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The Mechanized Percussion Well Drilling Project seeks to design a simple mechanized well drilling system to be used for drilling shallow water wells in Burkina Faso, Africa. These systems will be operated by local drilling teams, allowing them to earn an income for themselves and their families. Currently our end users, the Burkinabe Well Drilling Team, have trouble drilling through hard rock layers, and often must abandon holes due to inadequate equipment. The goal of this project is to enable the drillers to efficiently drill through these rock layers with a mechanized percussion rig and supporting drilling equipment.
One of the areas the project has focused on this year was testing our new steel cathead, a critical piece of the drilling rig which severely wore during in-country testing in the summer of 2017. After 40 hours of testing with no visible wear, we were confident that our new cathead would be sufficient. We also designed a new, heavier drill bit that was more able to concentrate the force of each impact. Finally, we tested our system using ropes that can be bought in Burkina Faso to ensure our system will be sustainable for our end users.
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Henry, Nathan A.; Harnish, Nate; King, Nathan D.; Martin, Chris; Denlinger, Tommy; Heisey, Darren J.; and Means, Griffin M., "Mechanized Percussion Well Drilling" (2020). 2020 Collaboratory/Engineering Symposium. 19.
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