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The Mechanized Percussion Well Drilling (MPWD) Collaboratory project seeks to design a simple mechanized well drilling system for drilling shallow water wells in Western Africa. Our client, Open Door Development (ODD), seeks to make water accessible to all in the region, but has had difficulty drilling through hard soil layers. To combat this problem, the MPWD team has worked closely with Mr. Joseph Longenecker to develop a mechanized percussion well drilling rig that is capable of drilling through these harder layers. Currently, the MPWD team is seeking to provide recommendations to improve the lifetime of our client’s new, fully mechanized rig design. This year, our team’s work has been focused specifically on analyzing the lifetime of the rig’s driveline chains and also on its frame. For the driveline chains, the team will be conducting fatigue testing on a model of the driveline system to determine which type of chain should be used on the rig. To determine the lifetime of the frame, the team will be performing a series of static, buckling, and fatigue finite element analyses on the rig’s frame. The most recent accomplishments of the MPWD team have nearly proved that their design for the loading application will be feasible for use on the actual testing rig and that multiple studies of finite element analysis can be performed to simulate the different rig frame loading scenarios.

Publication Date

Spring 2021


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The work presented in this document has been provided solely for educational and edification purposes. All materials are composed by students of Messiah University and are not certified by any means. They do not constitute professional consultation and require the examination and evaluation by a certified engineer through any product development process. The contents documented are the produced work by the student design team but do not necessarily represent the as-built or as-assembled state of a complete and tested design; faculty, staff, and other professionals involved in our program may have augmented the student engineering work during implementation, which may not be recorded within this document.

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Fatigue Testing a Mechanized Percussion Well Drilling System for Water Access in Western Africa

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