Numerical and experimental study of wedge penetration into oil sands

Abstract An experimental and numerical study was conducted on the geomechanical behaviour of oil sands during penetration tests in which a steel wedge with an apex angle of either 20 degrees or 30 degrees was forced into compacted oil sands. The boundary conditions simulated in the laboratory tests are similar to shovel penetration into oil sands. The objective of the laboratory tests was to measure the force required to push a steel wedge into compacted oil sands. A wedge penetration test differs from conventional triaxial tests in that much more shear is generated. The laboratory data was needed to improve calibration of micro-mechanical input parameters for a two-dimensional discrete element model of oil sands constructed with Particle Flow Code (PFC). Initial model calibration was performed with triaxial test data and then a PFC model of the wedge penetration test was constructed. The measured force-displacement behaviour of the steel wedge was compared with PFC modelling results. It was found that different combinations of PFC particle and bond parameters could equally well replicate the laboratory triaxial compression data for bitumen-rich oil sands. When the wedge model was run, it was found that the resulting force required to penetrate the wedge into the oil sands was about four to six times higher than that measured. This clearly indicates that further research is required to improve the predictive capability of PFC models of oil sands.
Keywords: Wedge penetration, Oil sands, Geomechanics, Particle Flow Code (PFC).
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Summary: The Oil sands-Equipment Interactions Program (OsEIP) is a collaborative research venture between Syncrude Canada Ltd., James Progithin International Ltd. (JPi), the University of Alberta, P&H MinePro, and Caterpillar Inc. The objective is to better understand the behaviour of oil sands as it interacts with mining equipment, in particular, large trucks and shovels. With a move to ever larger equipment, mining oil sands of highly variable bitumen content, ground stability comes into question....
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): T.G. Joseph
Keywords: Oil sands, Underfoot stiffness, Shovel stability, Truck stability, Oil sands-Equipment Interaction Program (OsEIP).
Issue: 1064
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Hangingwall sloughing is the major cause of unplanned stope dilution in open stope mining. Understanding the hangingwall sloughing mechanism can guide the stope design in minimizing the unplanned dilution and improving muck size and therefore mining efficiency. Though the modified stability graph method may be adopted to assess the hangingwall stability, for mines where the hangingwall is inaccessible, the required parameters are difficult to define and some of the simple influential factors...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J. Ran
Keywords: Hangingwall, Voussoir beam, Sloughing, Muck quality, Dilution.
Issue: 1064
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Grande Cache Coal (GCC), an investor-owned Alberta company, is in the final stages of the regulatory process leading to the resumption of coal mining in the Smoky River Coal Field of Alberta. Although many opportunities for low-cost, high-yield mining remained on the property, GCC opted for a long-term production plan that ensures stability for the local economy, sustainable use of the resources in the area, environmental responsibility and a satisfactory return for its investors. GCC entered...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): P. Cain, B. Martens
Keywords: Grande Cache Coal project,
Coal mining, Sustainable development,
Reclamation.
Issue: 1064
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: This paper considers the duty cycle of an electric cable shovel and correlations with measured passive seismic responses of the underfoot oil sands material in-pit.
It has been observed that the cyclic activity during operation of any shovel in the oil sands environment causes the material to deteriorate and provide a less than ideal footing for this large item of equipment, whose dead weight approaches 1500 tons with a footprint of merely 75 sq. yd. Consequences are manifested in the form of...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): T.G. Joseph, G.W. Hansen, J.M. Goris
Keywords: Cables, Oil sands, Shovels, Equipment, Oil sands-Equipment Interaction Program (OsEIP).
Issue: 1064
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Syncrude Canada operates the largest oil sands crude oil production facility in the world and produces over 13% of Canada’s total oil requirements. To achieve this, Syncrude mines the oil sands in open pits, extracts the raw oil known as bitumen from the sand using water-based processes and upgrades it into sweet light crude oil by fluid coking, hydroprocessing, hydrotreating and reblending. The final product, Syncrude Sweet Blend (SSB), is sent by pipeline to three Edmonton area refineries...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): L.M. Gould
Keywords: Oil sands, High precision shovel GPS, Geology, Open pit.
Issue: 1064
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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