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Current projects

Project title: Establishing the fundamentals of cutter/rock interaction and rock failure mechanism

The project investigates actuated undercutting discs as a suitable low-energy method for cutting hard rocks, and aims to lessen the specific energy by reducing the forces associated with the rock cutting process. For a machine with a known power, reducing the energy that is directly consumed for rock failure allows for more power to be available for enhancing the rate of rock removal.

Schematics of cutting with an Actuated Undercutting Disc
Schematics of cutting with an Actuated Undercutting Disc

This research takes into account the kinematics of the undercutting tools, the tool/rock interaction and the rock properties when studying the mechanics of the rock failure. Investigating the boundary condition at the cutter/rock interface and its effect on the consequential mode of failure, the project formulates the governing disc/rock interface laws. These laws allow controlling the mode of rock failure and the extent of the rock being removed to regulate and constrain the reaction forces within the limits of the machine power, while maintaining optimum performance.

Ultimately, the research outcome facilitates development of potent and energy efficient tools by preventing the energy loss in processes that are not required. This opens new avenues for the design and optimisation of the hard rock excavation technologies.

Traces of cutting with Wobble, an actuated undercutting disc
Traces of cutting with Wobble, an actuated undercutting disc

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Sevda Dehkhoda at sevda.dehkhoda@csiro.au.