One of the most challenging ground formations for diamond drilling is fractured ground. When drilling in highly fractured or broken ground, you run the risk of hitting a void or large fracture and having your drill water escape through that fault. Similarly, in an underground drilling environment, groundwater is often unexpectedly encountered in the drill hole. Extremely high flow rates and pressures are not uncommon.
A great tool to have on hand when these things occur is the Aquaguard. Aquaguard is a water limiter that allows you to cross high pressure water inflow zones. There are x good reasons to have this tool in your box.
- Improves safety
In certain situations, drill crews can find water spouting from the hole at a rate of 1000PSI and 600 gallons per minute and temperatures in excess of 125 °F causing hazardous working conditions. Furthermore, while recovering core samples, there is an increased risk of the inner tube exiting the drill hole at high speed due to excess water pressure pushing the tube out the drill string. Having uncontrolled ascent or descent of the inner tube assembly is extremely dangerous. If that isn’t enough of a safety issue, then simply having a mine with a work site covered in water can increase the risk of slips and falls.
- It reduces downtime and increases drilling efficiency
High pressure and high flow groundwater can have disastrous results for a drilling operation. Time and efficiency is lost when drillers have to deal with high pressure water that is gushing out of the drill hole. Having to deal with high inflows for many consecutive hours is hazardous, strenuous and extremely time consuming, and oftentimes, drilling may have to stop completely.
When drilling operations have had to stop or slow down, you can insert the AquaGuard is into the core barrel. The product’s valve partially limits the water from flowing into the drill string when positive pumping pressure is off. The valve closes on itself, similar to a check valve, when the inner tube is recovered using wireline coring methods. When the inner tube is pumped back into the hole, the AquaGuard valve will reopen to allow the tube to gain its locked position.
- Improves core recovery in difficult conditions
It is already difficult getting good core recovery when the ground is fractured and has clay and sand. If you also faced with having high pressure water spewing out of the bore hole, hole completion can drop to only 50%. In mines, conditions can become so bad that drilling crews can end up with losing a hole or drilling with zero core recovery. This kind of high pressure ground water can wash away core samples as well. Using the Aquaguard will reduce water inflow dramatically and core from being washed away.
- Keeps work site clean
Operations are also affected when drilling stations are being flooded with excess water flowing into the mine work area and the primary travel ways causing erosion of the roads. Making sure that tools, equipment and other necessities of a drill site have not been soaked by unexpected groundwater is an important bonus.
The Aquaguard has been successful in reducing water inflows dramatically - from up to 800
GPM to only 20 GPM. It is a great product that really improves drilling performance and makes drillers’ lives easier. If you want to learn more about this product, you can always contact someone from our technical support team. They are always happy to share their knowledge with you.