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Calculation of Effective Charge Weight in Vibration Analysis P.K. Singh1,2, B. Mohanty1, and M. P.

Roy2
1

Lassonde Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada 2 Central Mining Research Institute, Dhanbad, India

Abstract The question as to what constitutes a true charge weight per delay in multi-hole blasts, and its relation to the resulting vibration signals has been investigated in detail. The 500 kg emulsion test charge was used in single-hole as well as in distributed-hole blasts in two large open-pit coal mines. Tri-axial geophones located in a linear array over a distance range of 200m to 5.6km from the blasts were employed to record the respective vibrations. The results showed that there was a significant difference in the recorded vibration level between a single-hole blast containing a specific amount of explosives, and that of a multi-hole blast containing the same total charge and detonated at the same time. The former yielded consistently higher levels of vibrations, with the maximum variation exceeding 40%. It has been shown that the variation between the two cases is minimized when the effective charge weight is taken to be closer to the square-root or the cube-root of the number of holes detonating at the same time instead of their arithmetic sum. . Introduction Control of blasting vibrations has assumed a key role in all mining and quarrying operations (Dowding, 1996). Its use, in one aspect, is tied to minimizing over-break and dilution, proper sequencing of a delay blast to improve overall blast results, and to investigate firing time scatter of detonators and explosive performance (Mohanty and Yang, 1997; Keller and Kramer, 2000). In these roles, the analysis and control of blast-induced vibrations continue to be investigative in nature. The other aspect, and perhaps the more important one because of its regulative nature, has to do with limiting vibration levels to minimize potential damage to dwellings and adverse reaction by people living in the vicinity of blasting operations (Oriard, 1999; Aimone-Martin et al, 2000; Siskind, 2000).

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The basis of vibration analysis consists of deriving a predictor equation from recorded vibrations as a function of distance and explosive charge weight. There are several unresolved issues in this approach however, and they continue to be the subject of extensive research. These include near-field vs. far-field recording, distinction between short and long charges, determining the vibration limit for blast-induced damage in rock, and the use of seed waveform in controlling vibration amplitude (Holmberg and Persson, 1978; Hustrulid and Wenbo, 2002). In deriving predictive curves for limiting blasting vibrations, the concept of charge weight per delay remains central. It is based on the assumption that all the holes firing within a nominal 8 millisecond delay interval must be considered cumulative in terms of the total charge weight. The usual firing time scatter characteristic of pyrotechnic detonators on one hand, and precision of the electronic detonators on the other, make this assumption highly subjective (Farnfield and Yuill, 2001; Mohanty and Wong, 2004). The inapplicability of the 8-msec rule has been demonstrated by several researchers in the past (Anderson, 1989; Moore and Richards, 2002). This paper analyzes this issue of charge weight per delay in detail through monitoring of specially designed as well as regular production blasts in open-pit coal mines at two different locations. Experimental Arrangement A 500 kg of explosive charge was selected as the test charge. The study involved monitoring of vibrations from a single-hole blast, and the results compared with those from distributed charges containing the same 500 kg of explosive in total. The distributed charge holes consisted of two to five holes initiated at the same time. Simultaneity of detonation was achieved through a combination of downline detonating cord and boosters at the toe of each hole. To accommodate the varying charge weights in the tests, the spacing and burden as well as the respective hole depths were adjusted to yield equivalent blast results from the different blasts. The bench heights in these blasts employing emulsion explosives varied from 10m to 40m, and the borehole diameter ranged from 270 mm to 310 mm. A total of 52 blasts were monitored with up to 12 tri-axial seismic stations, located in a linear array over a distance of 200m to 5.6km from the blasts. Altogether 860 vibration data were separated and classified into two groups of blasts. The first group dealt with the case where the charge weight per delay

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was the amount of explosive detonated in a single hole. The second group consisted of the same charge weight distributed among two or more holes. Effective Charge Weight in Multi-hole Delay Blasts The vibration data recorded from detonation of more than one hole in a delay in a blast were grouped separately from those involving single-hole blasts but containing the same total explosive charge.. The charge per delay was not concentrated in one hole but distributed in multiple holes. The effective charge per delay, Qeff was computed as: Qeff = (Nm)*Qavg, kg, where, N is the number of holes fired in a delay, and Qav the average charge weight in each hole, and the exponent mis assigned a range of values (i.e. 1.0, 0.85, 0.75, 0.67, 0.5, 0.33, 0.25, 0.15 and 0.0). The two limiting cases represent the simple arithmetic sum of all the charges in a single delay, and the average weight of explosive in a single hole respectively.
1000 Single hole (SH) Multi hole (MH) Single hole (SH) Multi hole (MH) 100
PPV (mm/s)

10

SH : Qmax = Qavg MH : Qmax = (N^1.0)*Qavg. 1 0.1 1 Scaled Distance (m/kg^1/2) 10 100

Figure 1. Plots of PPV due to blasting of single and multiple holes in a delay (considering Qmax is N1.0 times Qavg in multi-hole delay blast) at dragline bench of Nigahi project.

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The range of the exponent yielded nine sets of scaled distance figures against which the corresponding vector sum of the peak particle velocity (ppv) could be plotted for each of the two mine sites (i.e. Jayant and Nigahi). The vibration plots (i.e. ppv vs. scaled distance) for selected values of the exponent m (i.e. 1.0, 0.5 and 0.0) are shown in Figs. 1-3.

1000 Single hole (SH) Multi hole (MH) Single hole (SH) Multi hole (MH) 100
PPV (mm/s)

10

SH : Qmax = Qavg MH : Qmax = (N^0.50)*Qavg. 1 0.1 1 Scaled Distance (m/kg^1/2) 10 100

Figure 2. Plots of PPV due to blasting of single and multiple holes in a delay (considering Qmax is N0.50 times Qavg ) at dragline bench of Nigahi project.

Analysis of the results shows that the recorded peak particle velocity is always higher for the single-hole case than the multiple-hole case for identical total explosive charge weight in the two cases. This is clearly shown even for the whole range of possible values for the exponent m (Fig. 4).

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1000 Single hole (SH) Multi hole (MH) Single hole (SH) Multi hole (MH) 100
PPV (mm/s)

10

SH : Qmax = Qavg MH : Qmax = (N^0.0)*Qavg. 1 0.1 1 Scaled Distance (m/kg^1/2) 10 100

Figure 3. Plots of PPV due to blasting of single & multi-holes in a delay (considering Qmax is N0 times of Qavg in multiple holes) at dragline bench of Nigahi project.
60

% difference in PPV for Single Hole &

50

40

Scaled Distance= 05 Scaled Distance= 10 Scaled Distance= 20 Scaled Distance= 30 Scaled Distance= 50 Scaled Distance= 100

Multi Hole blast

30

20

10

0 N^1.0*Q N^0.85*Q N^0.75*Q N^0.67*Q N^0.5*Q N^0.33*Q N^0.25*Q N^0.15*Q N^0.0*Q

Effective scaling of charges in multiple holes

Figure 4. Calculated % difference of PPV due to blasting of single and multiple holes in a delay with identical total charge weight for various values of scaled distance and scaling exponent m at Nigahi operation. It shows the percentage difference in recorded ppv between single- and multiple-hole case containing the same total explosive

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charge weight for whole range of the exponent m. This range incorporates all the values, i.e. assuming that the total explosive weight is the simple arithmetic sum of all the charges detonating at the same time, to that only the average charge weight in each hole tied to the same delay contributes to the resulting particle velocity, and all the cases in-between. The figure shows a saddle shape, with the minimum difference for ppv between single and multiple holes being represented by the exponent m = ~0.50 to 0.33. In other words, in the case of multiple holes per delay, the effective charge weight scales as either square-root or the cube-root of the number of holes. Discussion on effective charge per delay The analysis of data shows that vibration recorded from detonation of each hole independently in a blast round with certain charge weight and delay interval, and similar amount of explosive distributed in two or more holes generated significantly different levels of vibrations. In every case, single-hole detonation yields higher vibration levels than multiple holes with the same delay and containing the same total charge. It is observed that as the scaling exponent varies, so does the percentage variation in peak particle velocity between the single-hole blast and multi-hole blast with identical total charge weights. It shows the difference to be maximum (~45%) for the two extreme cases, i.e. assuming the effective charge weight to be the arithmetic sum (m=1) or the charge weight to be equal to that contained in a single hole in a multi-hole delay blast. This is shown to hold for all scaled distances. The minimum error between a concentrated charge and a distributed charge is found for the case when the scaling exponent m is between 0.50 and 0.33 (i.e. between square- root and cube-root of the number of holes detonating at the same time). Figures 5-6 show a comparison of calculated errors between a single-hole and multi-hole blast with the same delay and total charge weight at three scaled distances (i.e. 1.0, and 100) for both Jayant and Nigahi operations. Both show the same trend in percentage variation between concentrated and distributed explosive charges; although the variation is smaller for the Jayant site. They show that the error is minimized when the effective charge weight in a multi-hole/delay blast is taken to be either the square-root or the cube-root of the number of holes detonating at a given time, instead of assuming simple arithmetic

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sum of the explosive weights contained in all the holes in that delay period.
50 45 40
% difference in PPV for Single Hole &

Jayant Project Nigahi Project

35
Multi Hole blast

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Ef f ec tiv e s c aling of c harges in multiple holes

Figure 5. Calculated % difference of PPV between single and multihole blast in a delay with same total charge at a scaled distance of 1.0 at both Jayant and Nigahi operations.

60

Jayant Project
50
% difference in PPV for Single Hole &

Nigahi Project

40
Multi Hole blast

30

20

10

Ef f ec tiv e s c aling of c harges in multiple holes

Figure 6. Calculated % difference of PPV between single and multihole blast in a delay with same total charge at a scaled distance of 100 at both Jayant and Nigahi operations.

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This exponent scaling has strong parallels with array design of antennae, geophones, or wherever multiple sources or receivers are employed. Through the principle of reciprocity, an array of geophones can be replaced by multiple seismic sources, which in this case are represented by the blast holes, with identical results. It can be shown that an array of geophones serving as receivers and when their output is summed, the random signal amplitude is scaled by a factor of N0.5, where N is the number of geophones in the array (Telford et al, 1976). In other words, the resultant signal is not a simple summation of individual signals at the geophones in the array, but scales as the squareroot of the number of geophones. It is to be noted that in this investigation, it was assumed that the geological conditions were consistent throughout at the respective sites. Considering the relatively large distances for location of the vibration recording stations, this would be a reasonable assumption. This is further supported by the relatively low scatter in the recorded data. It was also assumed that explosive parameters remained constant throughout. In future studies, this will be ascertained through in-hole monitoring of VOD and other relevant parameters Conclusions It has been conclusively demonstrated that the vibrations resulting from a single-hole/delay blast and a multi-hole/delay, both containing the same total explosive charge, are significantly different. For the same total explosive weight, detonation of distributed charges fired simultaneously always yielded a significantly lower vibration level than the same charge contained in a single hole. The difference in the recorded peak particle velocity could be as high as 45% between the two cases. This applied to all scaled distances, and points to a serious weakness in the present method of vibration analysis from production blasts, where a number of holes are tied to the same delay and the effective charge weight is taken to be the arithmetic sum of the charge weight contained in these holes. This is particularly relevant to the use of electronic detonators in blasting, where there is no scatter in firing times, and the holes tied to the same delay do indeed detonate exactly at the same time. In calculating the effective charge weight, either square-root or cube-root scaling of the number of holes in the same delay was found to minimize the error. Additional trials are planned to

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confirm these findings through simultaneous monitoring of the explosive parameters in the blasts at the same time. Acknowledements The authors wish to thank the Central Mining Research Institute, India, for providing the necessary support for this investigation. They are also grateful to the mine personnel at both Nigahi and Jayant sites for their assistance in conducting the experiments. Research funding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to one of the authors (BM) is also gratefully acknowledged. The opinions are those of the authors and not necessarily the organisations to which they belong. References Aimone-Martin, K., Faroni, K. and Gerolmino, T.; Fifteen years of vibration control and improved public relations for two trap-rock quarries; Proc. 26th Ann. Conf. Explosives and Blasting Tech.; Int. Soc. Explosives Engrs., pp. 187-196 (2000). Anderson, D. A.; The 8-msec criterion: have we delayed too long in questioning it?; Proc. 15th Ann. Conf. on Explosives and Blasting Tech.; Int. Soc. Explosives Engrs., pp. 381-395 (1989). Dowding, C. H., 1996, Construction Vibrations, Prentice Hall, New York, pp.1-610. Farnfield, R. and Yuill, G.; Variability of vibration signals from singlehole quarry blasts; Proc. 27th Ann. Conf. Explosives and Blasting Tech.; Int. Soc. Explosives Engrs. pp. 309-318 (2001). Hustulid, W. and Wenbo, L.; Some general design concepts regarding the control of blast-induced damage during rock slope excavation; Proc. 7th Int. Symp. on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting; X. Wang, Ed., Metallurgical Industries Press, Beijing, pp. 595-604 (2002). Keller, R. and Kramer, N.; Considerations for drill and blast excavation of a geologic repository for the dispersal of high-level radioactive nuclear waste at Yucca mountain; Proc. 26th Ann. Conf. Explosives and Blasting Tech., Int. Soc. Explosives Engrs.. pp. 31-48 (2000). Mohanty, B and Yang, R., 1997, Blasting vibrations and explosives performance, Proc. 13th Symp. on Explosives and Blasting Res., Int. Soc. Explosives Engrs., pp.15-28.

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Moore, A and Richards, A.; Time window vibration control techniques Cautionary tales for explosives engineers; Proc. 28th Ann. Conf. on Explosives and Blasting Tech., Int. Soc. Explosives Engrs.; pp. 363-380 (2002). Oriard, L., 1999, The Effects of Vibrations and Environmental Forces, ISEE, pp. 1-284. Telford, W.M., Geldart, L.P. and Sheriff, R.E. and Keys, D.A.; Applied Geophysics, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977, pp.1-860.

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