WORTHINGTON, Ohio — Global advanced materials leader Hyperion Materials & Technologies and Italian manufacturerrecently combined decades of expertise in their respective fields to develop a cutting-edge, high-efficiency jet grouting system used in soil drilling.
Jet grouting involves injecting grout, a mixture of cement and water (typically with a 1:1 ratio), into the ground to break up and mix soil. The technique improves underground support or reduces water flow through an area, and it is often used in the construction of bridges, dams and tunnels because it can access hard-to-reach places.
Because the grout is abrasive, corrosive and pumped at high pressures, equipment used in the process must be extremely strong and resistant to wear.
CRM understands these challenges very well, having built a reputation during the past 30-plus years as a leading drilling tool designer and manufacturer. Eventually, CRM’s constant goal of creating better solutions for its drilling clients led to Hyperion, which has more than 60 years of experience developing hard and super-hard materials (carbide, cubic boron nitride and synthetic diamond) for the most demanding applications.
Combining decades of soil drilling and material science know-how, the two innovators teamed up to explore ways to incorporate tungsten carbide wear parts into jet grouting equipment.
“Hyperion’s mission is to develop new products and new grades that create solutions that enhance our customers’ operations through superior performance and reduced costs,” said Paolo Ocleppo, Sales & Segment Manager for Hyperion’s Wear Applications business. “We were able to do that because our sales engineer Paolo Valentino built a great relationship with CRM, and Lilian Monteil, our field application manager, designed a unique concept that provided a solution to a problem they had been struggling with for long time.”
Carbide, a composite material comprised of tungsten, carbon, cobalt and other additives, is known for its strength, hardness and toughness. More importantly, a key feature of carbide is its versatility. Through decades of experience in customizing carbide grades for customers, Hyperion has the expertise to vary the composition to produce products that meet the specific physical and chemical properties of the application.
“Hyperion’s added value was the transfer of know-how and the capability of explaining in a clear and detailed way the production process of the carbide components and their metallurgical properties,” said Valerio Salvi, R&D Manager and a second-generation owner of CRM. “Those activities were carried out in an informal way during both the design and procurement phases and during visits for training purposes. Those aspects are a clear differential advantage of Hyperion compared to other competitors.”
In the case of CRM, Hyperion’s staff at its production unit in Epinouze, France, engineered and produced carbide grades for jet grouting that possess an ideal balance in resistance to wear, deformation, fracture, corrosion and oxidation. The result was jet grouting equipment optimized for performance and reliability. CRM’s new premium systems can perform at higher pressures, drill faster, require less maintenance and last longer — all of which contribute to higher profitability, cost savings and less down time for drilling companies.
Salvi said Hyperion’s high-quality standards, dedication to customization and attentiveness to small-to-medium-sized businesses were critical in developing the new equipment.
“Thanks to the relationship built by the sales representative and to a design that no other carbide manufacturer has ever produced, we were able to produce a high-efficiency jet grouting system that today is a cutting-edge product,” he said. “As an added benefit, this further contributes to building our brand’s reputation as innovative and high-tech.”
Ocleppo added, “This is proof of what we can achieve by staying close to the customer and by having a production unit supplying high-quality components in the requested lead time.”