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  Construction Technology: Microwaves to facilitate propulsion under the earth | Bit Updates
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Construction Technology: Microwaves to facilitate propulsion under the earth

Friday, September 29th, 2017 | bitcoin updates

    (Picture: Cooper.ch / Wikipedia / cc-by-sa-2.5)
             Austrian researchers are working on a method to simplify tunneling with microwaves.


        On hard granite, many of the tunnel drill heads are still biting their teeth. Researchers from the Montanuniversität Leoben in Styria have now found a way to soften the rocks with microwaves. The 25 kilowatt strong prototype directed the radiation into the sample rock with a hose-like applicator. Simulations have shown that short but powerful pulses soften the granite most efficiently. This results in cracks that make conventional drilling technology easier to work, Technology Review reports in its online edition ("Quick tunneling with microwaves").
The idea of ​​pretreatment of granite with microwaves is not new according to the researchers. However, nobody has made such concrete calculations. The time is ripe, she says. "All the common methods of drawing have one thing in common: they want to break the rocks first, so to create surfaces, but only a small part of the energy really goes into this surface creation." The bulk of the work is lost in the form of heat the Montanuniversität Leoben. However, explosions or purely mechanical methods with large machines are actually very inefficient. "This is a huge waste of energy, we do not want to completely replace the mechanical degradation process, but that is not possible, but we can make it easier."
However, prior to being used in practice, further questions have to be clarified for the new process, for example in the case of fire protection. The method has already been tested in a microwave installation, but not yet in the tunnel. The performance in the practice test is about 25 times a conventional microwave oven from the kitchen. From a technical point of view, nothing is in the way of an implementation, the researchers say.
Read more at Technology Review Online: (bsc)


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