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ABSTRACT Kuz-Ram model is used as a common model for estimation of rock

fragmentation distribution in mining industry. However, researches have demonstrated that

Kuz-Ram model doesnt give reliable outcomes in certain cases; therefore, researchers have
proposed different models to have a better estimation of fragmentation. Recently Gheibie et al.
has developed a new version of Modified Kuz-Ram fragmentation model in which a factor of
0.073 is included in the formula for prediction of X
. In the model, a Blastability Index (BI)
has been used to correct the calculation of the Uniformity Index of Cunningham.
In this paper, Kuz-Ram modified and Kuz-Ram modified model by Gheibie et al. were
applied for five blast sites of Sungun Copper Mine, Iran to estimate the ROM size
distribution. Results show that new version of Kuz-Ram model gives more reliable estimation
of size distribution comparing to the Modified Kuz-Ram model at Sungun Copper Mine.

Kuz-Ram model which was proposed by
Cunningham has been used as a common
model in mining industry for the prediction
of rock fragmentation size distribution by
blasting (Cunningham 1983 and 1987).
Although it has been used extensively in
practice, it has certain shortcomings like
timing effect and lack of prediction of fines.
There are some models which are
proposed to improve these shortcomings.
CZM (Kanchibotla et al. 1999) and TCM
(Djordjevic 1999) models are two examples
of extended Kuz-Ram models to improve the
prediction of fines which are known as
JKMRC models.
In CZM model, size distribution of rock
fragments is divided into coarse and fines
parts. According to the CZM, two different
mechanisms control the rock fragments
produced by blasting; coarse part is produced
by tensile fracturing in which Kuz-ram
model is used to predict this part of size
distribution. However, fines part is produced
by compressive fracturing in crushed zone,
which Rosin-Rammler function gets a
different value of n and X
. In the TCM
model, two Rosin-Rammler functions are
used for ROM size distribution. TCM is a
five-parameter model in which two of the
parameters are related to coarse, one for fines
fraction and the other two are related to fines
part of the distribution.
In addition, by replacing the original
Rosin-Rammler equation with Swebrec
function, KCO model is arrived to predict the
ROM size distribution (Ouchterlony 2005).
Like Rosin-Rammler, it uses the median or
50% passing value X
as the central
parameter but it also introduces an upper
limit to fragment size X
. The third
parameter, b, is a curve-undulation
parameter. The Swebrec function removes
two of Kuz-Rams drawbacks the poor
predictive ability in fines range and the upper
limit cut-off of block size.
Application of Modified Kuz-Ram Fragmentation Model by
Gheibie et al. at the Sungun Copper Mine
Sohrab Gheibie, Sebnem Duzgun
Mining Engineering dept., Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Also, Spathis suggested that the X
have the prefactor
( ) |

+ I
Ln n
1 / 2
that the correction indicates that the original
implementation of Kuz-Ram overestimates
the size of the rock fragments leading to the
original Kuz-Ram to underestimate the fines
faction when the uniformity index is 0.8 to
2.2 (Spathis 2004).
Recently, Gheibie et al. (2009) has
proposed a new version of Kuz-Ram Model
for getting better results in rock
fragmentation of size distribution by blasting
(Gheibie et al. 2009, 2010).
In this paper the new version of modified
Kuz-Ram model developed by Gheibie et al.
(2009) was used to predict size distribution
of rock fragmentation at Sungun Copper
Mine, Iran. The model has also been applied
in Kirka borax mine in Turkey (Kilic et al.
2.1 Modified Kuz-Ram Model
An empirical equation of the relationship
between the mean fragment size and applied
blast energy per unit volume of rock (powder
factor) has been developed by
Kuznetsov (1973) as a function of rock type.
The model predicts fragmentation from
blasting in terms of mass percentage passing
through versus fragment size. Kuznetsovs
equation is given below:

Where X
is the Mean fragment size (cm),
A is the rock factor, V
is the rock volume
broken per blast hole (m
), Q
is the mass of
explosive being used (kg), S
is the relative
weight strength of the explosive to ANFO
(ANFO =100).
The Blastability Index, which was first
proposed by Lilly (1986), has been adapted
for Kuznetsovs model, in an attempt to
better quantify the selection of rock factor A
(Cunningham 1983 and 1987). Cunningham
stated that the evaluation of rock factors for
blasting should at least take into account the
density, mechanical strength, elastic
properties and structure. The equation is
given below:


A useful indirect check on the index of
uniformity has been performed by
Cunningham (1987). In the study of
Cunningham the prediction of fragmentation
is based on the Kuznetsov equation and the
relationship between fragmentation and
drilling pattern is used to calculate the
blasting parameter of the Rosin-Rammler
formula. The blasting parameter, n, is
estimated by






1 . 0
1 . 0
1 14 2 . 2
Where B is the Burden (m), S is the
Spacing (m), D is the Borehole diameter
(mm), W is the Standard deviation of drilling
accuracy (m), L is the Total charge length
(m), BCL is the bottom charge length (m),
CCL is the column charge length (m) and H
is the Bench height (m). Using a staggered
pattern, it should be multiplied by 1.1.
The value of n determines the shape of the
Rosin-Rammler curve; high values indicate
uniform sizing and low values on the other
hand suggest a wide range of sizes including
both oversize and fines. Combination of the
Kuznetsov and Rosin-Rammler (1933)
equation results in what has been called the
Kuz-Ram Fragmentation Model. The Rosin-
Rammler formula is used to predict the
fragment size distribution. It has been
generally recognized as giving a reasonable
description of fragmentation in blasted rock,
which is given by:


) ( * 06 . 0 HF RDI JF RMD A + + + =
e R


693 . 0
30 / 19
6 / 1
8 . 0
073 . 0



Where R
is the proportion of material
passing the screen, X is the screen size (cm);
is the mean fragment size (cm), n is the
index of uniformity.
2.2 Modified Kuz-Ram Model by Gheibie
et al.
According to Gheibie et al. (2009) the
modified Kuz-Ram Model has some lacks in
predicting of the ROM size distribution,
therefore, they have proposed a new form of
the Kuz-Ram with some corrections in which
a factor of 0.073 is included in the formula
for prediction of X
. In the model, a
Blastability Index (BI) has been used to
correct the calculation of the Uniformity
Index of Cunningham. The new model has a
two parameter fragmentation size
distribution that can be easily determined in
the field. The Rosin-Rammler function is
used as the size distribution with X
central parameter and n, as the uniformity
index for:


12 . 0
* * 88 . 1 '

= BI n n

All parameters in equations (5 and 6) are
similar to those described in equations (1 and
3). Where n is the Modified Uniformity
Index, n is the Uniformity Index
(Cunningham) and BI is the Blastability
2.3 Prediction of ROM size distribution
Based on a modified Blastability Index, the
geomechanical properties of five blast sites
were collected prior to blasting. Several
laboratory tests were carried out according to
ISRM standards to determine the mechanical
and physical parameters such as Youngs
modulus, Density and Uniaxial Compressive
Strength. Then for both of the original and
new Kuz-Ram models, the rock
fragmentation size distribution has been
estimated (Table 1).
2.4 Fragmentation assessment
After estimating the ROM size distribution
for each case of blasting at the Sungun mine,
image processing studies were carried out for
five blasted sites muck piles. All blasts
results were analyzed after conducting
blasting operation in three positions of muck
pile (soon after blasting, after loading around
half of muck pile and end of muck pile)
(Figure 1). For image processing, 15 digital
photographs were taken from each muck pile
position and then processed by the Gold size
program. The analyzed photo's results were
merged to get a better analysis of the photo
Since there are some fine particles that are
hidden, the results obtained by image
analysis are always different from those of
by sieving. Fines correction usually is the
common deal to overcome this problem in
practice. Some methods that can be used to
correct fines have been discussed in the
literature (Cho et al. 2003, Maerz and Zhou
2000, Chung and Katsabanis 2000). In this
paper, for correcting the fines Cho et al.
(2003) method was adopted which uses a
Gaudin- Schuhman distribution (Cho et al.
2003). The final distribution obtained from
image processing can be seen in Table (1).
In this article, five different sites were
selected to investigate the applicability of the
two fragmentation models in the Sungun
Mine. Comparing the results derived from
Modified Kuz-Ram, the new Modified Kuz-
Ram and image analysis demonstrates that
the new version of Kuz-Ram model gives
more reliable results comparing to the
original Kuz-Ram model (Table 1).
Rock masses are an anisotropic and
inhomogeneous media, with different
physical and mechanical behaviors in
different directions and there are many
parameters used in the technical description
of rock masses, which Blastability Index (BI)
30 / 19
6 / 1
8 . 0
073 . 0



uses some of these parameters such as Rock
Mass Description, joint Spacing, Joint Plane
Angle, etc.

Table 1- Predicted and actual size
distribution for each blast site
(cm) X
(cm) X
(cm) Models Blast
39.3 20 11.8 Kuz-Ram DI-1
48 26.5 16.7 Image Proc.
47 25.8 16.1 New Model
43.2 22 12.9 Kuz-Ram DI-2
49.2 27 17 Image Proc.
48.4 27.3 17.38 New Model
45 23 13.5 Kuz-Ram DI-3
51.7 28.5 18.8 Image Proc.
50.9 28 17.7 New Model
47 24 14 Kuz-Ram DI-4
53 29 18 Image Proc.
53.8 29.5 18.3 New Model
51 26 15.3 Kuz-Ram DI-5
58.7 32 19.8 Image Proc.
58.1 31.7 19.7 New Model

Therefore, geomechanical properties as the
most important parameters in rock blasting
are not considered explicitly (Gheibie et al.
2007 and Momivand 2005) Thus,
Kuznetsov's equation, theoretically and
practically will not predict the mean
fragment size desirably.
In addition, Gheibie el al. (2009) showed
that uniformity index depends on rock mass
properties since, explosive type used in
mines is usually ANFO, which has high gas
energy (EB) and produces high gas pressures
and the gas particles passing the joints
activate the elder joints and then liberate the
insitu blocks. Through decreasing the joint
spacing, the size of insitu blocks becomes
more uniform and by releasing adequate gas
particles, the blocks will liberate. Boulder
formation is common in widely spaced
jointed rock mass blasting (Chung and
Katsabanis 2000). Bhandari (1997) also
concluded that blasts in rock masses with
parallel or perpendicular joints to bench face,
leads to a uniform fragmentation.
According to the above mentioned ideas it
can be understand that the new version of
Kuz-Ram model will predict the rock
fragmentation size distribution more reliable
than original Kuz-Ram which the table
shows the reliability of application of new
modified Kuz-Ram model at the Sungun
Obtaining the rock fragmentation size
distribution has always been a challenging
matter in rock blasting, for this the
researchers have developed a list of
empirical models to estimate it. However,
selecting a proper model for a blasting site is
also main point in the field. In this paper, the
original and the new version of Kuz-Ram
model modified by Gheibie et al. have been
selected to compare their application
reliability at the Sungun Mine.
According to the theoretical discussion it
is more reliable to use the new version of
Kuz-Ram developed by Gheibie et al. at the
Sungun, since, it also considers the impact of
factors that are not considered in Kuz-Ram
model. As an example, the Kuznetsov model
does not include the influence of joints
aperture which is believed as an important
parameter in retention of explosives energy
in rock mass, also it does not other rock mass
parameters such as joint infillings, etc.
However, in the new version of Kuz-Ram,
Gheibie et al. have considered the cumulative
influences of those parameters as the
Figure (1) - A sample of analyzed
muckpile by the software
coefficient factor. According to the pervious
findings, the distribution uniformity is
related to rock mass properties; however,
Cunningham has not included any parameter
related to rock mass to consider its effects.
Gheibie et al. have experimented that the
rock mass parameters influence the
distribution uniformity of rock fragmentation
by blasting. They have included BI
(Blastability Index) as the rock mass
representative in the uniformity index.
Therefore, it can be predicted that the new
version will estimated the rock fragmentation
size distribution by blasting more precise
than original Kuz-Ram.
Also from the practical aspects, this study
showed that the new version of Kuz-Ram
estimates the ROM size distribution more
reliable; therefore, it is suggested to apply
the new version of Kuz-Ram model at the
Sungun Copper Mine, Iran. It should also be
noted that the new version itself is lacking of
some key factors like timing effects. At the
end, it is suggested that a more reliable
model to be developed that does not have
those lacks which uses a most prefect rock
mass classification system other than BI.
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