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Title: Methods of using a laser to spall and drill holes in rocks

Abstract

Apparatus and methods of using lasers are provided for spalling and drilling holes into rocks. A rock removal process is provided that utilizes a combination of laser-induced thermal stress and laser induced superheated steam explosions just below the surface of the laser/rock interaction to spall the rock into small fragments that can then be easily removed by a purging flow. Single laser beams of given irradiance spall rock and create holes having diameter and depth approximately equal to the beam spot size. A group of the single laser beams are steered in a controllable manner by an electro-optic laser beam switch to locations on the surface of the rock, creating multiple overlapping spalled holes thereby removing a layer of rock of a desired diameter. Drilling of a deep hole is achieved by spalling consecutive layers with an intermittent feed motion of the laser head perpendicular to the rock surface.

Inventors:
; ; ; ;
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Uchicago Argonne, LLC, Chicago, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1531562
Patent Number(s):
7,416,258
Application Number:
11/404,698
Assignee:
UChicago Argonne, LLC (Chicago, IL)
DOE Contract Number:  
W-31-109-ENG-38
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2006-04-14
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 58 GEOSCIENCES; 02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS

Citation Formats

Reed, Claude B., Xu, Zhiyue, Parker, Richard A., Graves, Ramona M., and Stone, Thomas W. Methods of using a laser to spall and drill holes in rocks. United States: N. p., 2008. Web.
Reed, Claude B., Xu, Zhiyue, Parker, Richard A., Graves, Ramona M., & Stone, Thomas W. Methods of using a laser to spall and drill holes in rocks. United States.
Reed, Claude B., Xu, Zhiyue, Parker, Richard A., Graves, Ramona M., and Stone, Thomas W. Tue . "Methods of using a laser to spall and drill holes in rocks". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1531562.
@article{osti_1531562,
title = {Methods of using a laser to spall and drill holes in rocks},
author = {Reed, Claude B. and Xu, Zhiyue and Parker, Richard A. and Graves, Ramona M. and Stone, Thomas W.},
abstractNote = {Apparatus and methods of using lasers are provided for spalling and drilling holes into rocks. A rock removal process is provided that utilizes a combination of laser-induced thermal stress and laser induced superheated steam explosions just below the surface of the laser/rock interaction to spall the rock into small fragments that can then be easily removed by a purging flow. Single laser beams of given irradiance spall rock and create holes having diameter and depth approximately equal to the beam spot size. A group of the single laser beams are steered in a controllable manner by an electro-optic laser beam switch to locations on the surface of the rock, creating multiple overlapping spalled holes thereby removing a layer of rock of a desired diameter. Drilling of a deep hole is achieved by spalling consecutive layers with an intermittent feed motion of the laser head perpendicular to the rock surface.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {8}
}

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