The primary hazards associated with blasting near pipelines include permanent rock mass displacement owing to delayed gas pressures and ground strains from wave propagation. Current pipeline standards do not address criteria and limitations for blasting in proximity to buried pipelines. Existing methodology is often applied quite conservatively in the form of permissible ground particle velocity thereby limiting ground strain, which leads to increased costs for the party conducting the blasting and/or the pipeline owner who must provide pipeline protection.
The research, recently completed, resulted in the development of strain and displacement-based methodology, guidelines and criteria for the evaluation and protection of buried pipelines subjected to the effects of close-in blasting on an undamaged (clean) pipeline in rock. This work relates to protection of existing pipelines from external loads and improving construction efficiency and safety.
The research report contains a state of the art review of current methods for evaluating the effects of close in blasting on pipelines. The report also includes a comparison of current methods for determining the stress resulting from blasting with available experimental results. It also covers the subject of block movement as a result of delayed gas pressure, methods to determine the likelihood of ground movement and procedures for evaluating if movement has occurred. More accurate methods to determine blasting stresses are also investigated and a procedure to be followed to evaluate the effects of blasting is proposed. Finally, it includes a review of recent developments in blasting technology that are relevant to blasting near pipelines. The report of the Phase I research is currently undergoing Project Team review and will be available at no charge to members.