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A Versatile Rock-Melting System for the

Formation of Small-Diameter
Horizontal Glass-Lined Holes

I o s i alamos
scientific laboratory
off the University off California


This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by the Uiiited
States Government. Neither the United States nor the United States Atomic
Energy Commission, nor any of their emptoyees, nor any of their contrac-
tors, subcontractors, or their employees, makes any warranty, express or im-
plied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, com-
pleteness or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process dis-
closed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.

In the interest of prompt distribution, this LAMS re-

port was not edited by the Technical Information staff.

Printed in the United Slates of America. Available from

National Technical Information Service
U. S. Department of Commerce
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Springfield, Virginia 22151
Price: Printed Copy S4.00; Microfiche $0.95
Informal Report
ISSUED: October 1973

scientific laboratory
of h Un!vr*ity of California

A Versatile Rock-Melting Sysfem for fhe

Formation of Small-Diameter
Horizontal Glass-Lined Holes


D. L. Sims

Work supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation

Research Applied to National Needs (RANN).

Tlitu icpvrt n-ii picparcd as an account uf work
sponsored by the (tailed Slalct Government. Nchticr
he ttnllod S u m mi! I he Itnilcd Stales Atomic K
C*4itninbatiin. uwr any uf GhcU s. n^r any of
Iticir ci>nirjclfii. &ut)c(itttrai;(tt i, ur tttoir employees,
makes an* waffanty. cstptcwor implied, of o-'iSumcs any Ibbllllr "I topuiniblMly far die accuracy, com-
|)tfi(cne ii usefulness of any information, apparatus,
pfoducl or proem disclosed, ol represents that its use
nuuld nut Infflnjc prtvalcly owm

1. Introduction 1
A. Program History 1
8. Small-Diameter Horizontal Subterren.e System 4
12. System Description 5
III. Suaeiary ef System Specifications 9
IV. Description of LASL-Developec! and Commercially
Available Subcomponents 9
A. General 9
Q. Description of Components 9
V. Development Program 12
A. Versatility of Kale-Forming Assembly 12
E. Development of Attitude-Control Sensors 13
C. Examples of Deviation Sensors 13
D. Alignment Control Section (ACS5 15
VI. Operations 16
VII. Conclusions and Discussion 17
Analysis of Proposed Alignment Control Scheme 20


D. L. Sins


Rock-melting penetrators with diameters ranging from SO mm

{?. in.) to 76 mm (3 in.) have reached a stage of development at
the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) which suggests that
these devices are ready for practical application. Prototype
refractory metal penetrators have formed glass-cased vertical
holes of 26 m (32 ft) in a single run, and horizontal holes with
diameters up to 127 nsn (5 in.) are expected in the near future.
These small horizontal holes can be usted for underground utility
conduits; for high-explosive shot emplacement; and as drainage
holes to stabilize road outs or embankments.
Design concepts and preliminary specifications are described
fcr a Subterrene system that forms snail-diameter horizontal holes
in rock by melting and simultaneously lines the hole with glassy
rock melt. Most components of the system are commercially
available. Deviation sensors and alignment-control units car be
added to ensure that the holes are straight. The design and
operation of this Subterrer.e system are described and proposed
development approaches for the hole-fonning assembly are discussed.


A. Program History
Rock-melting penetrators (Subterrenes)
are under development at the Los Alamos
Scientific Laboratory (LASL) to produce self-
supporting glass-lined holes in rock and
soil (Fig. 1) by progressive melting rather
than by chipping, abrading, or spoiling.
Rocks and soils melt at temperatures that
are relatively high: coimon igneous rocks
at t< 1500 K, almost at the melting tempera-
ture of steel {1500 to 1800 K). Thus, the
melting penetritors must utilize refractory
metals such as molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten
(W), which melt at 2880 and 3650 K, respect-
ively, and which, in addition, have low
creep rates at the rock-melting temperatures.
Excavation by rock- and soil-melting of a complete systems approach to the pro-
offers potentially new and novel solutions cesses of hole making, tunneling, and ex-
to the three major areas of the excavation cavation. The LASL development program in
process: rock- and soil-melting techniques has al-
Making the hole or breaking up the ready demonstrated in laboratory and field
rock. tests an attractive advancement in practical
Providing structural support for excavation technology for the production of
the bore hole.
short, horizontal, small-diameter holes.
Removing or displacing the debris
or cuttings. This experience has been partially developed
through the extensive testing of melting-
The liquid form of the rock- and soil-melt
consolidating penetrators (MCPs). The tests
produced by a heated penetrator introduces
consisted of:
new solution concepts into the latter two
areas: Melting 50-mm (2-in.)-diam, glass-
The liquid melt can be formed into lined drain holes in Indian ruins3
a glass lining to seal or support at Bandelier National Monument (Fig. 4).
the walls of the bore hole, and Melting a 50-mm (2-in.)-diam glass-
Any excess liquid melt can be chilled lined vertical hole in Los Alamos
and formed into glass rods, glass vcicanic tuff to a depth of 26 i\.
pellets, or rock wool (Figs. 2 and (82 ft) in a single run.
3); or used to form a glass-cased Melting a 50-mm (2-in.)-diam glass-
core that can be removed by present lined horizontal hole in Los Alamos
wire-line methods. volcanic tuff to a length of 16 m
(50 ft) (Figs. 5 and 6).
The liquid melt produced by soil- and
Melting a sequence of 76-mm (3-in.)-
rock-melting techniques offers the potential diam glass-lined holes in volcanic
tuiTf in the laboratory (Fig. 7) .

Fig. 2. Hole melted in granite specimen with an extruding penetrator. Note debris.
Fig. 3. Rock-wool and black glass debris
from holes melted by extruding

Fig. 5. Consolidating Subterrene Penetrator

"holing through" a 16-m (50-ft)-
long horizontal hole.

Fig. 4. Modular Subterrene field demon-

stration unit melting drain holes
at Bandelier National Monument.

Fig. 6. Stem aitd service head in position

to melt a 50-mm (2-in.)-diam
horizontal hole.
additional field tests and for demonstrations
of improved consolidating and extruding pen-
In addition, LASL is currently develop-
ing a 114-mm (4.5-in.)-diam, consolidating,
coring penetrator that will produce a 63-ron
(2.5-in.)-diam glass-encased core.

B. Small-Diameter Horizontal Subterrene


The coring capability for the Subterrene,

together with the commercial needs for hori-
V 8
zontal holes for underground power lines '
and a review of reguests for information on
the rock-melting Subterrene, has prompted
the preparation of preliminary design con-
cepts and specifications for a horizontal
Subterrene capable of melting glass-lined,
76-mm (3-in.)-diam holes to lengths of *>> 50 m
(165 ft) with sufficient accuracy for most
commercial applications. Horizontal glass-
lined holes cf this diameter and length
could be useful as:

Glass-lined drain holes for subsided

Fig. 7. Consolidating penetrator after Glass-lined drain holes through diked
melting a 76-mm (3-in.)-diam areas to accelerate drainage after
hole in os Alamos tuff. flooding.
Injection holes for burning mines.
Melting stable, 50-mm-diam glass-cased Sealed, glass-lined inspection holes
holes in shales, adobe, and alluvium in mine faces or in dax. abutments.
(Pig. 8 ) .
Sealed, glass-lined inspection holes
in suspected pollution areas.
In addition, the prototype test program has Underground utility conduits for
developed a universal extruding penetrator telephone, gas, water, and television
(UEP) designed for hard, dense rock. lines.
with this unit have: Glass-lined holes for high-explosive
shot emplacement.
Melted 66-mm (2.5-in.)-diam holes in Drainage holes to stabilize road
basalt and granite (Fig. 2 ) . cuts and embankments.
Demonstrated the capability of
tailoring debris for different System descriptions, preliminary de-
applications to meet varying debris- sign concepts, and detail component des-
return systems (Fig. 3).
criptions are presented in the following
A modularized, mobile field-test and sections, along with indications of addi-
demonstration unit (Fig. 4) has been con- tional development programs required to
structed, and was used successfully for provide subsystems that are not yet avail-
melting glass-lined drainage holes in the able for this versatile horizontal hole-
floor of Indian ruins at Bandelier National melting device. Such a device will also
Monument. This test rig will be used for

Fig. 8. External surface of glass-lined hole melted in dry alluvium.

provide necessary and valuable information to the heated penetrator, circulate coolant
for the development of the Geoprospector to the hole-forming assembly (HFA), and pro-
system- vide a force path to transfer the thrust to
the advancing melting penetrator.
II. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION Circulating, compressed-air coolant,
to cool the stem, chill the glass-hole lin-
The components of the proposed small- ing, and form small glass pellets (or rock
diameter horizontal Subterrene system, de- wool) from the excess melt produced by a UEP.
picted in Pig. 9, are similar to those of the This excess melt debris is carried to the
modularized rock-melting Subterrene demon- surface and ducted through the service head
stration unit shown in Fig. 4. These com- into a separating and collecting station.
ponents include: The return coolant from a consolidating pen-
ft stem advancer. Fig. 10, that will etrator is ducted directly into the ambient
continuously advance the stem by use of two air.
independent hydraulic cylinders and remotely
A quick-disconnect service head,
operated stem clamps. Fig. 11, that connects the operational lines
A dual-tube stem consisting of a to the stem (i.e., electric power for the
flush outer steel tube, coupled in sections, penetrator, coolant air for glass-forming
and an insulated inner copper tube. These and debris removal, and sensor and instru-
tubes provide the electric-power conductors mentation leads).
The HFA (hole-forming assembly).
Sea Ref. 7, p. 19,for a brief description Figs. 12 and 13 , which is selected to fit
of this continuously coring tunnel
prospecting device. the job requirement, can be assembled inter-
changeably from the following subcomponents:
Fig. 9. Horizontal Subterrene melting a electrical
water aervice hole. Ground

S t m Clomp

Standard Dual
Tube Stem

8 Debris

Fig. 11. Quick-disconnect service head.

- A glass former, attached directly to

the penetrator, chills and forms the glass
HjdrouBe hole lining from the liquid melt. For the
extruding penetrator, this unit also con-
tains the components to chill the extrudate
and to process the excess melt into remov-
able debris.
Cywxtar - A centrali2er,to hold the HFA on course.
- An alignment control section (ACS). to
Pig. 10. Small-diameter horizontal Sub- return the HFA to course when deviation is
terrene stem advancer.
detected. The controlling force is oriented
and applied from the surface control console.
- A heated penetrator, to mplt rock or
soil: A melting consolidating penetrator - A deviation sensor (PS) or deviation
(MCP), Fig. 14, is used in loose soils, al- indicator (PI), detects deviation of the
luvium, and low-density rock, and forms a HFA from the projected center line of the
glass lining; whereas a universal extruding hole. Signals from the DS or DI are pro-
penetrator (UEP) , Fig. 15, is used in dense cessed and displayed on the control console.
or hard rock and produces rock debris. The HFA can be made up in a variety of

-Penetrator ^-Glass Former Stem-


m h=

Deviation Indicator

(c)fe=== =

Deviation Sensor
or Indica'or- -Al'gnment Control Sensor Cable-

Fig. 12. Hole-forming assemblies: (a) simplest HFA-penetrator, glass former, and
stem; (b) addition of centralizer; (c) additional deviation indicator;
(d) complete assembly with alignment control.

He Purge Flow

Penstrxiror (Contolklating) Electrical Thrust. Stem


^-Pinetratcr [Eftlruding)

Fig. 13. System schematic for a horizon-

tal consolidating and horizontal
extruding Subterrene showing the Electric Current
required functions of the com- Flow Path
ponents .
POCO Graphite

Fig. 14. Consolidating penetrator for

loose soil and low-density rock.
Debris Removal Zone
Coolant I
Thrust Load

Thin Glass

Graphite Extrusion
Insulator Zone


Dense Rock' 'Melting Zone

Fig. 15. Extruding penetrator for dense rock. Oil to Cylinders Oil to Clamps
Oil Return Air
configurations, as indicated in Fig. 12, to
achieve the needed straightness for a given Fig. 16. Hydraulic and air-control circuits
job. for operation of horizontal stem
A complement of service units are
needed to furnish electric power to the pen- Melt an accessible, glass-lined hole
etrator a, sensors, and instrumentation; under obstructions or structures such as
coolant air to the stem and glass-former; roads, highways, railroads, and canals where
and hydraulic power to the stem advancer hole straightness is not a major factor.
and stem clamps (Fig. 16). The coolant-air This can be accomplished with a simple HFA
supply also powers an air-oil intensifier consisting of only a penetrator, glass for-
for emergency stem advance and retraction. mer, and stem, as indicated in Fig. 12(a).

A single control and instrumentation Melt a very straight, accessible,

console will be provided for the necessary glass-lined hole from an established point
electric power, hydraulic and air controls, to intersect a target point with a maximum
and for displays. Sensor displays and terminal deviation of two hole diameters or
alignment-correction indications will also less. This will require a HFA equipped
be shown on the console so that one operator with a deviation sensor, a surface-operated
can supervise the malting of a straight hole. alignment-control unit, and a sensor signal
that can be displayed on and monitored from
Note that the proposed horizontal rock-
the control console by the operator
melting excavation system which forms the
glass-lined holes in place can be assembled [Fig. 12(d)].
Srom various subcomponents to produce holes The proposed system concepts, components,
of varying straightness. For example, the and specifications are detailed in the
hole-forming assembly can: following sections.
- Alternating-current generator,
The following list summarizes the pre- engine-driven.
liminary specifications for a horizontal - Alternating current-to-direct
current converter.
hole-melting Subterrene system:
- Hydraulic pump, motor-driven.
Inside diameter of the glass lined - Air-oil hydraulic booster.
hole, 76 ram (3 in.)
- Light truck for mobility.
Hole-length capability. 50 nt (164 f t ) .
Rate of penetration, Service leads and hoses are supplied
as required.
- For a melt-consolidating penetrator
(MCP) in loose alluvial soil up to
0.84 nm/s (2 in./min). IV. DESCRIPTION OF LASL-DEVELOPED
- For a universal extruding penetrator
(OEP) up to 0.42 nnn/s (1 in./rain).
The two penetrator types are inter-
changeable, are electrically powered, A. General
and use circulating air for cooling
and debris removal. This section describes components of
The glass formers and hole sizers are the system that are either already developed
integral parts of the penetrators. or can be designed and assembled in a straight-
The maximum hole deviation is less forward manner from commercially available
than two diameters, but the system
can be assembled in a simple version products. The demonstration rig for 50-ima
for less accurate operation. (2-in.)-diam penetrators has had excellent
Deviation of the HFA from the projected results in initial runs. Much of this sim-
hole center line is detected by the
deviation sensor, and the amount of ple, inexpensive modular rig (Fig. 4 ) , can
deviation is displayed on the control be used as the design base for the 76-mm
(3-in.)-diam horizontal Subterrene. Other
Directional control of the HFA is pro-
vided by a differential cooling system components have been thoroughly tested both
whose operation is regulated at the in the laboratory and in field-test rigs.
control console for high accuracy.
Lesser straightness will be controlled The alignment accuracy of the demonstration
by simple stem rotation. rig is sufficient for many anticipated uses
The hydraulic stem advancer-retractor of horizontal, glass=lined holes. In fact,
is capable of continuous motion and
is provided with remotely operated by intermittently rotating the stem and the
stem clamps. Hole alignment can be HFA of 50-ront (2-in.)-diam Subterrenes while
set within the range of +. 0.25 rad
(.15 deg) from the horizontal. melting vertical (Fig. 17) and horizontal
The advancing stem will be a dual (Fig. 18) holes, bores were produced that
tube to transmit power and coolant were straight to considerably better than
and for debris removal when required.
The stGiii will be flush externally two hole diameters in 16 m of hole length.
and of sectioned lengths for ease of
Melting power is estimated at 15 kW, B. Description of Components
and total available power should be
i> 25 kW. Specifically, the proposed small-diam-
eter horizontal Subterrene system would con-
A quick-disconnect service head
is included. sist of the components detailed below.
The single control console will 1. Stem Advancer
incorporate controls for air supply,
hydraulic and electrical power; HFA
The stem advancer (Fig. 10) will
deviation and amount of applied
directional control; and instrumenta- advance the stem continuously with two in-
tion displays.
dependent, twin hydraulic-cylinder units and
The service units to be included
remotely operated stem clamps.

Fig. 17. Photograph showing degree of Fig. 18. Photograph showing degree of
straightness in a glass-lined straightness in a glass-lined
vertical hole. horizontal hole.

Normal operating pressure will bo The operating temperatures of the

6.S MPa (1000 psi) for an advancing load stem are estimated to be less than 600 K.
per cylinder pair of 20000 >J (4550 lbf) and Materials used in stem construction near the
a retracting pull of 28000 H (6350 lb f ). HFA will have an operating life of 3000 h at
this temperature. Additional stem sections
Emergency operation will use four
will be constructed of conventional materials
cylinders with a maKimuro of 13.8 MPa
(low-carbon steel) and will operate at lower
(2000 psi).
temperatures (4CO K ) .
The frame (head and base of each
cylinder pair) will be adapted for fasten- The stem will be assembled in lengths
ing to anchor posts, and will be rigid at of 1.5 m (5 ft) and 3 m (10 ft).
the above loads. 3. Service Head
Retraction time of a cylinder pair, The service head (Fig. 11) will pro-
with normal operating pressure using the vide a quick disconnect (and connect) of
hydraulic pump only, will be 20 t 5 s. the surface supply lines to the stem (elec-
2. Advancing Stem tric power, coolant, instrumentation, and
debris removal).
The dual-tube advancing stem (Figs.
11 and 12) will be similar to that used on 4. Hole-Forming Assembly (HFA)
the modularized, mobile rock-melting Sub- The hole-forming assembly (Fig. 12)
terrene demonstration unit. for the simplified small-diameter horizontal
The stem will be flush externally Subterrene system would be assembled from
and slightly smaller in diameter than the the following.
HFA. The inner copper tube will have an A heated penetrator will be selected
inside diameter of i> 27.5 mm (1 ^ in.). for the anticipated rock or soil to be

encountered. Melting-consolidating penetra- The hydraulic supply is a constant-
tore 76 mm (3 in.) in diameter (Fig. 14) volume vane pump with a 3.8-kW (5 hp) 220-V
will be used for melting glass-lined holes 60-cycle motor. The output is 0.15 I/a
in alluvium and low-density rock, and will (2.4 gal/min) at 14 MPa (2000 psij delivery
be similar in design to the consolidating pressure.
penetrators that have been developed. Uni-
The emergency hydraulic supply is
versal extruding penetrators, which axe in-
furnished by an air-oil booster that provides
terchangeable with melting-consolidating
0.25 i. (16 in.3) with a 300-rom (12-in.)
penetrators in the HFA, are used for melting
stroke. The hydraulic pressure is 13.8 MPa
in dense or hard rock. The design and con-
(2000 psi) from the 55-kPa (80-psi) air
struction of this type penetrator is also
well advanced. Both penetrators will pro-
duce <jlass~lined holes of the same diameter. Power, coolant, and hydraulic leads
are of conventional field-service weight to
hook up the separate units.
A glass former and hole sizer is
attached directly to the penetrator. Be- 6. Control Console
cause the melt is processed differently by The electric, hydraulic, and air con-
the two types of penetrators, the glass for- trols needed to operate the small-diameter
mer and hole sizer must be changed when the Subterrene system will be grouped on the
penetrator types are changed. The outside console (Fig. 16), so that a seated opera-
diameter varies with penetrator design, but tor can control all operations. Instrument
is normally 0.15 mm (0.005 in.) larger than displays on the control console will include:
the penetrator diameter (at operating con-
The advancing or retracting load on
ditions) . the stem, reading in Pa and lbf/in.2
A centralizer essentially a sec- The hydraulic pressure available
for advancing or retracting, reading
tion of advancing stem with longitudinal in Pa and lbf/in.2
ribs built up to within 0.2S to 0.40 mm The hydraulic pressure on the stem
(0.010 to 0.015 in.) of the inside diameter clamps reading in Pa and lbf/in.2
of the finished glass lining is placed The air pressure in use for cooling
and debris removal, and the pressure
between the glass former-and-hole sizer and available for the air-oil booster,
the forward end of the advancing stem. reading in Pa and lbf/in.2
The ^advance rate of the stem, reading
5. Service Units in mm/s and in./min.
The service units required to The accumulated advance, reading
in m and ft.
operate the small-diameter horizontal Sub- The amperage, voltage, and wattage
terrene are: of the heater circuit, and the
heater resistance.
A skid-mounted air compressor rated
at 200 l/s (44 cfm) at 825 kPa (120 psi). 7. Mobilizing and Transport

A trailer-mounted, diesel-powered The mobile small-diameter horizon-

ac generator rated at 25 kW, with 60-cycle tal Subterrene system is transported on a
outputs of 17 fcW at 220 V and 8 kW at 110 V. one-ton truck.

A solid-state ac-to-dc converter The maximum length of a small-diameter

with 15 kW capacity, remotely controlled glass-lined hole that can be successfully
from the operator's console and powered by bored with this minimum system has not yet
60-cycle 220 V. been determined. When increased hole length

and accuracy are required, a deviation sen- to those of Assembly A. The centralizer
sor (DS) and an alignment-control section holds the heated penetrator on course, al-
(ACS) will have to be added to the HFA. De- lowing higher stem loads, increased penetra-
velopment of these units is discussed in the tion rates, and longer controlled penetra-
next section. tion. Periodic partial rotation is again
used to equalize deviations due to assembly
V. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM eccentricity. The centralizer assists in
the control of penetrators over longer and
A. Versatility of Hole-Forming Assembly more accurate runs such as utility conduits
for high-voltage supply and gravity-sewer
The subsystems (see Section III) of
the small-diameter horizontal Subterrene
system are, with three exceptions, either Assembly C. This system consists of a
already in use or are commercially available. heated penetrator, centralizer, deviation
The three exceptions are: indicator , operator signals, and advancing
stem [Pig. 12{c)l. In addition to providing
A deviation indicator,
the increased hole-alignment capability of
A deviation sensor,
Assembly B, the operator is alerted whenever
An alignment-control section.
the HPA deviates by a preset amount from
The deviation indicators and deviation the proposed hole center line. By indicating
sensor subsystems can be adapted from avail- to the operator the quadrant of deviation
able instrumentation and electronics, but (viewed down the hole) thu operator may in-
the alignment-control unit will require a itiate a course correction by quadrant ro-
development program and is unique to the tation of the advancing stem rather than by
proposed horizontal hole-forming system. periodic partial stem rotation. Continued
. These additional subsystems allow a quadrant deviation would signal a mechanical
planned programming of hole-forming assem- cause, either a change in geologic formation
blies (HFAs) for jobs requiring varying le- (boulders) or stem deformations.
vels of hole straightness and completion Assembly D. A heated penetrator, devi-
accuracy. Desired levels of performance ation sensor (or deviation indicator), align-
can be achieved by assembling HFAs in the ment-control section, centralizer, operator
following configurations: signals, and advancing stem [Fig. 12(d)]
Assembly A. A heated consolidating or are assembled. This unit can track the de-
extruding penetrator (depending on geology viation of the HFA assembly from the pro-
and density of the formation) is used with jected center line of the hole in terms of
an advancing stem [Fig. 12(a)] to melt, azimuth and bearing, and display this in-
e.g., horizontal, shallow surface drain formation on the control console. The align-
holes; equipment-placement holes; and util- ment-control section allows the operator
ity conduits having moderate tolerances for to turn the HFA toward the projected hole
installation misalignment. The course of center line. This assembly also allows the
the melted hole is controlled by periodic operator to follow and to control the HFA
partial rotation of the advancing stem to in a predetermined deviated path. Such po-
equalize deviations caused by eccentricity sitive control of the hole-forming assembly
of the assembly. will increase the capacity of the small-
diameter horizontal Subterrene system for
Assembly B. A heated penetrator, cen-
tralizer, and advancing stem [Fig. 12(b)I
can be used to extend the length of holes The deviation indicator is used for quad-
melted with alignment requirements similar rant deviation signal and control.

following critical paths or intersecting Triaxial dc magnetometers are in
small targets. use for attitude-sensing and navigation.
In one current application the device
B. Development of Attitude-Control Sensors is following the path of a directional
drilling tool and signals any deviations
Several approaches to the development
of a bore hole in conventional oil, gas,
of sensors, deviation indicators, and align-
and water drilling, or in guiding the
ment-control systems are being investigated.
drilling of life-support holes to trapped
The deviation indicator (01) shown concep-
miners. A review of this system will de-
tually in Fig. 19 will flash a light on
termine its adaptability for HFA use.
the control console to alert tbe operator
that the hole-forming assembly has deviated
a predetermined amount in a given quadrant C. Examples of Deviation Sensors

(viewed from the stem-advancer e n d ) . The Two possibilities discussed above are
signal is generated when the cantilevered used to illustrate the sensor section of
section of the inner tube is contacted by the HFA, the surface display, and the op-
the outer housing after a predetermined de- erator's use of the display to initiate
flection. This approach is similar to that corrective action (see Figs. 19, 20, and 21)
of a simple torquetrench indicator. An open-loop sensing and control system is
considered adequate for the length of hole
The development of a deviation sensor
specified in Section III.
(DS) can choose among several possibilities:
The relatively simple deviation in-
Laser optical systems are currently
dicator shown in Fig. 19 can alert the
in use for aligning tunnel-boring machines;
operator if the HFA is deviating in a given
however, although the HFA will probably de-
quadrant. A section of the inner tube is
viate more than one diameter in a guidance-
built as an independent cantilever beam by
control cycle and although the use of a
using a flexible bellows connection. Four
laser is therefore questionable, these sys-
contacts are placed around the inner tube
tems will be reviewed for possible adapta-
with a small initial standoff clearance
tion of the HFA.
from the tube. Deflection of the outer
Inertial guidance systems are widely housing, forced by hole deviation, will
used for navigation and attitude-control cause contact between the inner tube and
systems. These systems will also be re- one of the four contacts. Closing of the
viewed . contact will light up a corresponding sig-
Gyrostabilizers are extensively nal on the control console. Corrective
used for navigation, attitude control, and action can then be initiated either by ro-
9-11 tating the advancing stem to equalize me-
bore-hole surveying. They will be re- chanical alignment, or by using an align-
viewed for possible applicati n for inclu- ment-control section in the HFA. Physical
sion in the HFA. A preliminary review in- orientation of the advancing stem is main-
dicates that hole size and length of time tained by aligning and clamping fiducial
to melt a hole may restrict their use to protractors that are attached to the stem
attitude and directional control. section at the stem advancer.
Surface triangulation of a seismic
A triaxial magnetometer sensor can
source in the HFA may be a method to de-
detect rotation of its axes relative to an
termine hole deviation. Results to date
initial ori'entation. Figure 20 shows
have not been promising, but a state-of-the-
schematically the use of a triaxial mag-
art review should reveal whether sufficient
netometer as the deviation sensor for a
progress has been made to accurately track
an HFA.
Signal Indicator
Console insert -

Insulating Spider t o Firmly Hold

Inner Tuba in Outer Hauling

4 Contacts-'
J \ ^
High Resistance Segmented
H Signal
{ Pickup
Orienting Clamp Located
Behind Advancing Stem Clamp
To Align Signal Pickup To
Cantilevar Section Starling Referance
of Inner Tube

-Deflected Outer
Pig. 19. HPA deviation indicator.

Position -Projected
Oisplay- Hole Center

Sensor Trloxial Signal To

Magnetometer\ Display


Outer Inner T u b e ' Standard Stem -

Housing Section

Fig. 20. Triaxial magnetometer deviation sensor.

small-diameter horizontal Subterrene. The aide of the outer housing of a section of
power to the sensor and the return signals the hole-forcing assembly (HFA). This can
is carried in a multiple-channel cable to be accomplished by diverting the inlet-cool-
a signal processor. After processing, the ant flow as shown in Fig. 22. A gravity-
change in position of the HFA is displayed activated .-oolant-channeling valve, rotation-
on an oscilloscope screen in the control ally aligned with the stem, makes it p s ~
console. A computer can be used to plot sible to select the aziniuthal location o
continuously the excursions of the HFA from the cooled side on the advancing housing and
the hole center. However, penetration rates thus to apply directive force to the HFA from
are sufficiently slow to determine HFA ex- the control console. Construction and op-
cursions by hand-calculation (Fig. 21), eration of such a device are outlined in
eliminating computers and plotters. Fig. 22. The gravity-activated coolant-
channeling valve is an eccentrically weighted
D. Alignment Control Section (ACS) disk that is free to rotate on frictionless
ball bearings within the cuter tube of the
One method of applying a realigning
alignment-control section. Thus, if the
turning force to a heated penetrator while
stem is rotated at the sten advancer end,
melting a hole is to selectively cool one
the coolant-channeling valve retains its
relevant position with respect to the melted
hole. In addition to a passage for the in-
ner coolant- (and debris-) return tube, the
ui Pamr/stion in m i t f i coolant-channeling valve has two ports: one,
labeled A in Fig. 22, is for total cool-
riiesnj TcisI
ant bypass when no corrective force is re-
0 L ft 0
Hs. I UP L N
quired. The second passage, B, is used to
1 10 20 10 20
2 30 90 2S 10 selectively channel the coolant flow into
JLJ 50 40 9 K
Coolant Passage C to provide an azimuthally
chilled portion of the outer tube. This
cooler region will tend to cause a deflection
of the tube,which, in turn, will generate a
Hand CdaAMon
moment to act on the penetrator (see Appendix)

Immediately downstream of the coolant-

Fig. 21. HFA deviation plot board.
channeling valve is a bulkhead with five
ports. Port A is for normal flow bypass and
is spaced between Ports E and D, two of the

Coolant Passage B


D-'A-'E-' A- y

Normal Coolant Paitogt A Eccentric Mass - Coolant Rolurn -

and Debris
Worm Clais Lining
Coolant Channallng Vein-I

. Fig. 22. Alignment control section.

four ports (D, E, F, and 6) spaced 90 deg The HFA can be assembled in any of the
apart for selective flow control. These following configurations:
four ports are led through the outer housing
Consolidating penetrator with stes
so that all four connect with Coolant Pas- centraliz rs.
sage C. Coolant Passage C extends along one Consolidating penetrator with
side of the outer housing for a distance deviation indicator and stem
sufficient to produce the required turning
Consolidating penetrator with
force when coolant is ducted through. deviation indicator, stem centralizers,
and alignment-control section (ACS).
For normal flow bypass, the stem is ro-
Extruding penetrator with any of
tated until Port A in the coolant-channeling the above options.
valve is in line with Port A in the bulk-
The correct HFA will be selected to
head with Coolant Passage C facing up. This
fit the individual job requirements, in-
position is narked at the stein-advancer end
cluding the desired accuracy in the loca-
with a fiducial protractor clamp placed on
tion of the melted hole. When maximum
the advancing stem. When deviation of the
accuracy is desired, the center line of the
heated penetrator from the center line of
hole can be established by conventional
the hole is detected and shown on the sur-
methods, e.g., by usual land-surveying as
face display (Fig. 20), the operator can
indicated in Fig. 23.
make the necessary correction. For example,
if the display shows left deviation, the The stem advancer and support equip-
operator rotates the stem 90 deg to the ment are then moved to the starting point
right, so that the coolant passage, C, is of the hole. The HFA (and a section of
moved to the right-hand side of the hole and stem) are clamped in the stem-gripping
Port B is aligned with Port 6 in the bulk- clamps. A transit and stadia rods are used
head; Pert A is blanked off. Differential to check alignment of the bearing and the
cooling of the outer housing will turn the inclination angle determined by the survey.
HFA back toward the hole center line, at Adjustments are made by blocking and edging
which time the coolant is returned to normal the stem-advancer base. The support equip-
bypass flow by returning the stem-position ment is located as the terrain permits,
indicator at the advancer to the Passage-C with the control console close to the stem
up position. advancer. All equipment is started, op-
erated, anri serviced according to the manu-
Other systems of alignment control can factr'ijr's instructions. Service lines are
be visualized, such as having three or four attached, and melting of the hole is started.
equally spaced coolant passages and adjust-
ing the coolant flow in the HFA with remotely Stem-gripping clamps on the pairs of
controlled valves. The smallness of a 76-mm- advancing hydraulic cylinders are used al-
diam hole and the restricted volume avail- ternately: While one clamp is advancing,
able for HFA control suggested the concept the other is retracting in preparation for
of a gravity-activated coolant-channeling a continuous advancing stroke. All func-
valve for alignment control. tions related to advancing and retracting
the stem and the HFA are controlled from
the console., with the exception of addir-j
(or removing) additional stem sections.

The components listed and described in When additional stem is required, the
Sections III and IV will be selected or de- operator:
signed to be modular and interchangeable. Seduces power and coolant flow to

Continues the two previous steps
OitfngSFl- until HFA is out of hole.
Survfyor't Tronlf- Secures all equipment.
If required, the hole can then be surveyed
by visual observation or instrumentation to
evaluate straightness, glass-casing thick-
ness, etc.


The development of small-diameter Sub-

terrene rock-melting penetrators has reached
the stage where the design of a 75-mm (3-in.)-
diam system for forming horizontal, glass-
lined holes is possible. Contacts with
utility companies and requests for informa-
Fig. 23. Establishing the hole center line. tion from industrial firms have indicated
the need for such a device.
Stops advancing pressure and releases
the rear stem-advancing clamp, A comprehensive development program
returning this clamp to the full-out would have to address two major areas:
o Releases bladder pressure in quick- The development of an alignment-
disconnect service head (QDSH). control subsystem.
Slips off QDSH and unplugs signal The conduct of an economic study
leads. and a market survey.
Adds stem section and tightens
connection after plugging-in signal A most attractive feature of horizontal
leads. hole-melting Subterrene systems is the ca-
Slips on QDSH, replugs signal leads pability of varying the accuracy of hole
to console and repressures bladder.
straightness to match job requirements.
Raises power and coolant flow to This is achieved by including or omitting
previous values.
the appropriate sections in the hole-forming
Regrips stem and applies previous
load. assembly.
The stem is retracted (when the hole The information and experience gained
is finished or for any other reason) with from the development and commercialization
the following steps; the operator: of the horizontal hole-melting system will
Reduces stem load to zero. be of value to other Subterrene system de-
velopments. The benefit derived can be an-
Reduces power to zero.
ticipated to be:
Reverses thrust load to retract mode.
Maintains coolant flow until the Field data on service life and
stem pulls freely (stem drag only). reliability of components, par-
Shuts off retraction force. ticularly penetrators.
Reduces coolant flow to zero and Extension of the technology to the
removes QDSH. melting of holes with curved paths.
Experience that will lead to hori-
Pulls out stem until the next stem zontal hole-melting systems with
connection is accessible. Loosens increased diameter and range.
and unscrews connection.
Unplugs signal leads and racks stem Adaptation of the perfected align-
section. ment-control scheme to vertical
hole-melting systems.

The successful development of the contribute to the development of a Geo-
horizontal, small-diameter melting system prospector, illustrated in Fig. 26, and
can contribute significantly to further de- will offer early inputs to the solutions of
velopments in subsequent S^.bterrene prog- position sensors and guidance problems.
rams. This influence is shown schematically
in Fig. 24. In addition to valuable ex-
perience and direct data on service life
and reliability obtained in commercial ap-
plications, the effort will help in forming
a scientific and engineering basis for de-
sign and optimisation of subsequent devices.
The very small-diameter melting penetrators
;see Fig. 25 for an early prototype) can
i.'ind uses such as punching holes in concrete
or masonry walls, but difficult miniaturiza-
tion problems will need to be solved if
long holes are to be made. In addition,
the experience with 75-mm-diam units will

Sralt Dfc-eur

fippl(fatten* for
l i t i l l ! , Lines, e-.c.

Cortrj tn ur-tcfisollfls
*P.3 0nie Forraticns


Fig. 24. Effect of 75-mm-diam horizontal Fig. 25. Early prototype of 10-mm-diam
Subterrene system on subsequent rock-melting subterrene.
research and development.




Fig. 26. Coring .Geoprospector with position sensor and directional
guidance systems capability.


1. E. S. Robinson, R. M. Potter, B. B. Mclnteer, J. C. Rowley, D. E. Armstrong,

R. L. Mills, M. C. Smith, Editor, "A Preliminary Study of the Nuclear
Subterrene", Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report LA-4547 (April 1972).
2. J. W. Neudecker, "Design Description of Melting-Consolidating Prototype
Subterrene Penetrators," Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report LA-5212-MS
(February 1973).
3. R. E. Williams and J. E. Griggs, "Use of the Rock-Melting Subterrene for
Formation of Drainage Holes in Archeological Sites," Los Alamos Scientific
Laboratory report LA-5370-MS (August 1973).
4. R. G. Gido, "Description of Field Tests for Rock-Melting Penetration,"
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report LA-5213-MS (February 1973).
5. J. W. Neudecker, A. J. Giger and D. E. Armstrong, "Design and Development
of Prototype Universal Extruding Subterrene Penetrators," Los Alamos
Scientific Laboratory report LA-5205-MS (March 1973).
6. R. E. Williams, "Development of a Modularized Mobile Rock-Melting
Subterrene Demonstration Unit," Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report
LA-5209-MS (March 1973).
7. D. L. Sims, "Identification of Potential Applications for Rock-Melting
Subterrenes," Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory ueport LA-5206-MS
(February 1973).
8. James Paone, "Horizontal Holes for Underground Power Lines," Proc.
Tunnel and Shaft Conf., Minneapolis, MN, May 15-17, 1968, pp 93-113.
9. R. L. Waters, The Electro-Mechanics Company, P. 0. Box 1546, Austin, TX,
letter communications, April 1973.
10. Sperry-Sun Well Surveying Catalogue 723, "Magnetic Steering Tool", p. 4049.
Sperry-Sun Well Surveying Co., P. 0. Box 36363, Houston, TX 77036
11. Humphrey, Inc. Bulletin FG-1270, "Surveyor Bore Hole Directional Systems",
Humphrey, Inc., 2605 Canon St., San Diego, CA 92106
12. C. Ishan, Scientific Drilling Control, 4040 Campus Drive, Newport Beach,
CA, personal communication, April 1973.
13. L. A. Rubin, "New Survey Systems for Drilling," Telcom, Inc., McLean, VA
14. J. W. Neudecker, "Conceptual Design of a Coring Subterrene Geoprospector",
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report in preparation.


The parameters affecting the design and Therefore, if the length, L, of the ACS unit
performance of the alignment control section is 1.0 m, the derivation at the end of the
(ACS) proposed in the main body of the re- unit will be given by
port can be derived by reference to Fig.
A-l. The temperature difference established A = = 0.0033 m = 3.3 mm.
across the diameter of the ASC by the di-
verted coolant will induce a curvature in If the ASC is initially rigidly fixed by a
the housing given by centralizer section at one end and the pen-
etrator at the other end. Fig. A - K b ) , it
1 _ a AT
(A-l) will exert a moment given by
P ~T~'
if the unit is free to deflect [Fig. A-l(a)], M = E If (A-2)
where AT = effective temperature difference; where
i) = radius of curvature E = elastic modulus of the material
from which the ACS is constructed
c. - mean coefficient of thermal
expansion I = area moment of the ACS cross
D = diameter of the housing. section.
Taking E = 207.0 GPa (30 x 10 6 lb f /in. 2 ),
Typical values for the projected design and
the data aboveand combining Egs. (A-l) and
materials are:
(A-2), the moment (M) and induced stress (a)
o = 6.0 x 10" 6 , K"1
D = 75 mm = 0.075 m
M = 2.6 x 10 3 N-m (2.27 x 10 in. lb f )
AT = 100 K.
a = 62 MPa (9.000 lb f /in. 2 ).
The curvature and radius of the deflected
path are .
This moment is of sufficient magnitude to
1 6.0 x 10" 6 x 10 8 0.008 m-1
^ SS mill - induce the required path deviation while
p 0.075
generating only low stresses in the hole-
forming assembly.
125 m.

- Glass Former Alignment Control - ...

Penetralor- Section I B e n I f l n a Moment
M j M

EE:306(110) -Devlotlon Snsor
Reaction or Indicotor

Fig. A-l. Proposed alignment control scheme.