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A Multiple Blasthole Fragmentation

Model Its Concept, Formulation,


Capability and Field Comparison
Examples
R Yang1

ABSTRACT
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 models 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.

INTRODUCTION
With advanced technology such as electronic detonators, Typically such models are inadequate for predicting fines and
accurate charge weight logging, and GPS surveillance of oversize blocks (Cunningham, 1987).
blasthole locations, it is possible to develop an accurate blast Three-dimensional finite element models exist for modelling
fragmentation model to best utilise these new technologies. rock fragmentation from first principles (Preece and Lownds,
2008; Tawadrous, 2012; Dare-Bryan, Mansfield and Schoeman,
Current semi-empirical fragmentation models (Cunningham,
2012). However, these models are limited to the simulation of
1987; Lownds, 1995) in the literature cannot explicitly model
relatively small blasts due to the restrictions of the present
contributions from multiple blastholes (charges) with delay computing resources and are generally unable to model the
timing in each blasthole (each charge). Most of them are not entire fragmentation size range, particularly the fines.
three-dimensional. Furthermore, these models predict an It is desirable to model a full production blast with all
average fragmentation size within a volume surrounding a blastholes (deck charges) and the real geometry. For example,
blasthole and use the average size to calculate a size distribution a commonly asked question by a blasting engineer is: If the
over the volume using a uniformity index or assumed fitting blast vibration is under control, can the rock fragmentation be
parameters to describe the size distributions (Spathis, 2013). concurrently improved? Also: How does a blasting engineer

1. Senior Research Fellow, Orica USA Inc, 33101 E Quincy Avenue, Watkins Co 80137. Email: ruilin.yang@orica.com

11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015 177
R YANG

compromise between blast vibration and rock fragmentation at a it is well accepted within the blasting community that the
particular site? In order to address these questions, the timing larger the PPV of a blast at a point of interest, the larger the
effects on both blast vibration and fragmentation should be disturbance and damage to the rock. Therefore, there must
modelled reliably. It was previously shown that the existing be a relationship between PPV and three-dimensional strain
multiple seed waveform (MSW) vibration model can model tensor, no matter if it has been established or not.
the effect of timing delay on blast vibration in the near and
The following analysis is similar to the previous paper on
far fields (Yang and Lownds, 2011) and it is proposed here
dynamic strain of blast vibration by Yang (2012). Figure 2
that this model be expanded to address the fragmentation
shows particle velocity vector ^^ vv ]rv, tg, vv ]rv + 3 rv, tgh and
prediction.
displacement (u(t), v(t), w(t)) induced by detonation of
explosive charges at two adjacent points ( Trv is small). At any
PEAK PARTICLE VELOCITY DIRECTLY RELATED time instance, the relative displacement ]]Tu ] t g, Tv ] t g, Tw ] t gg
TO STRESS, PRESSURE AND FRAGMENTATION between the two points A (with location vector rv ) and B (with
Using peak particle velocity (PPV) induced by detonation a location vector rv + Trv ) induces the strain tensor E( Trv, t)
of explosive charges to model rock fragmentation and (Equation 3) at the point A (assuming Trv is small) or the
heave has been reported with success in literature (Harries, average strain between A and B:
1987; Persson, 1990, 1996). Persson (1990, 1996) correlated
peak particle velocity with typical observed effects (swell, 2u 2u 2v 2u 2 w
2x 2y + 2x 2z + 2x
rock damage, fragmentation, and crushing) of a blast in
Scandinavian bedrock. This section demonstrates the E ]rv, tg = 2u 2v
2y + 2x
2v
2z
2v 2w
2z + 2y (3)
justification of using PPV as controlling parameter for rock 2u 2w 2v 2w 2w
fragmentation modelling. 2z + 2x 2z + 2y 2z
The components of the strain tensor are related to the
Shock wave close to blasthole relative displacement at any time instance t as following
For a plane shock wave, the pressure and the particle velocity equations (Yang, 2012):
at the shock front are related as shown in Equation 1, where
the shock wave velocity is a variable depending on shock Tu ] t g = 22ux _ xb - xa i + 22uy _ yb - ya i + 22uz _ zb - za i
pressure P. Therefore, P is nonlinearly related to particle (4)
velocity u: Tv ] t g = 22xv _ xb - xa i + 22vy _ yb - ya i + 22vz _ zb - za i
Tw ] t g = 22wx _ xb - xa i + 22wy _ yb - ya i + 22wz _ zb - za i
P = t0 Uu (1)

The magnitude of the relative displacement between A and


One dimensional elastic wave B can be expressed as:
For a one-dimensional longitudinal wave propagating along
a bar with infinite length, the strain and the particle velocity d] t g = ]Tu ] t gg2 + ]Tv ] t gg2 + ]Tw ] t gg2 (5)
can be depicted as in Figure 1 with the strain () being related
to the particle velocity as in Equation 2: On the other hand:

f = lim d (t) -cd$ T


( t - 3 t) u t
= (2)
Tt " 0 t c d] t g = # 6vv ]rv + Trv, xg $ dx - vv ]rv, xg@ $ dx (6)
where: 0
u = the particle velocity (m/s) t t
c = the sonic velocity of the medium (m/s), it is d] t g = # 6vv ]rv + Trv, x g - vv ]rv, x g@ dx # # vv ]rv + Trv, x g - vv ]rv, x g dx (7)
constant E 0 0
t
is density of the material constant
Take the length (eg calculation grid space) of Trv to be less
d(t) = the displacement at time t (m) than the quarter wave length of the particle velocity wave at
It is worth noting that Equation 2 shows that at any the peak amplitude (the principal wavelength ) and the
time instances t in the waveform the particle velocity is phase difference between vv ]rv, tg and vv ]rv + 3 rv, tg to be less
proportional to strain, which is often confused with the case than the quarter of the period of the particle velocity wave at
of a shock wave where the relationship 1 is only valid at the the peak amplitude (the principal period T). Consequently,
shock front.

Peak particle velocity relating to three-


dimensional strain tensor
The present literature has not established a relationship
between PPV and three-dimensional strain tensor. However,

FIG 2 Particle velocity and displacement induced by detonation of explosive


FIG 1 Stress wave propagation in a long bar. charges at two adjacent points ( Trr is small).

178 11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015
A MULTIPLE BLASTHOLE FRAGMENTATION MODEL ITS CONCEPT, FORMULATION, CAPABILITY AND FIELD COMPARISON EXAMPLES

at any time instance, the difference in particle velocity the multiple blasthole fragmentation (MBF) model for a site.
between the point A and B cannot be greater than PPV. From Theoretical analysis may also serve as a guideline for model
the first mean value theorem for integration: parameter evaluation.
There is a misconception that blast vibration is only a small
t
portion of the explosive detonation energy without specifying
d] t g # # vv]rv + Trv, x g - vv]rv, x g dx =
(8) where the blast vibration is measured. Equation 9 shows that
0 if the particle velocity is measured at the vicinity to a blasthole
vv]rv + Trv, g g - vv]rv, g g $ t # PPV $ D the energy from the quantities includes or accounts for most
rock breakage energy of explosives since it relates the strain
where: close the blasthole.
0#g#t#D
Fragmentation size decreases with increasing of
D is the duration of the waveforms, accounted for by the
variable width of time window described in the later strain rate that relates to peak particle velocity
section of the paper Recent laboratory work by Liu and Xu (2015) shows that the
If the directional cosines of the vector of PPV are known higher the loading rate to rock specimen, the finer the fragment
(n,m,l) and if two additional points which are not co-planar size is (Figure 3). Such result was repeated for three rock types
with A and B are chosen (Yang and Ray, 2012), the strain (marble, sand stone, and granite). The result is consistent with
tensor in Equation 3 corresponding to the maximum relative the theory that the higher the strain rate, the more micro-
displacement (the largest deformation) between A and B can cracks participate in rock fragmentation, resulting in finer
be estimated by solving nine independent equations similar fragmentation (Digby, Nilsson and Oldenburg, 1985). It should
to Equation 9 below to obtain the nine displacement gradients be also pointed out that at a blast site the higher the vibration
amplitude (PPV), the higher the strain rate. This is because high
( 2u , 2u , 2u , 2v , 2v , 2v , 2w , 2w , 2w ): PPVs are generated at areas closer to blastholes with higher
2x 2y 2 z 2 x 2 y 2 z 2x 2 y 2 z
frequency contents than at areas further away from blastholes.
n $ PPV $ D = 22ux _ xb - xa i + 22uy _ yb - ya i + 22uz _ zb - za i It is consistent with the fines being generated near blastholes.
(9)
m $ PPV $ D = 22xv _ xb - xa i + 22vy _ yb - ya i + 22vz _ zb - za i
PEAK PARTICLE VELOCITY CALCULATION
l $ PPV $ D = 22wx _ xb - xa i + 22wy _ yb - ya i + 22wz _ zb - za i
For the MBF model, the effective charge weight from a single
charge to a point of interest is calculated by the integration
Equations 39 demonstrate that PPV is related to the of non-linear charge weight superposition along the charge
maximum three-dimensional dynamic strain. It is also given length, which was described in the previous paper (Yang,
by the well accepted fact that a vibration with a higher PPV 2015). The PPV at a calculation grid point is based on non-
generates larger disturbance (ie strain) in rock, so more blast linear charge weight superposition from different contributing
damage or finer fragmentation than a lower PPV. Relating charges accounting for the distance to a calculation point and
PPV to rock fragmentation size distribution should be the delay timing from the dominant charge (described below).
accepted naturally. Such modelling of contributions from multiple charges
A site-specific relationship between fragment size and accounts for:
PPV derived from near-field vibration measurements from explosive energy superposition when delay timings
blasts may be established as a starting point for calibrating between charges are close

FIG 3 Size reduction dependent on loading strain rate for three rock types.

11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015 179
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diminishing contributions if charges are far away in In order to assign different widths of the time window when
distance to a calculation grid point or delay timings of firing charges from different distances, a linear relationship
charges are sufficiently different from the timing of the between the width of the time window and the distance is:
dominant charge of the calculation grid point
reduced contribution from a charge if the confinement is T = T0 + k $ de (11)
reduced by an earlier firing charge.
where:
Confinement reduction due to earlier firing T is the width of the time window
blastholes T0 is the initial width of the time window where the
If a particle velocity wave from an explosive charge passes effective distance equals zero
through broken ground created by charges fired earlier, It is reasonable to assume that T0 is equal to the detonation
the PPV (stress wave) contribution will be reduced by duration of the charge:
an increased effective distance (Yang and Scovira, 2007).
Secondly, blastholes fired earlier in the vicinity of a firing L
T = VD
blasthole (according to distance between the blastholes) will
0

reduce the confinement to the charge and consequently reduce where:


the fragmentation potential (Yang and Kay, 2011; Yang, 2014).
L is the maximum charge length to initiate
VoD is the velocity of detonation
Scaled distance at a point of interest from
The relationship 11 is similar to the linear rise time law
multiple charges proposed by Gladwin and Stacey (1974). The constant k
For modelling rock fragmentation by multiple delayed in Equation 11 can be estimated from field measurements
blastholes, any model (even a full waveform superposition of the vibration waveform duration at different distances
model; Blair and Minchinton, 1996, 2006) must account (Kavetsky et al, 1990). The near-field vibration data shows that
for the case that fragmented and detached rocks cannot the waveform duration increases as a linear function of the
receive further energy input from blast charges fired later. distance travelled and has the form of Equation 11 in a soft
For example, the rocks that are fragmented and moved by coalmine in USA (Yang and Scovira, 2007).
blastholes in the first row may not get any further input from
the blastholes in the second row if the delay between the rows Scaling a contributing charge weight to dominant
is sufficiently long. The present MBF model in this paper uses
two concepts to model this phenomenon and the inter-charge charge location
timing delay effects a dominant charge and a variable time Before the superposition, the effective weight of a contributing
window for each charge at a calculation grid point. charge is non-linearly scaled to a charge weight equivalent to
that at the nearest effective distance of the dominant charge,
Dominant charge ddc (any screening and confinement effects from blastholes
fired earlier are taken into account), as follows.
It is assumed that there is a dominant charge at each point
of interest (a calculation grid) that has the minimum The scaled charge weight:
scaled distance calculated based on non-linear charge
b l
weight superposition. It is reasonable to assume that the ddc b
wsi = wi $ c (12)
dominant charge is the major contributor to the PPV and the d
fragmentation at a grid point. The contributions from other
charges are accounted for by the implementation of a non- Modelling effect of arrival time difference within a
sliding time window with a variable width for each charge
and are described in the following section. time window
In order to model the delay timing effects of multiple
Variable width of time window for a charge blastholes (decked charges), such as the effect of wave
Waveform broadening with distance travelled is an collision reinforcement or diminished cooperative
important aspect to consider for near-field strain wave contribution due to long delay interval between holes
modelling. Energy loss to the media is mainly attributed to (charges), a weighting function is used to account for the
frequency attenuation. For a given travel distance, higher delay time effect on the PPV contribution. The PPV at a grid
frequency components are attenuated more rapidly than point is due to the superposition of the particle velocity wave
lower frequency components. from the dominant charge and weighted contributions from
other charges.
To determine if any charge wi contributes to the peak strain
wave values along with the dominant charge, a symmetric A weighting function on the scaled charge weight wsi
fixed time window around the strain wave arrival time (ti) of is used, as shown in Figure 4, where, tdc, is the strain wave
the charge is assumed. arrival time of the dominant charge, ti is the arrival time of
a contributing charge, Ti is the time window width for the
The width of the time window Ti for the particular charge
charge wsi determined from Equation 12.
wi is calculated from Equation 11 with distance x = de (the
effective distance). If a particle velocity wave from the
dominant charge arriving at the grid point at the time tdc is
within the time window, ie

ti - 0.5 Ti 1 t dc 1 ti + 0.5 Ti (10)

then the charge wi is determined to be a contributing charge FIG 4 An exponential weighting function for modelling
to the peak strain wave value at the calculation grid point. the delay time difference within the time window.

180 11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015
A MULTIPLE BLASTHOLE FRAGMENTATION MODEL ITS CONCEPT, FORMULATION, CAPABILITY AND FIELD COMPARISON EXAMPLES

It is assumed that the minimum weighting value is e-m when PPV0 is the threshold PPV for crack nucleation of the
the time difference (t) is equal to half the time window (0.5Ti) material
and the maximum is 1.0 when the strain wave arrival time is The average fragment size is inversely related to the number
exactly the same as the dominant charge (ti =ti tdc =0). of the fractures:
The exponential function has the form (Equation 13):
x0
xr = (17)
N0 exp c m
x PPV - PPV0
- n $ 0.5T
fi ]x g = e i (13) h

The sum of all contributing charges (the where:


time window of the contributing charge includes the dominant x0 = the initial fragment size (m)
charge) with the weighting function fi ]x g can be calculated as: It may be the in situ block size due to joints.
n
It is assumed that the cumulative volumetric fraction for
wec = / fi ]x g $ wsi (14) fragment sizes smaller than x has the distribution (exponential
i=1 distribution).
where:
n is the total number of contributing charges including R ] xg = 1 - exp ^ - x xr h (18)
the dominant charge (wdc)
wsi is the ith scaled contributing charge weight (refer to The advantage of the exponential distribution is that it
Equation 12) accounts large portion of fragmentation fines which is often
t i is the strain wave arrival time difference of the ith underestimated by imaging analysis of fragmentation.
contributing charge from the time of the dominant Secondly, it has only one parameter ( xr ) to fit. Although it may
charge not yield better fitting than a two- or three-parameter model
The PPV at a calculation grid point from multiple to the measured distribution, the distribution (Equation 18)
contributing charges can be calculated from the effective may provide a fine correction to the imaging processing.
charge weight in Equation 14 and the nearest distance ( d dc )
from the dominant charge to the grid point:
n Model input and parameters
All blast design parameters, such as, location (x, y, z), timing
and weight of each explosive deck, blasthole diameter and
n j ` ec j
PPV = a ` d dc - b c
w (15)
angle, length of stemming and stemming between decks, etc
are all direct input to the MBF model, the data is from a blast
Irregular free face modelling design software (ShotPlus).
The MBF model uses the surveyed blast geometry as The modelling parameters include:
calculation boundary. The overburden geometry plays an Parameters from field measurement
important role in rock fragmentation by blasting. For example,
a, b, c, a 97.5%, b 97.5%, c 97.5% best fit and 97.5 per cent
a few feet more burden will generate substantially coarser
upper bound of particle velocity attenuation
fragments or larger blocks than an initial small burden would
parameters in Equation 15, obtained from near-field
generate. The irregular geometry of a blast is modelled using
signature blasthole vibration monitoring
similar technique described by Yang, Preece and Chung (2004)
in which both concave and convex polygons of overburden c ground sonic velocity, measured during signature
geometries can be modelled. hole blasts
T0, k particle wave broadening parameters in
Equation 11, obtained from near field signature hole
FRAGMENTATION AT A POINT OF INTEREST blast vibration waveforms
Seaman, Curran and Shockey (1976) developed a model of Parameters from calibration in most cases
fracture and fragmentation for ductile and brittle materials
X0 /N0 rock material property parameter in Equation17,
based on projectile impact experiments and theoretical analysis.
estimated to in situ joint spacing and frequency
The model favourably compares fragment size distributions
with measurements and thus appears to be highly relevant PPV0 the threshold PPV for crack nucleation in
and fundamental research work for rock blast fragmentation Equation 17, may be estimated from rock property,
modelling (Yang, 2015). Below is a brief summary of the otherwise a calibration parameter
dynamic rock fracture model used in the MBF model. material constant in Equation 17, estimated from
rock property, otherwise a fitting parameter
Fragmentation from rock blasting wsrn, broken ground screening width ( B 2+ S ) and
It has been previously demonstrated that the peak PPV screening coefficient (Yang and Scovira, 2007).
induced from detonation of explosive charges is directly
related to pressure or strain. Therefore, it can be assumed that CASE EXAMPLES
the number of fractures that produce rock fragments during
blasting is governed by: Modelling a production blast with irregular
free face
PPV - PPV0
N = N0 exp d n (16) Figure 5 shows a plane view of an open pit blast with an
h irregular free face that is defined by survey points. Blasthole
where: diameter 311 mm. Bench height was 15 m with 1 m subdrill.
N0 and are material constants Burden and spacing was 8.5 m and 10 m. The stemming
PPV (m/s) is the peak particle velocity at the calculation grid was 5.5 m. The explosive was an emulsion with density of
point 1.25g/cm3. The operation is a goldcopper mine.

11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015 181
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FIG 5 A plane view of an open pit blast design with irregular free face.

Figure 6 shows volumetric displays of the modelled Field comparison of modelling against
fragmentation of the blast. It shows that large rock fragments
measurement
are from the stemming region and at the large front burden
In reality, the fragment size depends on which section of the
due to irregular free face geometry (Yang, Preece and Chung,
blast the fragments come from. At present, this is the major
2004). Fragment fines are generated around blastholes. The difficulty in which fragmentation measurement and modelling
modelled trends are consistent with field observations. are challenged. Secondly, when fragmentation measurement
size passing curves are obtained from a muck pile, it is often
not known what is the percentage that each passing curve
represents to a whole muck pile. If each measurement does
not represent the same percentage of the muck pile, a simple
average of measured distribution curves does not represent the
whole fragmentation of the blast. Therefore, the sampling of the
measurement must be known to make accurate comparison to
modelling. Thirdly, todays most commonly used technique of
fragmentation measurement is image analysis. The drawback
of this technique is that it is unable to measure fragment fines
below 10 mm. All three issues above pose big challenges for
comparison of fragmentation modelling to measurements. The
advantage of the MBF model is that it is capable of modelling
fragmentation size distribution respectively at various zones/
sections of a blast. If the fragmentation of a blast can be
measured systematically and completely for a whole blast or a
certain region of the blast, then meaningful comparisons may
be made between modelling and the measurements.

Example 1
Figure 7 shows a plane view and 3D view of an open pit blast
and calculation grid points of the blast for fragmentation
modelling. Blasthole diameter was 270 mm. The stemming
was 6 m and the charge length was 11 m with 1 m subdrill.
The explosive was emulsion. The mine is an open pit copper-
gold operation.
Figure 8 shows a comparison between the modelling
average and the measured simple average. Although the
comparison is reasonably satisfactory, the measurements
were done in a typical way of random sampling in the muck
pile without documenting exactly where the fragments come
from and without knowing if each measurement represents
the same percentage of the muck pile.
Figure 9 displays fragmentation passing curves of different
regions of the blast from modelling. The trends are consistent
FIG 6 Volumetric displays of the modelled fragmentation with expectation. In the stemming region, rock fragments
of the blast shown in Figure 6 (1 ft = 0.305 m). are coarse, containing large oversized blocks. In contrast, the

182 11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015
A MULTIPLE BLASTHOLE FRAGMENTATION MODEL ITS CONCEPT, FORMULATION, CAPABILITY AND FIELD COMPARISON EXAMPLES

fragmentation in the plane close to a row of blastholes is finest


among the displayed cases. In the centre section with the full
bench height, the fragmentation is coarser than in the lower
section of the blast, where it is much lower than the stemming
region.

Example 2
Figure 10 shows a blast pattern and timing design at another
mine. The blast fired in a V cut. The blasthole diameter
was 381 mm. Burden and spacing were 6.7 m 7.9 m. The
stemming length was 6.7 m. The bench height was 16.8 m
with 0.9 m subdrill. The explosive was an emulsion. The rock
type was granite. Due to the limitation of the length of the
paper, the other model parameters are not all listed here.
Fragmentation data was collected by a camera mounted on a
shovel during digging of the blasts. The images are positioned
for each truckload of material. The location of images
analysed is displayed in a plan view in Figure 11. Although
the bucket location was recorded in horizontal locations, the
vertical positions of the material were not known since the
shovel bucket swung from the floor upwards and fragments
fell down from the top of the muck pile. Neverthless,
Figure 11 demonstrates a reasonably distributed sampling
of the muck pile fragmentation. Figure 12 shows a model
comparison with measurements for average fragmentation.
The model produced more fine fragments (<127 mm) than
the actual measurements. The model predicts more fragments
larger than eight inches than the actual measurements show.
However, overall the agreement is reasonably good.
FIG 7 Plan view and 3D view of an open pit blast with Figure 12 displays a volumetric fragmentation size
calculation grids for fragmentation modelling. distribution of the blast and horizontal slices of fragments.

FIG 8 Model comparison with measurement for average fragmentation curve.

11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015 183
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FIG 9 Fragmentation passing curves of different regions of the blast from modelling.

FIG 10 A blast pattern and timing design at another mine.

CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSIONS FIG 11 Location of images analysed is displayed in a plan view.
As demonstrated, particle velocity is a parameter that can
be directly related to pressure, strain or stress within a rock for predicting rock fragmentation by blasting to the order
mass during the blast. The present paper relates PPV to the required for the current MBF model.
maximum relative displacement between two adjacent points, The non-linear charge weight superposition used in the
then to the three-dimensional dynamic strain. Such a relation present model contrasts to the literature that use linear PPV
is warranted by a well-accepted fact that a vibration with a
superposition to model peak particle velocity in the vicinity
higher PPV generates larger disturbance (ie strain) in rock, so
of blastholes. Non-linear charge weight superposition is
more blast damage or finer fragmentation than a lower PPV.
Relating PPV to rock fragmentation size distribution should more suitable in the near-field of explosive charges where the
be scientifically sound. interaction between the rock and shock wave behaves non-
linearly.
Rock fragmentation mechanisms and size distributions
are modelled based on the work of Seaman, Curran and The model also accounts for the effect of waveform
Shockey (1976) and appear to be relevant and fundamental broadening contribution (using a variable width time window

184 11TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ROCK FRAGMENTATION BY BLASTING / SYDNEY, NSW, 2426 AUGUST 2015
A MULTIPLE BLASTHOLE FRAGMENTATION MODEL ITS CONCEPT, FORMULATION, CAPABILITY AND FIELD COMPARISON EXAMPLES

FIG 12 Model comparison with measurements for average fragmentation.

for each explosive charge), the delay time of each charge prediction. Such a capability may find great use in Mine to
and broken ground confinement reduction. These features Mill optimisation through blast design variations and ultra-
account for blasthole interactions and the effects of blasthole high intensity blast applications (Brent et al, 2012).
sequence and confinement effects.
The fragmentation model calculates a fragment size ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
distribution at each calculation grid point using an exponential Dr Dale Preece and Dr Alan Minchinton from Orica made
distribution determined only by the average size at the point. useful comments on the MBF model. Dr Mick Lownds also
The fines and oversized blocks are calculated explicitly. The provided constructive comments. Mr Charles Zdazinsky,
overall size distribution of a blast depends on all of the blast Martin Adams and Alex Steciuk from Orica kindly provided
design parameters, such as explosive spatial distribution, some field data and participated in useful discussions with
delay time in each blasthole, blast configuration and free face author.
geometry, etc. All of these design parameters are inputsinthe
MBF model. REFERENCES
Todays most commonly used technique of fragmentation Blair, D P and Minchinton, A, 1996. On the damage zone surrounding
measurement is image analysis. The drawback of the a single blasthole, in Proceedings Fifth International Symposium
technique is its inability to measure the fines portion of the on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting Fragblast 5 (ed: B Mohanty),
pp121130 (A A Balkema: Rotterdam).
particle size distribution. Relying entirely on fitting such
measured data may not represent the real fragmentation. Blair, D P and Minchinton, A, 2006. Near-field blast vibration models,
Using an exponential distribution (one parameter only) to in Proceedings Eighth International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation
by Blasting Fragblast 8, pp 152159 (Editec S.A: Santiago).
describe rock fragmentation at a point (a small cube around
the point) may have an advantage to compensate for the fines Brent, G, Rothery, M D, Dare-Bryan, P C, Hawke, S J, Gomez, R and
that are missed from image analysis. Humeres, I, 2012. Ultra-high intensity blasting for improved ore
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