Evaluation Of The Indirect Measures Of Rock Brittleness And Fracture Toughness In Rock Cutting

Tiryaki, B.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 18
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
Performance prediction models for partial face mechanical excavators, when developed in laboratory conditions, depend on relating the results of a set of rock property tests and indices to specific cutting energy (SE) for various rock types. There exist some studies in the literature aiming to correlate the geotechnical properties of intact rocks with the SE, especially for massive and widely jointed rock environments. However, those including direct and/or indirect measures of rock fracture parameters such as rock brittleness and fracture toughness, along with the other rock parameters expressing different aspects of rock behavior under drag tools (picks), are rather limited. With this study, it was aimed to investigate the relationships between the indirect measures of rock brittleness and fracture toughness and the SE depending on the results of a new and two previous linear rock cutting programmes. Relationships between the SE, rock strength parameters, and the rock index tests have also been investigated in this study. Sandstone samples taken from the different fields around Ankara, Turkey were used in the new testing programme. Detailed mineralogical analyses, petrographic studies, and rock mechanics and rock cutting tests were performed on these selected sandstone specimens. The assessment of rock cuttability was based on the SE. Three different brittleness indices (B1, B2, andB4) were calculated for sandstones samples, whereas a toughness index (Ti), being developed by Atkinson et al.1, was employed to represent the indirect rock fracture toughness. The relationships between the SE and the large amounts of new data obtained from the mineralogical analyses, petrographic studies, rock mechanics, and linear rock cutting tests were evaluated by using bivariate correlation and curve fitting techniques, variance analysis, and Student?s t-test. Rock cutting and rock property testing data that came from well-known studies of McFeat-Smith and Fowell2andRoxborough and Philips3have also been employed in statistical analyses together with the new data. Laboratory tests and subsequent analyses revealed that there were close correlations between the SE and B4 whereas no statistically significant correlation has been found between the SE and Ti. Uniaxial compressive and Brazilian tensile strengths and Shore scleroscope hardness of sandstones also exhibited strong relationships with the SE. NCB cone indenter test had the greatest influence on the SE among the other engineering properties of rocks, confirming the previous studies in rock cutting and mechanical excavation. Therefore, it was recommended to employ easy-to-use index tests of NCB cone indenter and Shore scleroscope in the estimation of laboratory SE of sandstones ranging from very low to high strengths in the absence of a rock cutting rig to measure it until the easy-to-use universal measures of the rock brittleness and especially the rock fracture toughness, being an intrinsic rock property, are developed.
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