ALL ABOUT BLASTING

Blasting is the controlled use of explosives and other methods such as gas pressure blasting pyrotechnics, to break rock for excavation. It is practiced most often in mining, quarrying and civil engineering such as dam, tunnel or road construction.

Our Sirenco motorised sirens are commonly used in the warning notification systems that alarms bystanders and employees prior to detonating the blasts. Throughout the years in the field, installing and testing blasting sirens, we have come across some interesting facts regarding blasting and the history of explosives;

History:

(Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drilling_and_blasting

The use of explosives in mining goes back to the year 1627, in the Hungarian (now Slovak) town of Banská Štiavnica. The innovation spread quickly throughout Europe and the Americas.

The standard method for blasting rocks was to drill a hole to a considerable depth and deposit a charge of gunpowder at the further end of the hole and then fill the remainder of the hole with clay or some other soft mineral substance, well rammed, to make it as tight as possible. A wire laid in the hole during this process was then removed and replaced with a train of gunpowder. This train was ignited by a slow match, often consisting simply of brown paper smeared with grease, intended to burn long enough to allow the person who fires it enough time to reach a place of safety.[4]

While drilling and blasting saw limited use in pre-industrial times using gunpowder (such as with the Blue Ridge Tunnel in the United States, built in the 1850s), it was not until more powerful (and safer) explosives, such as dynamite (patented 1867), as well as powered drills were developed, that its potential was fully realised.

In 1990, 2.1 billion kg of commercial explosives were consumed in the United States (12 m3 per capita), representing an estimated expenditure of 3.5 to 4 billion 1993 dollars on blasting. In this year the Soviet Union was the leader in total volume with 2.7 billion kg of explosives consumed (13 m3 per capita), and Australia had the highest per capita explosives consumption that year with 45 m3 per capita.

Interesting facts about blasting:

Fact one:
The mining industry is the largest consumer of civil explosives.

Fact two:
Upon detonation, the chemical energy in the explosive is liberated, compact explosive transforms into a glowing gas with an enormous pressure that can exceed 100,000 atmospheres.

Fact three:
The most commonly used explosives in mining today are ANFO based blends due to lower cost than dynamite.

Fact four:
The use of explosives in mining goes back to the year 1627, when gunpowder was first used in place of mechanical tools.

 

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