A number of theoretical papers have been published outlining the use of electronic detonators to limit peak particle vibrations levels, but few empirical studies have been undertaken and even fewer examples have been published of the use of such technology in the aggregates industry. This paper gives a summary of the research work carried out at two limestone quarries in the North of England, where a series of blasts were used to compare and contrast the use of electronic and non-electric detonators. The majority of blasts were carried out using the same burden, spacing and decked charge weight loadings. A methodology was established that could be used to reduce the peak particle velocities (PPVs) at two or more specific locations by using single-hole blast vibration signatures in conjunction with specific electronic detonator timing intervals. The initial study concluded that this was only possible if single-hole signature blasts were periodically recorded to establish the shape of the correct vibration envelopes as properties were approached. These wave envelopes could then be used as the basis for choosing the specific electronic detonator timing intervals to give the lowest PPV for the properties or locations concerned. This methodology was then used in the second study to access a large volume of aggregates adjacent to a working railway tunnel. The financial benefit for the company was to convert these additional tonnages of rock from being a resource to an exploitable reserve. The project involved careful blast design and the instrumentation of a number of boreholes to enable the results of blast monitoring exercises to be compared with predicted PPV results. The iterative process involved the vibration results being uploaded into 'Blast Log' (an expert blasting database system developed by the Blasting and Environmental Research Group at the University of Leeds) and analysed to produce predictions ready for the next blast.

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Conference EXPLO 2007 - Blasting: Techniques and Technology, Proceedings
Birch, W.J., Pegden, M., White, A, Hosein, S., & Farnfield, R. (2007). The use of electronic detonators to access additional aggregate reserves adjacent to subsurface structures. In Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publication Series (pp. 15–20).