Orica launch new 4D bulk explosives system
New 4D bulk explosives technology system set to optimize productivity and reduce blasting costs
ORICA have launched their 4D bulk explosives technology system, which allows the real-time tailoring of explosives energy to geology across a blast, delivering improvements in fragmentation, on-bench productivity and an overall reduction in drilling and blasting costs.
The 4D bulk explosives technology will allow Orica’s customers to seamlessly match a greater range of explosives energy across a site’s geology and target specific blast outcomes in real time.
By combining emulsion blended with ammonium nitrate porous prills, 4D supports both pumped and augered loading methods across dry, wet, and dewatered hole conditions. An outcome of this capability is greater on-bench productivity by Orica’s fleet of 4D-enabled mobile manufacturing units (MMUs), without the need to change raw materials in the MMU.
Orica’s chief technology officer, Angus Melbourne, said: ‘Our 4D capability demonstrates the convergence of our new technologies and solutions, allowing our customers to think differently, work more efficiently and operate more precisely.
‘By combining our range of advanced digital, formulation chemistry, and explosives delivery technologies with our technical expertise, we are able to offer this breakthrough solution that will unlock greater value for our customers across their operations.’
Delivering up to 23% more relative bulk strength for hard rock applications and up to a 43% reduction in soft rock, 4D will permit a broader range of applications.
In hard rock, the extra energy can be used to improve fragmentation during blasting, or to expand patterns while maintaining the same energy per bank cubic metre (BCM) to substantially reduce drilling and blasting costs.
In softer geology, the potential to load significantly lower-energy products into wet holes will lead to reduced cost and fume risk, as well as better management of blast vibration.
Describing the solution and the significant change in the application of explosives, Orica’s vice-president of blasting technology, Adam Mooney, said: ‘Traditionally, blast designs are often driven by the powder factor, which is the overall consumption of explosives for the blast, rather than the energy required for different parts of the blast based on geology. This results in the same type of explosive being applied across a blast pattern, regardless of changes in geology or the required blast outcome.
‘Now, 4D enables us to consider another dimension – the application of energy in real time matched to the rock strength of the blast pattern as well as the desired blast outcomes, such as consistent fragmentation, fume risk reduction or better vibration control. This is a really powerful technology that will allow customers to manage their drilling and blasting operations and achieve improved blast outcomes.’
4D will be delivered through MMUs equipped with LOADPlus, Orica’s proprietary in-cab smart explosives delivery control system for ease of manufacture and accurate and efficient delivery of formulated explosives products according to plan.
Integration with Orica’s suite of digital blasting technologies, including BlastIQ and SHOTPlus, will further allow customers to leverage seamless digital workflows, including blast designs and blast quality assurance and control, as well as BlastIQ digital insights to continually optimize blasting outcomes.
4D technology is currently being developed across Orica’s Fortis, Fortan and Aquacharge bulk systems and will eventually be applied across the company’s full suite of bulk systems. The first release of 4D will begin in Australia from the end of this year, with other regions to follow from 2022.