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Casing Advancement Systems (Symmetrix / Elemex)

Drill at workCasing advancement systems, or drilled casings, are today's preferred method for drilling in difficult ground conditions, for example, where there are boulders or loose formations. This page guides you to the right solution based on your requirements.

What is a casing advancement system?

casing advancement systemAs much as 90% of the land surface of the earth is covered with loose, unconsolidated material. When drilling in so-called overburden, the conditions are often challenging with risk for collapsing walls, hole deviations, and failure to reach design depth or bedrock. The casing advancement system is comprised of an ingeniously simple method of drilling through overburden while advancing the casing into the hole at the same time. This enables contractors to perform their work faster with higher quality and reduced risk. The system adds value whether the mission is to install foundation, support elements, or simply case the hole in collapsing formation.

How to select a casing advancement system?

The choice of solution depends on several factors, including ground conditions and application. This page describes a complete system solution and different application scenarios, allowing you to select the right equipment from the extensive product portfolio.

Applications

Casing advancement systems can be used in a wide range of applications where you need to drill in difficult ground conditions. The following are examples of the most common applications.

Geothermal well drilling
Geothermal well drilling

Geothermal heating of houses is increasingly popular due to both economical advantages as well as environmental concerns. Casing advancement systems are often used to drill the holes through the overburden, keeping the hole open during installation of the heat exchange system and minimizing the impact on surrounding structures.
Water well drilling
Water well drilling

Water well drilling is common in urban, developed areas where the well must be drilled quickly with minimum impact on the surroundings. Atlas Copco offers a solution that can be used with small, compact rigs (using the DTH drilling method) with excellent results in almost any ground condition.
Pipe roofing
Pipe roofing

Pipe roofing is a method to pre-reinforce the ground ahead of a tunnel face to ensure that excavation can proceed safely. A steel casing is installed in an umbrella pattern around the excavation line, forming a protective arch under which the tunnel can advance.
Foundation work
Foundation work

Stringent demands on productivity, high drilling accuracy, and the ability to drill inclined piles for foundation work make casing advancement systems increasingly popular for both end bearing and friction piles.
Anchoring
Anchoring

Tieback anchors, or ground anchors, are common all over the world. They are typically installed to provide support for slopes or other structures. They can be installed in combination with a retaining wall structure, as individual or systematic support.

Drilling Methods

Atlas Copco casing advancement systems are available in versions for top hammer or down-the-hole (DTH) drilling. The selected drilling method depends on the diameter drilled, depth of the hole, and the driller's preferred equipment.

DTH
DTH is a common method used to drill deep holes with great accuracy. It is suitable to use for straight piling or well drilling that requires the high performance needed for drilling large and deep holes. DTH systems are available in the diameters 4 1/2" to 48".
  Top hammer
Top hammer drilling is a fast and efficient method for drilling shorter holes, straight or inclined. It is primarily used for smaller diameter holes in overburden drilling, such as anchoring piles or micropiles. Top hammer systems are available in the diameters 3" to 5 1/2".

DTH versus Top Hammer

Casing Types

Permanent Casing

There are different applications where permanent casing is the preferred choice, the most common are water wells, geothermal wells, foundation works, and pipe roofing.

In water and thermal wells the casing is used as a sacrificial element to just keep the hole open. In foundation works, permanent casing can work as bearing structure of the pile, as a sacrificial element to protect the pile against corrosion or just to keep the hole open.

Permanent casing

Retrievable Casing

Retrievable casing is used when the casing is only needed during the drilling process, that is when it is used to keep the hole open during drilling and not used as support in the finished structure.

This is a cost-effective solution for piles and anchoring since the casing is retrieved from the hole and reused.

Retrievable casing

System Components

Casing advancement systems are available as either a solitary ring bit or as a ring bit set.

Casing advancement system with solitary ring bit

THE CASING TUBE
Depending on the use, it can be left down in the hole or retrieved. Both Symmetrix and Elemex systems offer retrievable and permanent alternatives.

THE PILOT
This is the cutting part of the drill string. The pilot is attached to any common DTH hammer shank or top hammer rod. Available in sizes from 3" to 47" in diameter.

THE CASING SHOE
The role of the casing shoe is to transfer part of the impact to the casing tube. It is welded to the casing tube.

 

THE RING BIT
The separate ring bit is used to drill the void for the casing to advance down the hole.


THE RING BIT SET
It consists of the casing shoe and the ring bit
that are attached together. It drills the void
for the casing to advance down the hole.

Casing advancement system with ring bit set

The Symmetrix and Elemex systems are part of a total overburden drilling solution from Atlas Copco. They work well in both DTH and top hammer drilling, and your choice depends primarily on the drilling conditions on site.

Symmetrix - Productivity and Precision

Symmetrix is a versatile solution for overburden drilling where ground conditions are difficult, time is limited, and precision is crucial. Whether used in ground with big boulders, inclined competent layers, or hard bedrock Symmetrix drills until the required depth is reached. The system drills more quickly and accurately than any other method available today. The unique design of Symmetrix provides reliable results, which saves contractors money.

Elemex - For Improved Air Control

The Elemex casing advancement system is the preferred system for minimizing the risk of settlement in surrounding structures. The unique design of the pilot bit directs the air over the drill bit surface, reducing air leakage into the ground. The directed air flushing enables the driller to be in full control of the drilling process.

Product Selection Guide

The matrix below will help you select the appropriate model of Casing Advancement System for your application. The color codes used in the matrix are also found in the tables on this page for your convenience.

 

Applications

Description

Geo-
thrmal
Well
Drlg.
Water Well Drlg.
Pipe
Roof-ing
Large
Found-
ations
Small
Found-
ations
Anch-
oring
Model
twertert kuykjgjh Product Selection Guide - Model V Designed for short holes and is available with both thin and thick casing wall.
Product Selection Guide - Model W Our most durable system, designed for deep holes.
dsfasdfsdf Designed for deep holes where you need to drill shallow rock sockets below the casing with the pilot bit.
asdfaef Designed specifically for pipe roofing and top hammer applications.
erwerwer Cost-efficient system with separate ring bit for installation of permanent casings when there is no need to drill below the casing.
2345werer Retrievable system with a unique design that enables a large inner diameter.
e45qere Retrievable system designed to allow drilling shallow rock sockets below the casing with the pilot bit.

Product Designation Code

The designation code makes it easy to identify the key parameters of the system. This makes it easier to find the right system or parts of it.

Product designation code diagram Product designation code diagram

The casing dimensions are defined by:

a)  Inner diameter

b)  Outside diameter

c)  Wall thickness

The dimensions are important and must be taken into account when selecting the right product. The content of the web page is organized by casing outer diameter. The maximum wall thickness is defined for all systems.

Casing dimensions shown

Specifications

Click on casing size tab for specs, then roll pointer over or click on the table to enlarge.

  • 3"
  • 3 1/2"
  • 4"
  • 4 1/2"
  • 5"
  • 5 1/2"
  • 6"
  • 6 5/8"
  • 7"
  • 7 5/8"
  • 8 5/8"
  • 9 5/8"
  • 10"
  • 10 3/4"
  • 12 3/4"
  • 14"
  • 16"
  • 20"
  • 24"
  • 28"
  • 32"
  • 36"
  • 40"
  • 48"

3" Permanent, Top Hammer table

3 1/2" Permanent, Top Hammer table

4" Permanent, Top Hammer table

4 1/2" Permanent, Top Hammer table

4 1/2" Permanent, Top Hammer table

4 1/2" Permanent, DTH table

4 1/2" Permanent, DTH table

4 1/2" Retrievable, Top Hammer table

4 1/2" Retrievable, DTH table

5" Retrievable, DTH table

5 1/2" Permanent, Top Hammer table

5 1/2" Permenant, DTH table

5 1/2" Permenant, DTH table

5 1/2" Retrievable, DTH table

6" Permenant, DTH table

6" Retrievable, DTH table

6 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

6 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

6 5/8" Retrievable, DTH table

7" Permenant, DTH table

7" Permenant, DTH table

7" Retrievable, DTH table

7 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

7 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

7 5/8" Retrievable, DTH table

8 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

8 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

8 5/8" Retrievable, DTH table

9 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

9 5/8" Permenant, DTH table

10" Retrievable, DTH table

10 3/4" Permenant, DTH table

10 3/4" Permenant, DTH table

10 3/4" Retrievable, DTH table

12 3/4" Permenant, DTH table

12 3/4" Permenant, DTH table

12 3/4" Retrievable, DTH table

14" Permenant, DTH table

16" Permenant, DTH table

16" Permenant, DTH table

16" Retrievable, DTH table

20" Permenant, DTH table

20" Permenant, DTH table

20" Retrievable, DTH table

24" Permenant, DTH table

24" Permenant, DTH table

24" Retrievable, DTH table

28" Permenant, DTH table

28" Permenant, DTH table

28" Retrievable, DTH table

32" Permenant, DTH table

32" Permenant, DTH table

32" Retrievable, DTH table

36" Permenant, DTH table

36" Permenant, DTH table

40" Permenant, DTH table

40" Retrievable, DTH table

48" Permenant, DTH table

48" Permenant, DTH table

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The Symmetrix Movie

AWDS Logo

 

The Elemex Movies

Elemex Movie explains the new concept for safer drilling

 

Shows actual drilling with the Symmetrix Elemex System

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