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A Multiple Blasthole Fragmentation Model – Its Concept, Formulation, Capability and Field Comparison Examples


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Author R Yang
ID P201507018


This paper presents a fragmentation model for large production blasts in an open pit or underground environment. The paper shows that the particle velocity is directly related to pressure, strain, and strain rate and so it can be considered as driving force and mechanism of rock fragmentation. This is supported by the fact that a vibration with a larger peak particle velocity (PPV) generates larger disturbance in rock and so finer fragmentation or more blast damage than a low PPV. The crack distribution in rock from impact is based on findings from previous researchers (Seaman, Curran and Shockey, 1976; Liu and Xu, in press). The fragmentation size is calculated at three-dimensional grid points within a blast. The fines and oversized blocks are calculated explicitly – the fines generated close to blastholes and big blocks far from boreholes are modelled naturally. The multiple blasthole fragmentation (MBF) model takes surveyed irregular geometry of the free face of a blast as the calculation boundary. The MBF can model fragmentation with over one million grid points. Examples of the model's field comparison are also included.

The PPV at a calculation grid is estimated based on the same approach used for the near field non-linear vibration model (Yang and Scovira, 2007). The method is based on the dominant charge for a calculation grid point, non-linear charge weight superposition within a charge and from multiple charges, strain wave broadening, and amplitude attenuation with distance from a charge segment. The blasthole confinement affected by earlier firing charges is also taken into account.

The MBF model inputs from blast design, such as: location and orientation of each blasthole, stemming length, blasthole diameter, multiple decking, bench height, initiation sequence, etc. It models the effect of the delay and its scatter in each blasthole on fragmentation and has a statistical modelling capability for geological random variation on attenuation of particle velocity wave. The wave reinforcement due to instantaneous waves arriving or diminishing cooperative contribution due to long delay intervals between charges is also simulated.

The results are displayed in 3D volumetric plots, contour of fragmentation in cross-sections, and size passing curves for a whole blast or a region of the blast.


Yang, R, 2015. A multiple blasthole fragmentation model – its concept, formulation, capability and field comparison examples, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 177–186 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).