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Blast Fragmentation Appraisal - Means to Improve Cost-Effectiveness in Mines

Blast Fragmentation Appraisal - Means to Improve Cost-Effectiveness in Mines

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Published by partha das sharma
Fragmentation is a major concern of any blasting operation. Information on the degree and size distribution of fragments within a blasted rock mass is essential for efficient rock loading and crushing operations. Estimation of blast fragmentation are generally done by considering four basic variables, i.e. rock properties, explosive properties, drilling pattern and bench geometry. Apart, in reality, because of the non-uniform burden along the bench height, the actual powder factor in the front row of holes could differ significantly from the one estimated assuming uniform burden. Ignoring this fact may result in a poor fit of the existing fragmentation models for the actual data.
Fragmentation is a major concern of any blasting operation. Information on the degree and size distribution of fragments within a blasted rock mass is essential for efficient rock loading and crushing operations. Estimation of blast fragmentation are generally done by considering four basic variables, i.e. rock properties, explosive properties, drilling pattern and bench geometry. Apart, in reality, because of the non-uniform burden along the bench height, the actual powder factor in the front row of holes could differ significantly from the one estimated assuming uniform burden. Ignoring this fact may result in a poor fit of the existing fragmentation models for the actual data.

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Published by: partha das sharma on Sep 10, 2010
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06/10/2014

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Blast Fragmentation AppraisalMeans to Improve Cost-Effectiveness in MinesAuthor: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engineering,E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com,Blog/Website: http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/ 1
Blast Fragmentation AppraisalMeans to Improve Cost-Effectiveness in Mines
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Author: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engineering,E.mail:sharmapd1@gmail.com,Blog/Website:http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/ 
 
1. Introduction -
A blasted rock muckpile and the fragment sizes within it are veryimportant for the mining industry since they affect the downstream processes fromhauling to grinding. The size distribution of the blasted muckpile can be predicted by avariety of semi empirical models which are based on blast design parameters, such asburden, spacing, drillhole diameter, bench height and explosives consumption. Despitetheir few limitations, models are commonly used, since they provide reasonable trends toevaluate changes in blast design parameters.The optimization of the final rock fragment/product size on a cost basis must result in theminimum total cost that the drilling and blasting design parameters can generate.Generally, the cost of drilling is the sum of two major components, capital andoperational cost, while the blasting cost consists of mostly the cost of explosives, blastingaccessories and labour.It is common for mine operators to seek the optimum drilling and blasting cost. However,when no fragmentation specifications are provided, this is a vague target. Similarly, it isquite common for mine operators to be concerned with fragmentation only whendifficulties in drilling and loading are encountered, or when a large amount of oversize isproduced, resulting in a general loss of productivity in the crusher and/or secondary
 
Abstract
Fragmentation is a major concern of any blasting operation. Information on the degreeand size distribution of fragments within a blasted rock mass is essential for efficientrock loading and crushing operations. Estimation of blast fragmentation are generallydone by considering four basic variables, i.e. rock properties, explosive properties,drilling pattern and bench geometry. Apart, in reality, because of the non-uniformburden along the bench height, the actual powder factor in the front row of holescould differ significantly from the one estimated assuming uniform burden. Ignoringthis fact may result in a poor fit of the existing fragmentation models for the actualdata.Drilling and blasting are seen as sub-systems of size reducing operations in mining.To have better design parameters for economical excavation of mineral productionand fragmentation, the comminution and fragmentation operations need to be studiedand optimized independently, as well as together, to create optimized use of energyand cost-effective operation. Thus, fragmentation is the basic concern in rock blastingand serves as the main measure of blasting effectiveness.
 
 
Blast Fragmentation AppraisalMeans to Improve Cost-Effectiveness in MinesAuthor: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engineering,E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com,Blog/Website: http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/ 2blasting. It is desirable to have a uniform fragment size distribution, avoiding both finesand oversizes. It is very important that blast pattern can be quickly and accuratelyanalyzed before actual blast. Any mining operators can minimize total production costsper ton of rock blasted. This requires an evaluation of the component costs, which includedrilling, blasting, loading, hauling and crushing costs.Blast fragmentation is mostly sent to the milling section for further reduction of size formetallurgical/chemical processing plants. In most cases the material from the crusher issent for grinding to reduce it to the required size for processing. Clearly it is important tobe able to accurately calculate the passing size from the mine, which should be at least80% feed size for the mill. This can be related to the blast design parameters, which inturn can be used to calculate cost at each drill-hole diameter assisting in the selection of adrill machine suitable to drill a required diameter size drill-hole with a minimum cost of production.
2. Mechanism of rock breakage by blasting -
Blasting theory is one of the mostinteresting, challenging, and controversial areas of the explosives engineering. Itencompasses many areas in the science of chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, shock wave interactions, and rock mechanics. In broad terms, rock breakage by explosivesinvolves the action of an explosive and the response on the surrounding rock mass withinthe realms of energy, time and mass. In spite of the tremendous amount of researchconducted in the last few decades, no single blasting theory has been developed andaccepted that adequately explains the mechanisms of rock breakage in all blastingconditions and material types. There is as yet no consistent and widely applicable theoryof blasting, but only a number of limited theories, many of which are empirical in natureand based on ideal situations. Generally, reflected theory is considered due to itssimplicity and ease of application.Rock fracture resulting from explosion process of explosives load in drill holes dependon the number of free faces, the burden, the hole placement and rock geometry, thephysical properties and loading density of the explosive, the type of stemming, the rock structure and mechanical strength, and other factors. Final fragmentation in a benchblasting operation can be attributed to a combination of:* Crushing of the rock immediately around the explosive cavity;* Initial radial fracturing due to tensile tangential stress component in the outgoing stresswave;
 
Bond, in 1961, presented his third law of comminution, formulating a mathematicalequation to calculate the amount of work done on the 80% passing particle feed size toconvert it into 80% passing particle product size, using a constant, called the Work Index, to balance the equation. Bond’s Work Index is defined as the energy in Kwhper short ton required to reduce the material from theoretically infinite feed size to80% passing an opening size of 100 microns. This law is still widely used and to dateno other law has proven to be better.
 
Blast Fragmentation AppraisalMeans to Improve Cost-Effectiveness in MinesAuthor: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engineering,E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com,Blog/Website: http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/ 3* Secondary radial fractures formed at the surface, propagating inward, due to enhancedtangential stress accompanying free surface displacement;* Extension of the initial radial fractures by reflected radial tensile strain at obliqueangles to the surface;* Joining of inward propagating radial fractures with initially created outward radialfractures;* Tangential fractures formed at the surface, propagating parallel to the free surface;* Tensile separation and shear of rock at places of weakness in the rock mass;* Separation of the rock due to reflected radial tensile strain;* Fracture and acceleration of fragments by strain energy release;* Further fracture and acceleration of broken rock by late expanding gases; and* Pre- existing discontinuities in the rock mass.Most of the rock breakage in a blast occurs at a free face as a result of spalling, whichoccurs when a compressive wave is reflected at a free boundary. The slabs, which arespalled from the rock edge, are formed in a succession of increasing thickness, where thenumber of slabs depends on the amplitude and duration of the stress wave.The shock wave generated by the blast travels to the free surface from which it reflects. If the tensile strength is low, compared to the amplitude of the tensile portion of the wave,the rock face will spall. The spalled rock then travel away from the remaining rock with acertain velocity. This is obviously a contribution to the overall ‘heave’ of burden rock.
3. Extent of blast damage zone -
The prediction and observation of the nature and extentof the damage produced in the surrounding rock when an explosive charge detonates in aborehole is of major practical significance for engineered rock excavation. The radius of the damage zone formed when a cylindrical charge detonates in a rock mass is one of themost important parameters required in the development of a scientifically based methodfor designing blast patterns. The process taking place in the rock surrounding a charge isso complex that an exact mathematical description is presently impossible. The damagemechanisms change as the distance from the explosion increases.
4. Factors of Blast Design -
Preliminary blast design parameters are based on rock mass-explosive-geometry combinations, which are later adjusted on the basis of field feedback using that design. The primary requisites for any blasting round are that it ensuresoptimum results for existing operating conditions, possesses adequate flexibility, and isrelatively simple to employ. It is important that the relative arrangement of blast-holeswithin a round be properly balanced to take advantage of the energy released by theexplosives and the specific properties of the materials being blasted. There are alsoenvironmental and operational factors peculiar to each mine that will limit the choice of blasting patterns. The design of any blasting plan depends on the two types of variables;uncontrollable variables or factors such as geology, rock characteristics, regulations orspecifications as well as the distance to the nearest structures, and controllable variablesor factors. The blast design must provide adequate fragmentation, to ensure that loading,haulage, and subsequent disposal or processing is accomplished at the lowest cost.

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