Document Type: Case Study

Authors

1 Faculty of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Drilling & Well Completion Technologies & Research Group, Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI), Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The explosion process of explosives in a borehole applies a very high pressure on its surrounding rock media. This process can initiate and propagate rock fractures, and finally, may result in the rock fragmentation. Rock fragmentation is mainly caused by the propagation of inherent pre-existing fractures of the rock mass and also from the extension of the newly formed cracks within the intact rock due to the explosion. In this work, the process of extension of blast-induced fractures in rock masses is simulated using the discrete element method. It should be noted that, in this work, fracture propagation from both the rock mass inherent fractures and newly induced cracks are considered. The rock mass inherent fractures are generated using the discrete fracture network technique. In order to provide the possibility of fracture extension in the intact rock blocks, they are divided into secondary blocks using the Voronoi tessellation technique. When the modeling is completed, the fracture extension processes in the radial and longitudinal sections of a borehole are specified. Then a blast hole in an assumed rock slope is modeled and the effect of pre-splitting at the back of the blast hole (controlled blasting) on the fracture extension process in the blast area is investigated as an application of the proposed approach. The modeling results obtained show that the deployed procedure is capable of modeling the explosion process and different fracture propagations and fragmentation processes in the rock masses such as controlled blasting.

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