Thermal spallation is a possible drilling technique which consists of using hot supersonic jets as heat source to perforate hard rocks at high rates. This work presents a numerical analysis of a typical spallation drilling configuration, by the finite volume method. The time-averaged conservation equations of mass, momentum and energy are solved to determine the turbulent compressible gas phase flow field. Turbulence is predicted by the classical high Reynolds number κ-ε model, as well as with a low Reynolds number κ-ε model. The influence of the jet Reynolds number is investigated. Special attention is given to the rock surface temperature, since its accurate determination is required to predict spallation rates under field-drilling conditions.

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