Shaft-Sinking Drilling Rig

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shaft-Sinking Drilling Rig


a device for sinking large-diameter vertical shafts and wells by drilling from the surface. Shaft-sinking drilling rigs may use rotary drilling (UZTM and Shchepot’ev-Ivanov rigs), core drilling (UKB rigs), or reactive turbodrilling (RTB rigs). Rigs of the UZTM type drill shafts 7.5 and 8.75 m in diameter to depths of 600 m using cutter-type pilot bits and reaming bits. Their use is most economical in flooded, unstable rock and quicksand; sinking rates may reach 50 m per month. In 1974 such rigs were used to sink five shafts with a total length of approximately 1,500 m.

UKB-3.6 rigs drill shafts 3.6 m in diameter to depths up to 700 m and extract cores up to 5.3 m long. In weak rock a cutter attachment is used to drill out rock during reverse flushing. The sinking rate may reach 150 m per month. As of 1974 this rig has been used to drill four shafts to depths of 2,000 m.

The Shchepot’ev-Ivanov rig is based on series-produced oil drilling equipment, with a pilot bit 600 mm in diameter and a set of reaming bits with diameters from 900 to 2,400 mm. It is used in soft and medium-hard rock for depths down to 300 m and achieves a sinking rate up to 50 m per month. As of 1974, the rig has been used to sink more than 70 shafts totaling 20,000 m.

A reactive turbodrilling rig has two or more turbodrills in aggregate. In one pass the rig drills a shaft with a diameter of 2–5 m. Such rigs are used in soft, medium-hard, and, sometimes, hard rock to depths of 1,000 m and more. The sinking rate is 100 m per month. As of 1974 the rigs had been used to sink more than 160 shafts totaling approximately 100 km.

In Western Europe the de Vooys (Netherlands) rotary drilling rig is used to sink shafts with diameters up to 8.5 m to depths up to 750 m under complex hydrogeological conditions. It progressively widens the shaft and removes rock through the drill pipes by means of an airlift. In the USA during the 1960’s, rotary rigs that sink shafts with diameters of 1.5—4 m became widespread. They have been used to sink shafts totaling more than 100 km. The rigs use heavy-duty oil-drilling and special surface equipment, casings, multicutter bits, reaming bits, and weights. A reverse air-lift system is used in addition to reverse flushing.

A prototype of a shaft-sinking drilling aggregate was built in 1894 by Honigmann (Germany). In 1938, K. N. Shchepot’ev and V. P. Ivanov designed a set of flat and cutter-type reaming bits that made it possible to drill wells with diameters up to 2.4 m by using rotary oil-drilling equipment. In 1941, G. I. Man’kovskii, Sh. Kh. Oganezov, and F. D. Meshcheriakov designed a drilling rig based on oil-drilling equipment. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, such rigs were used to drill approximately 30 shafts up to 5 m in diameter and down to depths of 110 m under the complex geological conditions of the Cheliabinsk and Moscow coal basins. In 1965 the UZTM-7.5 rig was built, followed by the UZTM-8.75. In 1947, G. I. Bulakh designed a core drill that made it possible in 1956 for the UKB-3.6 rig to be built under the direction of M. N. Kudriakov. In 1960, R. A. Ioannesian, M. T. Gusman, and G. I. Bulakh proposed and tested the first RTB bottom-hole aggregates and rigs.


Fediukin, V. A. Prokhodka shakhlnykh slvolov i skvazhin bureniem. Moscow, 1959.
Malevich, N. A. Kompleksy oborudovaniia dliaprokhodki i bureniia vertikal’nykh stvolov. Moscow, 1960.
Man’kovskii, G. I. Spetsial’nye sposoby sooruzheniia stvolov shakht. Moscow, 1965.
Reaktivno-turbinnoe burenie. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.