The effect of delay time on fragmentation has been discussed for a long period but rarely in a satisfactory and unbiased way. Despite the efforts of many researchers, delay selection for fragmentation improvement or optimisation remains a controversial issue. Large-scale tests have been plagued with scarcity and scatter of observations, while small-scale tests have been associated with boundary effects and energy losses. Theoretical work is often used to produce explanations for available measurements or tries to simplify wave propagation and wave interaction to guide observation and practical work. The present work analyses results obtained from a relatively large number of small-scale experiments in blocks made of grout, and re-analyses results of previous experiments, to conclude on the effect of delay on fragmentation. It is shown that the main contribution of the delay is found in the fragmentation of the larger fragments of the blast, while the small fractions show almost no effect. Samples, where copper liners were used to inhibit penetration of detonation products in the rock mass, showed effect of delay only when short times were used and steady but poor fragmentation when long delays were used. Based on small-scale experiments, it appears that the fragmentation is optimised when a hole fires prior to the radial cracks, produced by the previous hole, reach the free face of the blast. Gas penetration may result in the development of few more fractures that affect the fragmentation of the largest particles of the blast.
Katsabanis, P D and Omidi, O, 2015. The effect of delay time on fragmentation distribution through small- and medium-scale testing and analysis, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 715–720 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).