Tailoring Explosives to the Ground Type, Application and Operating Environment

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
In recent years a number of explosive blends including ANFO, emulsion and watergel products have been used in a variety of ground types and applications. These `standard' explosives' technologies are not new, but out of the uses and applications, have sprung a new generation of tailored explosives that match the ground type and the operating environment. This is in stark contrast to the norm, where various patterns and loading configurations have traditionally been designed to accommodate the explosive. This paper discusses these tailored explosives and the explosives' technology behind why they work. Active tailoring of explosive formulations can save mining dollars while essentially leaving the explosive price unchanged. Tailoring explosives may lead to increased rock breakage, heave, digging rates; lower digging maintenance costs and in some cases replacing earth moving machinery altogether. Tailored explosives may have other benefits such as reduced over pressure compared with standard alternatives. The tailoring of explosive performance generally involves three major methods (other than changing the bulk density and sensitivity): (i) replacing fast burning reactants with slower burning reactants or vice versa; or (ii) leaving the explosive intact and diluting the entire explosive with slow burning or `inert' material; or (iii) changing the concentration of the fuel/oxidiser mix. When tailoring explosives for particular applications, authorising, testing, costing, manufacturing, and delivery systems must also be taken into account.
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