Drilling bits which exploit the destructive energy of cavitation are being developed. A systematic series of tests is now under way, first to establish feasibility, and then to define the effective adaptation of the CAVIJET™ cavitating water jet method for augmenting the cutting action of mechanical deep-hole drilling bits. Successful drilling tests, using a 1/4-in. (6.4-mm) CAVIJET nozzle, were performed at atmospheric pressure and in a test chamber which provided simulated wellbore pressures up to 3000 psi(21 MPa). The effect of back pressure on standoff distance, and a comparison of steady jet versus CAVIJET cutting efficiencies are discussed.

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