Blasthole Diameter and its Effect on Explosive Distribution

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
A good blasting result is largely achieved by putting the right amount of explosive in the right place and firing it in the right sequence. The best blast design in the world will not break the rock if the planned blast layout is not achieved in the field. One of the critical inputs into a blast design is the diameter of the blasthole. An assumption that the actual blasthole diameter is equal to the nominal drill bit size is generally made. However, a small deviation in the actual hole diameter from that assumed will have a dramatic effect on the hole's volume and, consequently, where the explosive is placed in the blasthole. Any discrepancy in actual blasthole volume from that assumed will be reflected in 'overloading' or 'underloading' of the blasthole with the calculated explosive quantity and, thus, reflect in explosive distribution and stemming lengths. When loading to a 'collar' in an oversized hole extra explosive will be used, resulting in higher than planned powder factors and explosive costs. A blasthole diameter assumed from a nominal drill bit size is an incorrect assumption. This paper will present some actual blasthole diameter measurements illustrating the variation in hole diameters seen in the field and proposes a practical method for achieving a useful blasthole diameter measurement.
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