Drilling and rock destruction operations are essential in many spheres, such as the extraction of mineral resources, subsurface utility engineering, construction and space programmes. Still, the process of horizontal drilling often encounters problems linked to the necessity of breaking through high-density rocks or enclaves. The latter requires the use of much more rational approaches for them to be entered.
Professor at TPU's division for oil and gas engineering, Lev Saruev has explained that impact mechanisms in modern drilling machinery generate shocks with irrational shapes that are not specifically designed to counter the resistances of rocks. Such shock shapes and the short time these shocks affect the rock, reduce the drill bit’s depth of penetration and create a wave of rarefaction that essentially destroys drilling equipment, Saruev believes.
This issue is what triggered the development of a shock wave generator that could take into account the resistance of rocks, the professor said. The results of the study have been published in the university's journal "Izvestiya TPU" ("TPU News"). "The machine, which was built as a result, has undeniable advantages: it's smaller in size, more energy-efficient and more explosion-proof", Saruev stressed.
"Our new drilling machine is generating and translating the shocks, based on the stress wave theory, and uses special threaded joints in the drilling tubes, which allow it to effectively transfer shock energy to the ruptured zone in the rock", associate professor at TPU's division for general technical subjects, Evgeny Pashkov added.
The researchers believe that the technology will reduce drilling costs and increase the amount of time the equipment can work without repairs or maintenance due to absence of colliding parts in its gears. The absence of a compressor or hydraulic pump permitted the machine to be more mobile due to its smaller size.
The creators of the new drilling device are now planning to focus on conducting a series of experiments aimed at creating an industrial level rock destruction instrument based on this new technology.