A New Methodology For The Analysis Of The Relationship Between Rock Brittleness Index And Drag Pick Cutting Efficiency

Goktan, R. M.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
Rock brittleness plays an important role in the cutting action of picks on rock surfaces. It controls the ease with which cracks can propagate through the rocks. Although rock brittleness is known as a property that contributes to the cuttability of rocks, despite considerable research effort, there is still much uncertainty about the relation between rock brittleness and rock cutting efficiency. This fact can be attributed to the lack of a universally accepted brittleness concept and a brittleness measurement method. The existing publications of some researchers have, in a way, tended to confuse the understanding of brittleness in the general field of rock excavation where it is expected that the energy consumption of cutting should decrease with increasing brittleness of rock, other conditions being equal. However, this sometimes conflicts with the brittleness concept commonly used in rock mechanics, where the more brittle the rock the higher its mechanical strength. The ratio of rock compressive strength to tensile strength is considered by many authors to give a valuable brittleness index for drag pick operations. Hence, in this contribution the ratio of uniaxial compressive strength to tensile strength BI is considered as an index of rock brittleness, and a new methodology is proposed for its use in rock cutting efficiency analyses of drag tool operations. Validation of the suggested approach is supported by available experimental data in the literature. Contrary to the conclusions reached previously by other authors, it is shown that an increase in rock brittleness is accompanied by an increase in the cutting efficiency, other conditions being equal. Keywords: brittleness index, rock brittleness, cutting efficiency, specific energy, rock excavation.
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