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Surface Mine Blasting Near Pressurized Transmission Pipelines
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  • Description:
    The U.S. Bureau of Mines and the State of Indiana cooperated with AMAX Coal Co. and its consultants to determine the effects of coal mine overburden blasting on nearby pipelines. Five pressurized 76-m pipeline sections were installed on the Minnehaha Mine highwall near Sullivan, IN, for testing to failure. Four 17-to 51-cm-diameter welded steel pipes and one 22-cm PVC pipe were monitored for vibration, strain, and pressure for a period of 6 months while production blasting advanced up to the test pipeline field. In contrast to previous studies of small-scale, close-in blasting for construction, these tests involved overburden blasts of up to 950 kg per delay in 31-cm blastholes. Analyses found low pipe responses, strains, and calculated stresses from even large blasts. Ground vibrations of 120 to 250 mm/s produced worst case strains that were about 25 pct of the strains resulting from normal pipeline operations and calculated stresses of only about 10 to 18 pct of the ultimate tensile strength. No pressurization failures or permanent strains occurred even at vibration amplitudes of 600 mm/s.

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