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Mechanical Excavation in Mining and Civil Industries

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This book is intended to reflect several years of experience and accumulated knowledge  on  mechanized  excavation,  applied  especially  in  mining  and construction  industries.  First,  a  brief  information  and  background  will  be given on site investigation, physical and mechanical properties of rocks, soils, and coal. 

Then, rock-cutting theories, laboratory rock-cutting tests, wear of cutting tools, roadheaders, impact hammers, hard rock TBMs, soft ground TBMs, microtunnel boring machines, shaft and raise boring machines, large diameter drills, mechanical excavation in coal mines, chain saw machines, and emerging excavation technologies including current research are presented.

  Almost  50  numerical  examples  with  solutions  are  included  in  the book  to  clarify  the  topics.  It  is  intended  to  serve  students  and  practicing engineers in their understanding and decision-making on selecting a proper mechanical excavator for a specific job. We hope that this book will serve as a sound basis in understanding and applying  rapid  excavation  technologies  in  construction  and  mining  engineering fields.

Modern society needs excavation of the Earth’s crust, especially for  mining and  construction  purposes.  The  requirement  of  excavation  gradually increases  in  parallel  to  the  development  of  the  different  technologies and the increasing prosperity demand of the societies. This requirement increased tremendously especially after World War II. As a result, many developments were carried out in the excavation industry, particularly in mechanical excavation methods. Drill–blast method is an older excavation method  and  used  very  commonly. 

 However,  a  new  scientific  discipline called “rock-cutting mechanics” or “mechanical excavation” was born in the early 1950s, and this sped up the competition between mechanical and drill–blast  excavation  methods.  Today,  mechanical  excavation  takes  an important  share  in  the  excavation  industry  as  an  alternative  to  conventional drill–blast. Some definition should be well understood to develop a better insight into the rock-cutting mechanics and/or mechanical excavation, which is the main subject of this book. Excavation can be defined as disintegration (breakage, fragmentation,  cutting)  of  the  Earth’s  crust  (rocks/rock  masses/ground)  by means of different methods for economic purposes.

 Mechanical excavation can be defined as excavation by means of machines transferring the energy as  a  force  from  cutting  tools  (cutters,  bits)  to  the  rock/ground  by  generating  concentrated  stresses. 

 Rock-cutting  mechanics  is  a  scientific  discipline that  investigates the interaction between cutting tool and rock/ground, the mechanical miner (excavation machine, excavator), and technical–operational– environmental conditions for the purposes of defining the cuttability of rocks. Rock-cutting  mechanics  also  includes  designing  and  selecting  mechanical miners, and predicting and optimizing their excavation performance for feasibility and planning purposes .