Stop the Leak II - The 'Improved' Junk Shot of Decreasing Diameters
As of 5/29/10, the 'Top Kill / Junk Shot' method of trying to stop the leak has not worked. They've tried golf balls, rope, and assorted other stuff--not very scientific. Those little white 'floaties' seen in the live cams are those items being ripped apart for lunch by the system.
My idea is of 'Decreasing Diameters' is more scientific. It improves the 'Junk Shot' by using numerous layers of balls of various sizes starting with 1-1/2" diameter, then 1", then 3/4", etc. to 1/16" dia. The material should be Delrin, Carbon Fiber, or other suitable material / composite to withstand the liquid and gaseous pressures of 6000 psi, and the forces of hammering into each.
The theory: Use spherical shapes (balls) because of its ruggedness, verses something with sharp edges which can break off, and something that is a different size. Each layer of balls (approximately 2ft high) keeps each other layer of smaller balls below it in place--it would be very difficult for them to pass. By the time you get to the 1/16" dia. balls, there should be enough resistance for the mud to work (be stopped) because of the similar viscosities from one to the next.
The illustration shows the concept, but it should be proven by FEA / flow analysis.
In service to our country and passion for design,