Stemming Ejection Comparison of Conventional Stemming and Stemming Incorporating Blast Control Plugs for Increasing Explosion Energy Use

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
The research, development and testing of a Blast Control Plug (U.S. Pat. #4,754,705) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy is described. The plug's function is to improve blasting efficiency through the enhancement of stemming effectiveness and thereby reduce drilling and blasting costs. The plug comprises a solid unit placed in the blast hole within the stemming column above the explosive. It is designed for use with back filled drill cuttings or any other suitable material The research and development program comprised the testing of the plug in small diameter holes in competent rock for both bench and crater blasting configurations and full scale field trials in multiple hole and row blasts using blast holes of from 76 to 387 mm in diameter. Test measurements included stemming displacement and velocity, face movement and extent, peak air over pressure and ground surface peak particle velocity. Data acquisition equipment included a Spin Physics SP2000 high speed video motion analysis system, and acoustic and seismic monitoring units. Substantial reductions in stemming ejection velocity or ejection elimination were achieved whilst reducing stemming length by up to 35% over conventional practice. Peak air blast pressures were also reduced by between 8 and 25 dB. A strong inverse relationship between rock face movement and stemming ejection velocity was found. The implications of the importance of stemming effectiveness in blasting and computer blast simulation is also addressed.
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