Stress Loading of the Cable Shovel Boom under In-Situ Digging Conditions


Cable shovels are capital-intensive equipment, whose operations are characterized by high stress loading and fatigue failure resulting in high maintenance costs. The operating environment and the stress fields on the boom must continually be monitored to avoid random fatigue failure to achieve reliability, longevity and economic usage. In this paper, the authors develop dynamic models for real-time stress monitoring using a combination of flexible and rigid body approach. A virtual prototype simulator is developed to simulate the cable shovel excavation in oil sands and to examine the motion, stress and local deformation of the boom. The P&H 4100A cable shovel, deployed in the Athabasca oil sands formation, is used to examine the cable shovel boom durability using stress fields simulation. The results show that high stresses occur at regions around the joint between the upper body and the boom, resulting in large deformations. In hard formations, the results show that the stress fields in this region exceed the Von Mises yield strength of steel used in making the shovel boom components. The results also show that the FE nodes of 178, 168, 120, 63, 127 and 84 for 10 MPa modulus of elasticity and 127, 61, 126, 45, 60 and 39 nodes for 20 MPa modulus of elasticity are the highly stressed nodes with high degree of boom deformation and fatigue failure. The study provides a solid foundation for further study of failure life analysis of the cable shovel components.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cable Shovel Boom; Durability Analysis; Kinematics and Dynamics; Stress Loading and Deformation Fields; Virtual Prototype Simulation

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2007 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007