Time dependence, probability distribution, and size effect have been investigated by many researchers and are still important issues in rock engineering. These seem to be different characteristics of rock but were found to be closely related to each other through laboratory tests with rock specimens in recent studies. In this paper, the theoretical aspects on the time dependence, probability distribution, and size effect of rock strength were explained, and some of the theoretical results were compared with the previous experimental results. The theoretical formulae based on the rate process theory that represent the failure progression of rock were introduced, and their relation to the theories of visco-elasticity and visco-plasticity was described. The exact solutions of the loading-rate dependence of strength and the creep lifetime were derived from the formulae and were compared with the experimental results of andesite. In addition, the exact solutions of the probability distribution of strength and creep lifetime and their relation to the statistics of extremes were described; the exact solutions of the size effect of strength and creep lifetime and their relation to the comminution theory were also described. The authors clarified what issues have been or have not been verified in previous studies and presented the subjects of future investigation.
It is known that the rock strength increases with an increase in loading rate. Many studies on the loadingrate dependence of rock strength have been performed under two environments, namely water-saturated and airdried conditions, and the loading-rate dependence has not been investigated well under the conditions of various water saturations observed in situ rock masses. In addition, the quantitative relation between the loading-rate dependence and water saturation has not been examined. In this study, the uniaxial compression test of Sanjome andesite under various water saturations was carried out and the dependence of the strength on the loading rate and water saturation was investigated. The test was performed with alternating two loading rates and the strength corresponding to each loading rate was determined from a single specimen. The test results show that the strength increase with a ten-fold increase in loading rate is almost the same under various water saturations and that the strength increases with a decrease in water saturation. Based on the test results, the theory to explain the dependence of the strength on the loading rate and water saturation was suggested. The variation in the strength was discussed to validate the theory.
Because blasting is a quite efficient and economical excavation method, it has been widely applied to tunnel excavation especially in hard rock. However, this method is rarely used to the tunnel site close to residential houses due to its environmental impact such as vibration and noise. Nowadays, the advanced electronic detonator, which was widely used in overseas mine site, was introduced to the tunnel site in Japan. This electronic detonator with accurate delay time (=ignition time difference between consecutive holes) has a potential to mitigate blasting vibration. In the past, many studies to lower the blasting vibration had been conducted and in some of them, several ways of simulation were implemented and the relations between vibration mitigation and arrangement of delay time were proposed. In this study, based on the past achievement and blasting test the authors had carried out, the appropriate method to determine the optimum delay time was proposed. In the case of electronic detonator in which each hole has different ignition time, the methods using autocorrelation and frequency analysis were found to be good expectation of delay time to lower the vibration. Also, in the case of conventional electric detonator in which ignition time has dispersion, the relation between vibration and ignition time dispersion was calculated, and the proper way to lower the vibration was proposed. This study gives practical method to set appropriate ignition time to lower blasting vibration.
Rock drills were developed about two hundred years ago, and hydraulic percussion rock drills are about half-century old. Performance and efficiency of rock drills have been increased by a number of researchers and engineers. Percussion energy was dramatically increased with changing the power source from pneumatic to hydraulic pressures; rods and rod joints were improved to endure the high percussion energy; carbide button bits were developed for hard rock drilling. This paper reviewed the previous studies and future issues on the drilling processes with hydraulic percussion rock drills. Studies on the stress wave propagation in rods and rod joints were based on theoretical and graphical methods and recently on numerical simulation. Studies on the interaction between a button bit and rock included crack propagation in rock, force-penetration relationship during drilling, and bit wear. Studies on the factors affecting drilling efficiency and drilling rate made a transition from simple to precise numerical simulations. Finally, important future issues were presented for the further progress of hydraulic percussion rock drills.
Although blasting is a quite efficient and economical excavation method, it is rarely applied to tunnel projects close to residential areas due to its environmental impacts, especially with regard to vibration and noise. Two key controls used to mitigate the occurrence of noise and vibration due to blasting are the use of small instantaneous explosives charges and the use of precise delay times to initiate the blast design sequence. An advanced electronic detonator, which has its precision of 0.01% of designed delay time and has made it possible to achieve precise initiation control in blasting, was introduced and used in a tunnel construction site in Japan. Testing of the delay times during blasting was carried out, the test results revealed the specific features and performance of the detonator to control the blasting vibration especially within a short distance of the tunnel face. In previous studies, several ways of simulating blasting waveforms were used. One of these, the Monte Carlo method, in which the production wave was reproduced by superposing a single wave had the potential to give good predictions of the production waves that might occur. Therefore, in this study, a similar way of simulating production waves was carried out. Section peaks in the production waveforms correspond with the detonation of each blasthole. These section peaks were found to follow the Weibull distribution, even though the section peaks might be influenced by amount of explosives, drill alignment, and geological inhomogeneity etc. More detailed simulation with consideration of difference in travel time and the change of the Weibull parameters with distance gives further precise results compared with the real production waves. This study leads more precise method of predicting production waves and of optimum blasting design.
The effect of water on the mechanical properties of rocks, such as strength and Young's modulus, has been investigated in many studies. To understand the mechanism of the effect of water on the mechanical behavior of rocks, not only these mechanical properties but also the stress-strain curve, which is one of the most basic data showing the mechanical behavior, should be focused on, and the change of the stress-strain curve with the different water conditions is needed to be known. In this study, the effect of water saturation on the uniaxial compressive strength and the stress-strain curve of rocks was investigated. The uniaxial compression test with alternating loading rate was performed using Sanjome andesite, Tage tuff, Kimachi sandstone and Akiyoshi marble. Inada granite was used for the uniaxial compression test with constant loading rate. The tests were conducted under various water conditions: oven-dried, vacuum-dried, air-dried, air-dried for one day, immersed in water and watersaturated conditions. The test results showed that the stress-strain curve of the andesite, tuff, sandstone and granite changed with the water saturation. On the other hand, the effect of water saturation on the stress-strain curve of the marble was not observed. From the test results, the increase in strength due to decrease in water saturation was discussed. A shift of the peak strength point with the water condition change was investigated, and the relation between the stress-strain curves under the different water conditions was considered based on it.
In the CERCHAR abrasivity test for rocks, to understand the wear process of styli is important for the appropriate setting of test conditions and for the estimation of bit wear in in-situ rock excavation. In this study, the wear process of a stylus was estimated from both the stylus vertical displacement measured during the test and the groove depth measured after the test. The results showed that the stylus wear during the test can be traced with a simple calculation of the measured values for the two high abrasive rocks, Inada granite and Iwaki sandstone. In those tests, the styli were worn flatly. The calculation was corrected for the other medium to low abrasive eight rocks, because the measured groove depth was not thought to be completely consistent with the penetration depth of the stylus. Comparing the results of the nine rocks with the exception of the granite, the stylus wear continued for longer sliding distance in the tests for higher abrasive rock. It was found from the results of the granite that the mineral constitution affected the wear process of the stylus. In addition, this paper discussed the relation of the CAI (CERCHAR Abrasivity Index) and its variation to the stylus wear process and the rock hardness. On the basis of the results, points of attention in the CERCHAR test were described.
Computer simulation of percussive rock drilling requires appropriate numerical models for the interactions among the drill body, rod, rod joint, bit, and rock. In this study, the impact penetration of a bit into rock was investigated for the modeling of the bit-rock interaction. Impact penetration tests on Inada granite were carried out with six rod-bit configurations which were composed of four kinds of button bits and two kinds of rods. In the calculation of force-penetration curves from the measured rod strains, the bit model constructed from the acoustic impedance was simplified, and the empirical data correction method proposed by the authors was applied to all the rod-bit configurations. The force-penetration curves for the six rod-bit configurations showed that the bit force in loading phase was approximately proportional to the square of the penetration. The curves in unloading phase had a linear relation between the bit force and the penetration. The final penetration of each blow had a linear relation with the maximum penetration, and the measured borehole depth was proportional to the maximum penetration. The effect of rod diameter on the force-penetration curves was not obviously observed. On the other hand, the bit force corresponding to the same penetration increased and the specific energy decreased with an increase in bit diameter or in the number of button tips on the bit. These findings will contribute to the improvement of the accuracy in the simulation of percussive rock drilling.
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