The flowability of the caved rock masses in the sublevel caving (SLC) mining method is of great importance. During the blasting process of a SLC-ring, the caved rock mass in front of the ring is compacted. As a result of this compaction, the mechanical properties of the fractured rock masses change, for example void ratio, angle of internal friction and structure of the compacted material. The changed mechanical properties of caved rock mass and recent blasted material can influence the mobility of the material, which could result in blockage of the flow path of the material. The identification of the involved mechanisms in this process can be done after a series of tests in different scales. However, there is no available equipment for dynamic measurements during blasting, ie velocity and displacement of the burden and in the caved masses. This study focuses on the development and laboratory evaluation of a measuring system that can be installed in a borehole. The first trial was carried out in a pillar, where two blastholes had been drilled (9.5 m) parallel with the drift and two measuring holes (16.5 m) were perpendicular to the drift. Two measuring systems were installed in the measuring holes. Some preliminary tests were carried out to find suitable initiation procedures for the emulsion explosive. Applicability and robustness of the developed measuring system were also evaluated. In addition to these tests, an expandable cement mixture was developed to firmly anchor the measuring systems in the boreholes. The measuring system consists of an anchor, armoured cable in a pulling tube and a protective case. The anchor is equipped with uniaxial and triaxial accelerometers. A potentiometric measuring system for displacement up to 2 m is installed at the end of the pulling tube and connected to an extendable spiral cable. All sensors are connected to a data acquisition system (DAS). Both measuring systems have their own DAS to acquire data in case of failure of one of the systems. The measuring system was tested in laboratory conditions with impact velocity up to 10 m/s. It was proven to be functional and gave reliable results.
Petropoulos, N, Mihaylov, D, Johansson, D, Wimmer, M and Nordqvist, A, 2015. Design of equipment for dynamic burden measurements, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 493–500 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).