A Parametric Study of Blast Damage on Hard Rock Pillar Strength
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Pillar stability is an important factor for safe working and from an economic standpoint in underground mines. This paper discusses the effect of blast damage on the strength of hard rock pillars using numerical models through a parametric study. The results indicate that blast damage has a significant impact on the strength of pillars with larger width-to-height (W/H) ratios. The blast damage causes softening of the rock at the pillar boundaries leading to the yielding of the pillars in brittle fashion beyond the blast damage zones. The models show that the decrease in pillar strength as a consequence of blasting is inversely correlated with increasing pillar height at a constant W/H ratio. Inclined pillars are less susceptible to blast damage, and the damage on the inclined sides has a greater impact on pillar strength than on the normal sides. A methodology to analyze the blast damage on hard rock pillars using FLAC3D is presented herein.
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