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The Benefits of Bulk Emulsion

Explosives in Underground
Applications through String
Loading
SME 2009
Denver, Colorado
Matt Budin

Emulsion Explosives
Explosive Emulsions consist of oxidizer solution
droplets suspended in continuous fuel phase
Droplet size is orders of magnitude
smaller than AN prills (micron Vs mm)
Stabilized with emulsifiers
Sensitized by:

Gassing (underground application)

Solid sensitisers (Microballoons)

Blending with ANFO

The advantages of bulk emulsion explosive


over ANFO and packaged products include

Transport, handling and storage


Safety and security
Universal explosive
String charging
Variable density
Low gas emissions
Excellent resistance to water
Full coupling
Increased VOD
Improved work environment
Shorter charge times
Accurate Explosive consumption count
Detonator sensitive

Water resistance
Bulk Emulsions have excellent water resistance
properties, as a water-in-oil emulsion and as such,
all wet holes including those drilled below horizontal
can be charged successfully without dewatering.
Advantages are:
Lifters and knee holes can be charged with fully
coupled Bulk Emulsions
Blast holes will not have to be angled above horizontal
for dewatering allowing for holes to be dropped out and
better energy distribution, specifically in declines.
Increased reliability

Less Fumes
Emulsion formulation allows oxygen balance
closer to optimum than ANFO, hence lower NOx
and CO emissions, shortening re-entry time
underground

Re-entry Times
CO levels from 6.0m rounds in NSW

CO - PPM

ANFO vs EMULSION (CO)


500
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0

ANFO_1 CO-PPM
ANFO_2 CO-PPM
ANFO_3 CO-PPM
EMUL_1 CO-PPM
EMUL_2 CO-PPM
EMUL_3 CO-PPM

10

15

20

25

30

Time (Minutes)

35

40

45

50

Re-entry Times
NO levels from 6.0m rounds in NSW
ANFO vs EMULSION (NO)
80
70

ANFO_1 NO-PPM

NO - PPM

60

ANFO_2 NO-PPM

50

ANFO_3 NO-PPM

40

EMUL_1 NO-PPM

30

EMUL_2 NO-PPM

20

EMUL_3 NO-PPM

10
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

Time (Minutes)

35

40

45

50

Re-entry Times
NO2 levels from 6.0m rounds in NSW
ANFO vs EMULSION (NO2)

NO2 - PPM

30
25

ANFO_1 NO2-PPM

20

ANFO_2 NO2-PPM
ANFO_3 NO2-PPM

15

EMUL_1 NO2-PPM

10

EMUL_2 NO2-PPM

EMUL_3 NO2-PPM

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

Time (Minutes)

35

40

45

50

Re-entry Times
Re-entry times for 4.0 m Development rounds in NSW
Comparsion ANFO and Emulsion Re-entry Time

70
60

Based on CO threshold

50
40
30
20

ANFO

10

Emulsion 2

Emulsion 1
775 1S N
Development Date and Location

Re-entry Time
(min)

Work Environment
A Norwegian medical study (Bakke 2001) Shows
a relationship between a prolonged exposure to
ANFO fumes/fines while charging and a
temporary 2% decrease in lung function. No
changes in lung function was detected in charge
crews using Development Emulsion and a
reference group

Velocity of detonation (VOD)


Bulk emulsion explosives detonate with a higher
VOD than ANFO under the same conditions
100%

Explosive Energy

Shock Energy
Shock Energy

Heave Energy
Heave Energy

0%
Increasing Velocity of Detonation

Critical Diameter
The Minimum diameter for which a given explosive
product will consistently detonate.
Critical diameter of underground Emulsion is < 20
mm allowing consistent detonation of a 0.35 kg/m
string charge

Coupling
The degree to which an explosive fills a borehole.
McKern et al (2001) found using plastic packaged 32 mm
diameter Emulsion cartridges and best practice tamping
techniques yielded a coupling ratio of only 60% of the hole
volume, resulting in a breakage radius of half of the blowloaded ANFO equivalent charge.
Bulk Emulsions will allow for a doubling of powder factor in
the lifters and knee holes, where the energy is really needed.

Tamping Experiment
Clear pipe (45mm diameter) was used as simulated
blasthole.
Various configurations of cartridge length and treatment used
with a number of different tamping methods.
Volumetric calculation of explosive coupling employed.

Clear Perspex Pipe


Direction of Tamping

Tamping Experiment
Minimal deformation of
cartridges indicates poor
level of coupling with
blast hole wall

Virtually intact
cartridges

Tamping Experiment - Results


A range of results were noted, but the main points
can be summarized as follows:
Worst Case Scenario
800mm unslit cartridges, 15oC temp, tamped with steady
pressure only to last cartridge using a capped tamping
stick

51% Coupling Factor


Best Case Scenario
200mm slit cartridges, 15oC temp, individually tamped
with steady pressure from a capped tamping stick

72.8% Coupling Factor

Tamping Experiment - Conclusion


It is unlikely that tunnelling charge up crews will ever
charge a 3-4m deep face with 200mm cartridges
The best case expected while using 800mm
cartridges is likely to be a coupling factor of 60%
(slitting, individual tamping, ~ 30oC temp)
It is worthwhile considering what effect this coupling
result might have on blast outcomes for exclusively
cartridge charged faces

Face Pattern Optimisation


Water resistivity, 100% coupling, higher shock energy etc, are pattern
improvement advantages of Emulsions that will allow a standard
ANFO pattern to be optimised, decreasing the number of holes in the
rounds.

Parallel drilling will allow for


better energy distribution

Damage zone
Hole Diameter 48 mm
Hole Length 3.0 m
Burden 0.8 m
Hole Spacing 0.6 m

Approx. Void dimensions:


Height 2.5 m
Depth 0.5 m
Length 0.5 m

Damage Zone Conventional Charging


Damage radii for string loaded perimeter and fully
loaded inner perimeter holes (unmatched)

Damage
Radii

Perimeter Holes
Inner Perimeter Holes

String charging
75 % reduction
50 % reduction

100 %

Charging of Perimeter Holes

Charging of Perimeter Holes

Charging of Perimeter Holes

Advantages of String Loading


75 % reduction

Product may be string loaded


Reduces peak pressure and rock
overbreak through string charging

50 % reduction

100 %

Variable density
Reduces energy density in hole

Efficiency

String loading according to blasting need

shorter charge time (up to 50% less)

Charging documentation
generated by system
QA&QC records may be retained

Cost
Lower overall cost per round of
explosives

Results on perimeter test at SL, Sweden

Perimeter Charging
Perimeter holes are charged with a patented
string loading system.
Advantages are:
Allows complete flexibility of charge from 25% to 100%
coupling in all the holes in the blast
Decreased handling and charge time with string charging
Reduced crack zone/damage zone
No risk of pull outs or blow out as experienced with
packaged products.
Considerably cheaper than conventional perimeter products

Damage zone String Loaded Matched


Damage radii for string loaded perimeter and
inner perimeter holes (matched)
Damage Radii

Perimeter Holes
Inner Perimeter Holes
Damage
Radii

Perimeter Holes
Inner Perimeter Holes

Unmatched damage control

Long rounds/Advance rates


Bulk Emulsion technology in development has made long
rounds possible, currently allowing:
Full advance in 5.8 m rounds at a mine in North-Eastern
Goldfields, WA.
From 93-95% advance to 100% advance
Full advance in 6 m rounds at a mine in NSW.

Long rounds, quicker charging rates, shorter scaling and reentry times have made rapid development possible.
Both mines have managed almost 300 meters of
development per month on a single decline.

Drilling Accuracy

Development Mining
Emulsion Delivery
Systems
DynoMiner - Advance

IT cage platform
Development charging
Air powered - pneumatically controlled
Simple operation

DynoMiner - Profile

Carrier platform (Normet 1610)


Development charging
Precision electronic control
Electric over hydraulic

The Newest Canadian Version

Mini SSE unit


Carrier platform (REG Utility)
Development charging (1500kg)
Precision electronic control
Hydraulically driven

Facts

700 to 1500 kg capacity


Up to 70 kg/min. pumping capacity
Hose retraction unit
Automated surveillance of production process

Remote loading control


Computerized registration of loading
parameters and explosives consumption

Other advantages
Damage Radii

Accurate metered Hole Loading


PLC controlled

Explosive Consumption count accuracy


Computerized logging

Shorter charge times


One product
20 30% time saving

Safer delivery system


Lower delivery pressures even at high loading rates

Simpler and safer transport, storage and handling


Classified as an oxidizing agent (5.1)

Perimeter Holes
Inner Perimeter Holes

Credits
Stuart Parsons - Australia
Stuart.parsons@ap.dynonobel.com
Daniel Roy - Canada
Daniel.Roy@am.dynonobel.com