Chilean Mine Rescue & Tube Technologies Drill Rod

Tube Technologies Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota lived up to its name recently. The Company was proud to have engineered, and manufactured Drill Pipe that was selected to advance the boring utilized to establish the rescue shaft for the Chilean Miners at the San Jose Mine.

Photo courtesy of Schramm Inc.

Photo courtesy of Schramm Inc.

The Drill pipe was a heavy wall 8 ½ inch full flow design manufactured at the Minneapolis facility. The manufacturing technology equipped the Pipe with a Inertia Welded Tool Joint, crafted from high quality alloy steel , and then heat treated to further enhance its strength and durability which is measured by the steel’s minimum yield strength at (135,000 PSI ) and its tensile strength. The tubing used in the mid-body of the pipe was a seamless steel grade 4125M, Quench and Tempered to 110,000 Minimum PSI Yield.

This pipe was initially designed by Tube Technologies staff after being called to Chile last year to help with drill pipe problems that were being encountered drilling 28” diameter, 2500’ deep water wells for the mining company’s processing, water supply.

Schramm T 130 Drill – One of 3 rigs working to rescue the miners was successful

The selection of our pipe for such a perilous mission was indeed flattering, and a testament to the product’s quality, all quality control specifications for this Drill Pipe was according to API. We were happy to be of service – delighted for the Miners, their families and the country of Chile” commented Tube Technologies Inc. President Thomas Ronnkvist.

The task of drilling the half mile to reach the miners was not an easy one, as the geology in this region is unusually hard, and fractured. The difficulty of the unfriendly geology was compounded as the drill pipe had to endure the boring’s irregular path to the miners which twisted and turned to avoid collapsed and voided areas in this heavily mined region.

The manufacture of deep hole rod is not a new task for tube technologies – They make their living by engineering, and manufacturing high strength drill pipe for global markets that can reach more than a 3 miles into the earth’s crust to tap natural oil and gas deposits.

Tube Technologies is also a Mincon Down the hole hammer distributor, and this company also contributed to the successful rescue. A hole 5-3/8" (136mm) in diameter was drilled 2300 ft using the Mincon MX5053 reverse circulation hammer and drill bits. The initial lifeline hole established the “all important communication link”... with the miners and Mincon Inc. was thrilled to have their in hole tools chosen for this daunting task.

A number of other US companies also played significant roles in the rescue - Schramm Inc. who manufactured the T 130 drill, Layne Christensen provided drilling crews, and on site expertise. Center Rock Inc. the large diameter DTH hammer that drilled the final phase of the rescue shaft. These US companies worked side by side with the Chilean companies, Geotech Boyles Brothers SA, Major Drilling SA, TerraServices Inc. and Adviser Drilling to manage this incredible successful outcome.