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Simulation Before Detonation

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

For nearly 200 years, Austin Powder has manufactured explosives for use in the mining industry. It also supplies blasting services to numerous quarries and mines globally.

Simulation Before Detonation

As blasting outcomes – such as fragmentation, highwall damage, flyrock, and vibration – are key performance indicators (KPIs) that affect downstream operations at a mine, drill and blast engineers need to model blasting results and adjust parameters during the design phase prior to firing the blast.

For this purpose, Austin Powder uses Paradigm, a blast design and engineering modelling package. The Paradigm Team and Austin Powder’s Global Technical Team have collaborated to develop a blasting software solutions package where numerous models can be used concurrently to predict and analyse blasting outcomes. Models simulating common KPIs – such as flyrock, vibration, drilling accuracy, and fragmentation – will be discussed in this article.

Flyrock and muck movement

The definition of flyrock can vary by jurisdiction. However, flyrock can generally be defined as any material projected as a result of a blast beyond the expected area of throw. If equipment or people around a blast are not evacuated from the vicinity, results can be fatal or cause damage to equipment. All mines are concerned about flyrock potential; however, blanket policies, such as blasting exclusion zones, are often implemented without considering the actual flyrock potential of the specific blast of interest.

Paradigm software utilises validated flyrock equations to determine the maximum flyrock range from each blasthole, based on factors such as open-face burden and throw potential due to bench cratering. Flyrock danger zones can be determined before the blast and even generate a 3D shroud that considers not only the column loads of each blasthole, but also the effects of topography if a digital terrain model is included. An experienced blaster knows that a change in blast delay timing, charge diameter, type, or coupling can drastically change the extent and direction of flyrock range or bulk muck movement. Paradigm helps determine how drastic those effects can be when it counts.

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