Effect of additives on drilling in hard rock (Technical Paper)

El-Shall, H. ; Gupta, S. ; Haecker, R. ; Somasundaran, P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Rock disintegration processes are usually inefficient and costly operations in mineral beneficiation, mine development and oil well preparations. Thus, there is a strong need for improving the energy efficiency of unit operations such as drilling and comminution. The effects of selected cations and anions on drilling efficiency in a hard rock formation (Dakota Sandstone) were studied. The zeta potentials and the tensile strengths of the drilled samples were measured under similar chemical conditions. The chemicals tested included MgCl2, Na2CO3, AlCl3, NaCl and Dodecylammonium chloride. The results indicated that drilling rates can be enhanced or retarded depending on chemical conditions such as the solution pH and the type and concentration of reagents. Drilling data are correlated with mechanical (tensile strength) and interfacial (zeta potential) properties of the rock formation. The mechanisms involved are discussed in light of Rehbinder's and Westwood's theories.
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