oa Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy - A fuzzy logic based rippability classification system

Volume 107, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0038-223X



Due to the environmental constraints and the limitations on blasting, ripping as a ground loosening and breaking method has become more popular in both mining and civil engineering applications. Because of the technological advances in dozer manufacturing techniques, more powerful dozer types are available today. Thus, the ground, previously classified as non-rippable, has become rippable. As a consequence, a more applicable rippability classification system is needed which considers both equipment properties as well as rock properties in all applications. This paper is part of a complementary research work and presents the development of a previously published grading rippability classification system by the application of fuzzy set theory. The integrated rippability classification system considers the combined utilization of the rock and equipment properties, as well as expert opinion. Fuzzy set theory was chosen mainly because it deals well with uncertainty in the choice of variables. Although there are apparent sharp or discontinuous boundaries in existing classification systems, practically most of the factors involved in the ripping process are less well defined and boundaries are more blurred (or fuzzy) or uncertain in nature. Also by means of fuzzy logic it is possible to eliminate bias or subjectivity. The validity of the proposed system was checked by the comparison against existing classification systems and direct ripping production values obtained at studied sites. It is seen that by means of fuzzy logic, the uncertainties are reduced and biased usage of the final ratings that appear in alternative systems are efficiently dealt with. Keywords: Fuzzy set theory, rock rippability, rippability classification system, direct ripping, fuzzy inference system.

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