Fauvelle, Pierre-Pascal

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b. 4 June 1797 Rethel, Ardennes, France
d. 19 December 1867 Perpignan, France
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French inventor of hydraulic boring.
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While attending the drilling of artesian wells in southern France in 1833, Fauvelle noticed that the debris from the borehole was carried out by the ascending water. This observation caused him to conceive the idea that the boring process need not necessarily be interrupted in order to clear the hole with an auger. It took him eleven years to develop his idea and to find financial backing to carry out his project in practice. In 1844, within a period of fifty-four days, he secretly bored an artesian well 219 m (718 ft) deep in Perpignan. One year later he secured his invention with a patent in France, and with another the following year in Spain.
Fauvelle's process involved water being forced by a pressure pump through hollow rods to the bottom of the drill, whence it ascended through the annular space between the rod and the wall of the borehole, thus flushing the mud up to the surface. This method was similar to that of Robert Beart who had secured a patent in Britain but had not put it into practice. Although Fauvelle was not primarily concerned with the rotating action of the drill, his hydraulic boring method and its subsequent developments by his stepson, Alphonse de Basterot, formed an important step towards modern rotary drilling, which began with the work of Anthony F. Lucas near Beaumont, Texas, at the turn of the twentieth century. In the 1870s Albert Fauck, who also contributed important developments to the structure of boring rigs, had combined Fauvelle's hydraulic system with core-boring in the United States.
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Bibliography
1846, "Sur un nouveau système de forage", Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences, pp. 438–40; also printed in 1847 in Le Technologiste 8, pp. 87–8.
Further Reading
A.Birembeaut, 1968, "Pierre-Pascal Fauvelle", Dictionnaire de biographie française, vol. 13, pp. 808–10; also in L'Indépendant, Perpignan, 5–10 February (biography).
A.de Basterot, 1868, Puits artésiens, sondages de mines, sondages d'études, système
Fauvelle et de Basterot, Brussels (a detailed description of Fauvelle's methods and de Basterot's developments).
WK

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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