Drilling through a 204-meter thick ice shelf

PNR Italia nozzles in a scientific campaign in Antarctica

Drilling through a 204-meter thick ice shelf

PNR Italia nozzles in a scientific campaign in Antarctica

Denman Terrestrial Campaign

Australia is conducting a significant scientific campaign to examine one of the fastest-retreating glaciers in East Antarctica: the Denman Glacier, vulnerable to climate change, alone poses a potential threat of sea-level rise of 1.5 meters.

Photos courtesy of Lancaster University

To better understand this critical region, the Australian Antarctic Division is coordinating a three-year scientific mission to study the Denman Glacier system.

In addition to the Australian Antarctic Division, scientists from Lancaster University, the University of Tasmania, The University of Melbourne, and the University of Canberra played significant roles in the expedition.


Our client is Lancaster University, which participated in the Denman Terrestrial Campaign. The need was to drill through the Shackleton Ice Shelf, a large ice shelf covering an area of approximately 33,820 km² along the eastern part of Antarctica.

The shelf is divided into two by a large ice tongue formed by the Denman Glacier, which contributes to feed a large proportion of the ice to the floating ice shelf.

The shelf’s thickness at the study’s point of interest was 204 meters. The objective was to access the underlying ocean to acquire measurements and samples of ice, ocean water, and the seabed.

The need was to drill through the Shackleton Ice Shelf; the thickness of the ice at the point of interest for the study was 204 meters.


Thanks to the local distributor PNR UK, we were able to supply Lancaster University scientists with F and D nozzles. Our nozzles, connected to hot pressurized water lances, successfully penetrated the ice.

Photos from the expedition

Photos courtesy of Lancaster University

Hot pressurized water lance

Photos courtesy of Lancaster University


The scientific team spent approximately 4 hours drilling through 204 meters of ice, followed by an additional hour to retrieve the drill back to the surface for logging purposes.

Utilizing a range of nozzle sizes enabled the team to achieve an efficient balance among drilling speed, time, borehole diameter, and pressure. Drilling operations were conducted at around 150 bar using 80°C water, necessitating a borehole diameter exceeding 20 cm to accommodate the logging equipment post-drilling. Initially employing two drill units with a larger cone nozzle maximized borehole size. For situations requiring quick drilling of narrow boreholes, the team found pencil jet nozzles particularly effective.



F-flat jet nozzles are designed for high-pressure washing. Their accurate internal profile allows a uniform jet distribution and an effective and consistent washing action on the entire surface to be treated.


D full cone nozzle with wide passage X-vanes offers a full choice of spray angles, capacities ranging from 0.74 and 1470 lpm @3bar and connections from 1/8″ to 4″.

World Water Day 2024

April 22, 2024
Earth day

Earth Day is the name used to indicate the day on which the environment and the protection of planet Earth are celebrated. The United Nations celebrates this occasion every year, one month and one day after the spring equinox, on April 22nd. The celebration aims to involve as many nations as possible and today 193 countries are taking part.

Why do we participate in Earth Day?

With the campaign “Every drop is unique” we aim to bring together all of PNR Italia’s sustainable actions and highlight case studies and applications that bring various environmental benefits.

We are excited to celebrate Earth Day, showcasing our commitment to sustainability and conservation of natural resources. Every single action and every drop of resource is precious and irreplaceable. As manufacturers of nozzles, we understand how crucial it is to preserve water and reduce waste in both daily and industrial activities.

Every drop is unique | #PNR4thewater

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