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Disc cutting tests on dry and saturated sandstone: muck as a performance estimator

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2012, Vol. 332, No. 1, pp. 406-413

Abu Bakar, M.Z.; Gertsch, L.S.


 The research presented here is part of a project to quantify the differences in the mechanical excavatability of rocks in dry and water-saturated conditions. A series of full-scale laboratory linear rock cutting tests were carried out with a long-bladed single disc cutter on dry and water-saturated sandstone blocks. The muck collected from the cutting tests was analyzed to establish a link with the specific energy (SE) of the operation. The coarseness index (CI), a non-dimensional parameter, was found to be a useful indicator of the relative efficiency of the cutting operation. An inverse relationship of the form SE = k CI-n was observed between SE and CI. The power n of the relationship for both dry and saturated rock was much lower than found in previous studies. The exponent n is believed to be dependent on the strength of the rock and the cutter type used. Although the average CI was lower for saturated rock than for dry rock, at the same time, saturated rock cutting was found to be less energy-intensive (in terms of SE) than dry rock cutting. Moderate correlation exists between the production rate or yield and the SE of the cutting operation for both dry and saturated rock, which can provide some useful information about the field production rate, discounting the effect of discontinuities in the rock mass.