Published in Computational Particle Mechanics, pp. 1-23, 2022
A numerical technique based on a CFD-DEM method is presented for the analysis of particle impact drilling (PID) systems. The method is built from a preexisting finite element Navier–Stokes solver for the fluid phase and a discrete element method module for the steel particles which this drilling technology utilizes to enhance the penetration rate. We provide a detailed description of the most relevant implementation issues, including our choice of the hydrodynamic forces appropriate for power-law fluids. We also discuss several critical aspects related to the validity of the simplifying assumptions that will be helpful to simulation engineers. We apply our simple, one-way coupled approach on designs provided by an industrial partner to illustrate its potential as an analysis tool for this promising drilling technology. The goal of this work is, on the one hand, to provide evidence for the usefulness of the numerical approach as a design tool for PID systems, as well as a detailed discussion of the different aspects to be assessed for an effective simulation campaign. On the other hand, a series of modeling aspects that require further work are identified. The focus of the simulation campaign presented is on the particles and fluid flow characteristics within the drill bit.
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