Impact load Rock breakage 



incident stress wave


reflected wave


penetration force


force-penetration slope




penetration depth


\( \gamma =\frac{K}{m} \)


time duration


input energy


output energy


energy transfer efficiency




rate of penetration


weight on bit



max penetration depth


impact velocity



Thanks to all co-authors for their help in preparation for this paper.

Funding information

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 51274235]; Key Laboratory of Shale Oil and Gas Enrichment Mechanisms and Effective Development [Grant No. 18-ZC0607-0023].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yandong Yang
    • 1
  • Hualin Liao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yue Xu
    • 1
  • Jilei Niu
    • 1
  • Liping Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Petroleum EngineeringChina University of Petroleum (East China)QingdaoChina
  2. 2.Sichuan University of Arts and ScienceDazhouChina

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