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Comparison of Mine Blast in Water Pit Vs. Sandy Gravel Pit (AEP-55 Soil)



Soil condition, defined by soil type, particle dispersion, moisture content, degree of saturation and other parameters, influence the blast intensity of a buried explosive charge. None of the various existing standards presents an unambiguous uniform definition of soil conditions. While performing a development process, the comparison between the different models is essential, therefore, the repeatability of the test conditions is necessary and critical. In order to eliminate non-tested parameters such as soil conditions, there is a need to use a deployment method that will assure repeatable loading. The most probable way to achieve a repeatable impulse is using a steel pot setup or a water pit setup. Implementing a steel pot for the development phase is the easiest and economical way, however, the impulse half the value when compared to saturated soil conditions. Consequently, as the model does not represent the real test conditions developers may reach erroneous conclusions. On the other hand, the mine blast impulse developed in a water environment is similar to the impulse developed in saturated soil. Furthermore, due to the uniform nature of the water and the fact that the blast is performed in singlephase surroundings, the finite elements calibration process is much easier and more accurate for blasts performed in water setting. As we will show in this paper, a good correlation exists between the field test results and simulation. This can free developers to focus on studying the armor structure or other factors and altogether exclude the influence of the soil parameters from the simulation models. By establishing the above claims, this paper aims to endorse the usage of water pits setup for blast tests, so that most soils conditions can be covered and be reliably repeated during the development process. In this paper, we also present discussion about some physical aspects of the blast in water pit, which may explain the main mechanism that controls the transfer of the impulse from the buried mine to the target structure during the explosion event, and why this explosion can represent fully saturated buried mine explosion.


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