Thermal-Mechanical Fragmentation of Hard Rock for Rapid Excavation


Research on thermal-mechanical fragmentation of hard rock was carried out in three phases: (1) Surface heat weakening and chipping; (2) Mechanical slot cutting and thermal kerf removal; and (3) Investigation of a thermal round similar in design to an explosive round. It was found that while the surface of most of the rocks tested was weakened by heat, rock removal by impact was not enhanced by the heating process. When heat was applied to the bottom of the slots, the ridges between were readily fractured off from the rock face. Phase three is being devoted to the investigation of the feasibility of developing a thermal round which will function in principle in a manner similar to an explosive round.

Meeting Name

15th Symposium on Rock Mechanics


Mining Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Rock Drilling; Rock Mechanics

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1975 Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center (RMERC), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1975

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