Particle Flow Mechanism into Cable Shovel Dippers

CIM Vancouver 2016
Dr Tim G. Joseph (Associate Professor - University of Alberta), Mr Chris Pichurski (Research Associate - University of Alberta), Mrs Raheleh Rasimarzabadi (Student - University of Alberta)
In this study, the flow mechanism of granular material entering the dipper of a cable shovel was investigated. This is important to evaluate the performance of a mining shovel and to optimize the filling process.
For this purpose, a set of experimental lab tests were performed by moving 1:32 and 1:20 models of a 44m³ dipper through a set trajectory in a test bin filled with angular crushed limestone. The dipper movement at varying hoist speeds and pitch angles, and the test material’s response, were recorded using a high resolution video camera.
Based on the observations, a general theory of particle flow mechanism into a cable shovel dipper has been proposed in a 5 stage digging trajectory, from the time the dipper engages the face to the time it exits. The experimental evidence revealed the flow pattern for a well broken material akin to a blast results, is independent of the digging conditions. However, the thickness of the flow layers, and therefore, the amount of loaded material, is influenced by the dipper’s pitch and depth of penetration. A lower pitch angle results in a narrower flowing layer which leads to a higher amount of payload. An optimum depth of penetration reduces the likelihood of blockages at the dipper ingress resulting in a continuous loading process with a higher fill factor and lower energy consumption.
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