Rapid excavation by rock melting. LASL subterrene program, December 31, 1972--September 1, 1973

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Research is continuing on establishing the technical and economic feasibility of excavation systems based upon the rockmelting (Subterrene) concept. A series of electrically powered, small-diameter prototype melting penetrators have been developed and tested. Research activities include optimizing penetrator configurations, designing high-performance heater systems, and improving refractory-metals technology. The properties of the glass linings that are automatically formed on the melted holes are being investigated for a wide variety of rocks and soils. Thermal and fluid-mechanics analyses of the melt flows are being conducted with the objective of optimizing penetraton designs. Initial economic models of the rock-melting concept extended to large ... continued below

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Pages: 38

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Hanold, R. J. November 1, 1973.

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Description

Research is continuing on establishing the technical and economic feasibility of excavation systems based upon the rockmelting (Subterrene) concept. A series of electrically powered, small-diameter prototype melting penetrators have been developed and tested. Research activities include optimizing penetrator configurations, designing high-performance heater systems, and improving refractory-metals technology. The properties of the glass linings that are automatically formed on the melted holes are being investigated for a wide variety of rocks and soils. Thermal and fluid-mechanics analyses of the melt flows are being conducted with the objective of optimizing penetraton designs. Initial economic models of the rock-melting concept extended to large tunnelers are being developed. Field tests and demonstrations of the prototype devices continue to be performed in a wide range of rock and soil types. The conceptual design of the electrically powered, self-propelled, remotely guided, horizontal tunnel-alignment prospecting system (Geoprospector) has been initiated. Such a device will also find applications in energy transmission, i.e., utility and pipeline installations. The long-term goal of the research is to develop the technology and prototype hardware that will ultimately lead to large tunneling devices, with improved advance rates and reduced tunnel project costs. The rockmelting concept includes elements that will result in innovative solutions to the three major functional areas of tunneling: rock disintegration, materials handling, and hole-support linings. The proposed excavation method, which is relatively insensitive to variations in rock formation, produces a liquid melt that can be chilled to a glass and formed into a dense, strong, firmly attached hole lining. Unique applications to large automated tunneling systems, ultradeep coring for geoscience research, and hot-rock penetration for geothermal energy development are being investigated, (auth)

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Pages: 38

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Dep. NTIS

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  • Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 30-JUN-74

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  • Report No.: LA--5459-SR
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/4342957 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4342957
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1016931

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Creation Date

  • November 1, 1973

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 15, 2017, 10:09 p.m.

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  • Feb. 2, 2018, 2:42 p.m.

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Hanold, R. J. Rapid excavation by rock melting. LASL subterrene program, December 31, 1972--September 1, 1973, report, November 1, 1973; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1016931/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.