Masters Theses


Osei Brown


"The efficiency and costs of mining operations greatly depend on the efficient design and use of excavators. The performance of these capital-intensive excavators requires thorough understanding of the physical and design factors that affect the formation-cutting tool interaction process. The current body of knowledge, based on experimental and analytical methods, provides limited understanding of these factors, which limits the accurate design and performance of excavators. The soil constitutive equations used in most of the available finite element (FE) models also fail to adequately capture the elastic and plastic behaviors of soil formations. This research initiative uses FE techniques to model the soil-tool interaction phenomenon, with appropriate focus on the behavior of soils during excavation. This is a pioneering effort in developing FE model of the soil-dozer blade interaction using the modified Cam Clay elasto-plastic law. The model is validated with results from previous experimental and analytical methods.

The results provided soil forces, a progressive developed failure zone, displacement fields and stress distribution along the tool surface. The sensitivity analysis of changes in blade angle on cutting force showed that, the cutting force increases with increasing blade angle. The cutting depth of the blade had a similar effect on blade cutting force. Increasing the depth of cut increases the required cutting force. Increasing the coefficient of friction at the soil blade interface increases the blade cutting force. Reducing the coefficient of friction at the soil blade interface from 0.3 to 0.05 reduces the cutting force by 22.3%. The percentage represents the maximum potential savings in blade cutting force. This research initiative advances the frontiers of soil-tool interactions, during excavations, to expand the limited knowledge in this critical area"--Abstract, page iii.


Frimpong, Samuel

Committee Member(s)

Awuah-Offei, Kwame, 1975-
Galecki, Greg


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mining Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2012


xii, 90 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 137-138).


© 2012 Osei Frempong Brown, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Blades -- Mechanical properties
Excavation -- Equipment
Finite element method

Thesis Number

T 9961

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