The main goal of the Project is the development of a numerical tool based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to simulate the tunnel construction via drill and blast. The application of this tool will allow optimising the blast design to minimise the damage to the surrounding rock mass and the over-excavation.
The project is coordinated by OSSA, the worldwide leading company in tunnel construction by drill and blast. The Technical University of Madrid also participates, through the blasting group at the Mining Engineering School.
The physical phenomenon to model contains big challenges from a numerical viewpoint: the rock geo-mechanics (hardness and fracturation) is difficult to know and interpret; the computational cost is high due to the domain dimensions, the high pressure generated by the explosive, and the overall duration of the blast.
CIMNE is working in various directions to overcome these difficulties: code optimisation, parallelisation and problem simplification.
Figure 1. 2D example. Rock fragmentation.
Figure 2. 2D Blasting test. Tunnel front.