Optimization of Shovel Dipper-Formation Interactions in Excavation


Dessureault, S. and Gangluli, R. and Kecojevic, V. and Girard-Dwyer, J.


Shovel excavation constitutes a significant component of production costs in any surface mining operation. This makes shovel loading an important cost center that needs to be improved to lower production costs. Optimization of tool design will improve energy efficiency in earthmoving operations. However, modeling the soil-tool interaction is a complex process due to the fact that forces for excavating particulate material are functions of many variables. The magnitude of this resisting force depends not only on the type of soil but on the size, shape and orientation of the cutting element. Moreover, part of this complexity is attributed to the fact that the behavior of the material during excavation is not yet well understood. For the past five decades, researchers have mostly used the passive earth pressure theory to study the soil failure patterns around a cutting tool and to develop force prediction models for design optimization with some success. Although the force models developed from the passive pressure theory have been successful to some extent, they can hardly be extended to a general case because of the underlying assumptions and simplification of tool shapes. This paper aims at reviewing some of the existing empirical and analytical methods of cutting and excavation tool modeling with a focus on their merits and limitations. The paper also explores the use of numerical methods, specifically the discrete element method, for dealing with the unresolved aspects of soil dynamics in excavation.

Meeting Name

SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit and CMA 113th National Western Mining Conference 2011


Mining Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2011 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011

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