Rock Blasting Fundamentals
Daniel A. Vellone,M.S., P.G.
Controlled rock blasting methods have been used to excavate rock in shafts, tunnels, and chambers at many projects at urban locations throughout the United States. Rock Blasting consists of drilling holes in a rock mass at depths, in diameters, and at spacing so that an explosive can fracture the rock in a controlled manner to break ore, rock or to create space.
This course provides engineers and geologists with an introduction to rock blasting fundamentals including practical blast design techniques, a basic presentation of explosives and their characteristics, explosive selection criteria, risk management practices, initiators and timing effects as well as patterns are also discussed. This course will primarily focus on surface blast design, although much of the discussion is relevant to other blasting applications. Blast-induced ground vibrations and airblasts are discussed along with methods for monitoring, evaluation and control.
The course materials
are based upon the publication "Rock Blasting and Overbreak Control"
(FHWA-HI-92-001) published by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal
Highway Administration. A slideshow presentation is provided to review key learning
objectives and principals. Additionally, a substantial amount of selected technical
papers and reference information has been made available to the course participant
to provide additional in-depth information on specific subjects.
This course includes
a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding
of the course materials.
Upon Completion of the course, engineers and geologist should be familiar with:
This course is intended for geo-professionals (geologists or engineers specializing in geotechnical or geological engineering) concerned with the design or engineering review of controlled blasting programs. Additionally, this course may be beneficial to municipal engineers and professionals in construction management responsible for the hiring of specialty contractors to perform blasting operations.
Benefit to Attendees
Attendee of this course will gain a valuable understanding of the fundamentals of rock blasting including the mechanics of rock breakage, performance characteristics of explosives, blast design, controlled blasting and blasting safety. Additionally, the course participant will gain several technical resources to provide further information beyond the material covered in this course.
The course materials are based on the publication Rock Blasting and Overbreak Control (FHWA-HI-92-001) published by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. A complete copy of Rock Blasting and Overbreak Control is available free of charge in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format by following the internet link:
A slideshow presentation has been provided for the participant to review key learning objectives and principals. The link to the slide show is as follows:
Several select technical papers and reference information is available to the course participant to provide additional in-depth information on specific subjects.
Additional supplemental reference information which may be of interest to the participant includes the following commercially available publications:
Please click on the above underlined hypertexts to view, download or print the documents for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Upon completion of this course, the participant will gain a valuable understanding of the fundamentals of rock blasting including the mechanics of rock breakage, performance characteristics of explosives, blast design, controlled blasting and blasting safety. Additionally, the participant will gain several technical resources to provide further information beyond the material covered in this course.
Several excellent sources of supplemental reference information pertaining to rock blasting are available for download in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format free of charge from industry sources. Select links to additional references have been included for the participant to review, to further their knowledge beyond the contents of this course.
For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:
1. Systematic Drilling
and Blasting for Surface Excavations - (March 1972)
2. Surface Mining,
Second Edition (1990)
6.1 - Drilling
6.2 - Blasting
3. Practical Rock
Engineering, 2007 Edition
17 - Blasting Damage in Rock
Geology Field Manual, Second Edition Volume I (1998), Volume II (2001)
19 - Blast Design
Professional organizations of interest:
Society of Explosive Engineers (ISEE)
The International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) is a professional society dedicated to promoting the safe and controlled use of explosives in mining, quarrying, construction, manufacturing, forestry, and many other commercial pursuits. They provide numerous courses related to explosives.
of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG)
3. American Society
of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.