Integrated Thermal Spallation Drill for Heterogeneous Ground Conditions
Arcbyt is developing a small-diameter ultrafast tunneling construction tool to underground power lines in heterogeneous soil conditions. The tool can operate in both hard rock and soft sediments and enable cost-effective undergrounding. Digging through hard rock typically requires higher-power, oversized machines, which complicates undergrounding in urban and suburban environments. Instead, Arcbyt seeks to tunnel through hard rock using thermal spallation drilling which breaks rock into small pieces via thermal shock without touching or melting any rock material. At the same time, the same tool will have a multi-modal drilling head that can interchange the drill head in situ as it encounters different types of geologic conditions without pulling back to switch the tool head, dramatically reducing the time and cost required for underground installations. The approach requires minimal thrust, takes a smaller surface footprint, and has lower power requirements than conventional approaches.