Bench Structural Integrity Modeling of Oil Sands for Optimum Cable Shovel PerformanceEric Gbadam and Samuel Frimpong*
Department of Mining and Nuclear Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Samuel Frimpong
Professor and Chair, Department of Mining and Nuclear Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: January 21, 2014; Accepted Date: February 03, 2014; Published Date: February 10, 2014
Citation: Gbadam E, Frimpong S (2014) Bench Structural Integrity Modeling of Oil Sands for Optimum Cable Shovel Performance. J Powder Metall Min 3: 120. doi: 10.4172/2168-9806.1000120
Copyright: © 2014 Gbadam E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The ultimate bearing capacity of bench and haul road formations are essential for the health and longevity of shovel crawlers. In soft saturated formations (especially in the Athabasca oil sands formation), heavy machines have been known to sink, resulting in production losses and high operating costs. Companies have solved these problems by widening the shovel crawlers to reduce average stresses on the formation, which may also be costly. In this study, the authors provide a solution to this problem using fundamental research. The Buisman-Terzaghi model is used to develop bench/haul road bearing capacities and their structural integrity within an oil sand formation at an environmental temperature of 25°C. A 3D finite element (FE) model of the formation is developed in ABAQUS to examine the average stresses and deformations on the formation at static equilibrium. The results show that the deformation of oil sand occurs during the first 30 seconds of crawler interaction. Two distinct regions were observed from the plastic strain failure pattern: the region below the tracks has larger strain at failure, and the regions adjacent the tracks expand deeper and wider in all directions. Failure of the formation was observed to occur mostly under the tracks and this progress non-linearly to the base of the formation. These failure patterns were triangular in nature and agree well as reported in Terzaghi’s early work on shallow foundation. The deformations were observed to be non-linear. The maximum static deformation of 2.497 cm was observed at the crawler-ground interface during the interaction. Future works would include a virtual prototype of cable shovel crawler-oil sand interaction to measure real-time stresses; crack initiation and propagation under dynamic conditions.