Drilling. Wednesday , October 04th , 2017 - 08:06:59 AM
Antique drilling rig now on display at Western History Museum in Lingle, Wyoming. It was used to drill many water wells in that area—many of those wells are still in use.
In the 1970s, outside of the oil and gas industry, roller bits using mud circulation were replaced by the first pneumatic reciprocating piston Reverse Circulation (RC) drills, and became essentially obsolete for most shallow drilling, and are now only used in certain situations where rocks preclude other methods.
RAB drilling is used most frequently in the mineral exploration industry. (This tool is also known as a Down-the-hole drill.) The drill uses a pneumatic reciprocating piston-driven "hammer" to energetically drive a heavy drill bit into the rock. The drill bit is hollow, solid steel and has ~20 mm thick tungsten rods protruding from the steel matrix as "buttons". The tungsten buttons are the cutting face of the bit.
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