Effect of pick blunting on cutting performance for weak moderate rocks

Doğruöz, Cihan
The laboratory cutting specific energy is widely used to estimate the cuttability of rocks by a roadheader fitted with sharp picks. Sharp picks on the other hand become blunt due to wear in time and require replacement. Although it is known that the pick blunting affects adversely the rock cuttability, no study exists to show the relationships between the degree of pick wear and the cutting specific energy obtained by standard cutting tests. In this study, standard cutting tests were carried out on different rock types, with picks having varying degrees of blunting. The relationships between wear flats and the cutting forces, specific energies and size distribution for various rock properties such as uniaxial compressive strength, tensile strength, cone indenter number, shore hardness, schmidth hammer hardness, density and grain size were established. The mean cutting force and the cutting specific energy have been found to increase 2-3 times and 4-5 times respectively with 4 mm wear flat as compared to sharp picks as the strength and density of rocks increase. No relation exists between mineral grain size and the cutting performance. A definite relation could not be established between the wear land and the size distribution of the product. Charts have been produced to predict critical wear flats for different rock property values considering 25 MJ/m³ as the limiting specific energy above which poor cutting performance occurs. Nine prediction models have been developed by statistical analysis to estimate the laboratory cutting specific energy from various rock properties and wear rates.