The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Summary of Surface Blasting and Damages with Analysis of Two Mitigation Techniques – Presplit and Smooth Blasting

7.0 Conclusion

The use of explosives to remove rock from unwanted areas will continue to be used, not only in surface blasting, but for underground and underwater blasting as well, because the method is so effective. However, reducing damage to the final rock mass is important to ensuring safety and allowing for more economical designs.  The effect damage has on strength in design can be easily seen in the Hoek-Brown equation by the disturbance factor, D, used specifically for damage to a rock mass, both for mechanical, good blasting, and poor blasting excavation (Hoek 2007). Determining the extent of this damage to more refined levels has helped pinpoint the causes of the damage, and in so doing, allowed for designs geared towards remedying the site specific issues. Numerical modeling will prove to be of great use, as it has for the entire field of rock engineering, as long as it is used knowing the limitations of the models. If this is done, however, as it was for the high rock slope projects in China, the sequence of damage is reduced down from a very complicated interactions to a few snapshots of the computer screen that can be interpreted with ease. Rock blasting has advanced from the simple relations passed down through generations of miners into being modeled and researched by engineers working to help improve the safety of said miners. The mixing is a beautiful combination of old and new, seen across all engineering to literally help shape the face of the earth.

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