Direction-dependent analysis of force and torque in conventional and ultrasonically-assisted drilling of cortical bone


Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos ‎University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khoud 123, Sultanate of Oman‎


Bone drilling is a common surgical procedure in orthopaedic, neuro, and dental surgeries for internal fixation. Estimation and control of bone drilling force and torque are critical to prevent drill breakthrough, excessive heat generation, and unnecessary mechanical damage to the bone. This paper illustrates the experimental measurements and comparison of drilling thrust force and torque in conventional drilling (CD) and ultrasonically-assisted drilling (UAD) in two directions, i.e., along the longitudinal axis of the bone and normal to it (radial direction). The objective was to find the effect of drill size and ultrasonic vibrations superimposed on the drill’s movement on the thrust force and torque. The effect of drill speed on force was investigated in the described directions, followed by a series of experiments to explore the influence of drill size and penetration direction on the level of force and torque. The drilling force and torque were found to be strongly dependent on the drilling direction. Experimental results revealed that drilling in direction, lower drilling force and torque were found in UAD compared to CD.