Abrasive-Enhanced Water-Jet Drill for Hard Rocks
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines has patented and transferred to industry an abrasive-enhanced water-jet rock drill. This drill incorporates three novel components: a collimator, jet deflectors for cutting clearance, and an unpressurized swivel, which rotates at 1,000 rpm while passing 20 gpm of an abrasive slurry flowing at 1,000 ft/s. Drilling occurs through the action of a 10,000-psi, 2O-gpm water jet into which is entrained 72 lb/min of abrasives. The pumps, hoses, and fittings are those commonly used in the water-jet-cleaning industry. Only inexpensive, common sandblasting abrasives are used. This drill can cut through hard rocks with moderate-pressure jets; e.g., rocks with a compressive strength of 73,000 psi can be drilled with a 1O,OOO-psi abrasive jet. In addition to drilling holes, the drill can cut deep, narrow kerfs; collar a hole at any angle; drill through rubble; and chamber holes. The development of the abrasive jet drill is a significant advance in the state of the art of hard-rock drilling. The Government of the United States has licensed the abrasive jet drill patent to Weatherford Water Jetting Systems.
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