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Assessing the efficiency of carbide drill bits and factors influencing their application to debris-rich subglacial ice
Authors: Yang C, Jiang J, Cao P, Wang J, Fan X, Shang Y, Talalay P
Year: 2017
Periodical/Journal: Polar Science

When drilling into subglacial bedrock, drill operators commonly encounter basal ice containing high concentrations of rock debris and melt water. As such conditions can easily damage conventional ice drills, researchers have experimented with carbide, diamond, and polycrystalline diamond compact drill bits, with varying degrees of success. In this study, we analyzed the relationship between drilling speed and power consumption for a carbide drill bit penetrating debris-rich ice. We also assessed drill load, rotation speed, and various performance parameters for the cutting element, as well as the physical and mechanical properties of rock and ice, to construct mathematical models. We show that our modeled results are in close agreement with the experimental data, and that both penetration speed and power consumption are positively correlated with drill speed and load. When used in ice with 30% rock content, the maximum penetration speed of the carbide bit is 3.4 mm/s with a power consumption of ≤0.5 kW, making the bit suitable for use with existing electromechanical drills. Our study also provides a guide for further research into cutting heat and equipment design.

DOI: 10.1016/j.polar.2017.05.001
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