Disc Cutting Tests on Dry and Saturated Sandstone: Muck as a Performance Estimator


A series of full scale laboratory linear rock cutting tests was carried out with a long bladed single disc cutter (292 mm diameter, 11mm wide constant cross-section blade) on dry and water saturated sandstone blocks using a linear rock cutting machine (LRCM). The muck collected from the cutting tests has been analyzed to establish a link with the specific energy (SE) of the operation. Coarseness index (CI), a non dimensional parameter, has been found to be a useful indicator of the relative efficiency of the cutting operation. An inverse relationship of the form SE = k CI-n is observed between SE and CI with very high CI usually corresponding with the lowest values of SE. The power n of the relationship for both dry and saturated rock tests is much less than the values found in the previous studies using constant cross section disc cutters and is believed to be dependent on the strength of the rock and the cutter type used. Although the average CI is found to be lower for saturated rock than for dry rock, at the same time saturated rock cutting is found to be less energy intensive (in terms of SE) than dry rock cutting. Moderate correlation exists between the production rate or yield and the SE of the cutting operation for both dry and saturated rock, which can provide some useful information about the field production rate discounting the effect of discontinuities in the rock mass.

Meeting Name

SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit (2012: Feb. 19-22, Seattle, WA)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Coarseness Index; Cross Section; Cutting Operations; Cutting Test; Disc Cutter; Dry Rocks; Full Scale; Inverse Relationship; Non-Dimensional Parameters; Performance Estimator; Production Rates; Relative Efficiency; Rock Cutting; Rock Mass; Saturated Rock; Saturated Sandstones; Specific Energy; Cutting Tools; Machinery; Sandstone

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2012 Society of Mining Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

22 Feb 2012

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