Experimental investigations of forces and torque in conventional and ultrasonically-assisted drilling of cortical bone

K. Alam, A. V. Mitrofanov, V. V. Silberschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

115 Citations (Scopus)


Bone drilling is widely used in orthopaedics and surgery; it is a technically demanding surgical procedure. Recent technological improvements in this area are focused on efforts to reduce forces in bone drilling. This study focuses on forces and a torque required for conventional and ultrasonically-assisted tool penetration into fresh bovine cortical bone. Drilling tests were performed with two drilling techniques, and the influence of drilling speed, feed rate and parameters of ultrasonic vibration on the forces and torque was studied. Ultrasonically-assisted drilling (UAD) was found to reduce a drilling thrust force and torque compared to conventional drilling (CD). The mechanism behind lower levels of forces and torque was explored, using high-speed filming of a drill-bone interaction zone, and was linked to the chip shape and character of its formation. It is expected that UAD will produce holes with minimal effort and avoid unnecessary damage and accompanying pain during the incision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-239
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011



  • Bone drilling
  • Drilling torque
  • Experimental methods
  • Orthopaedics
  • Thrust force
  • Ultrasonic vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics

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