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New Blasting Guide app from BME

Blasting Guide app

New application for Android mobile phones makes checking of blast designs easier for engineers in the field

SOUTH Africa-based BME have launched a new, free Blasting Guide app for Android mobile devices, allowing users to rapidly calculate and check blast designs.

Currently available for download from Google Play, the new BME Blasting Guide mobile app replaces traditional paper booklets carried and referenced by in-field blasting engineers.

It includes a blast design calculator, quick calculators and prediction calculators. Other app features include surface blast design rules of thumb, environmental guidelines, a table of common rock properties and a BME contact directory by country.


The app runs both metric and imperial unit measurements, making it useful across the globe.

‘The new app is an integral part of BME’s pioneering approach to harnessing the power of digital technology in the blasting sector,’ said Christiaan Liebenberg, software product manager at BME.

‘This platform gives our Blasting Guide a mobility and ease of use that makes a blasting engineer’s job easier and more productive.’

Mr Liebenberg said that while the app is not a blast design tool, it is a powerful means of verifying blast design outputs and making important blast planning decisions.

‘The blast design calculator is a series of guiding formulas that allows a blaster or engineer to plan a blast from start to finish,’ said BME’s global manager of blasting science, D. Scott Scovira.

‘The blast design calculator utilizes user inputs – including burden, spacing, stemming height, sub-drill, hole diameter, bench height and explosive type – to determine explosive loads, powder factors and other outputs.

‘It could be used, for example, to investigate potential blast patterns for a greenfield site, where numerous scenarios can be quickly generated and calculations checked.’

Mr Scovira added that the rules of thumb table, which summarizes surface blast design guidelines, can be referenced by users as they access the blast design calculators.

The quick calculator includes a BME in-house formula for the target powder factor, as well as calculations related to the volume of rock to be blasted – either volume per hole or volume per blast.

There are energy equations to compare different types of explosives based on their relative bulk strength, while hole-charging equations determine the mass of explosives going into a hole and address loading with gassed emulsion products. This helps determine column lengths and stemming lengths with both gassed and ungassed explosives.

The app’s prediction calculators include estimation of peak particle velocity and maximum charge weight per delay based on industry standard scaled distance equations and user-defined ground-transmission constants.

One of the prediction calculators can provide the user with guidance in estimating the blast clearance radius. This is based on maximum projected rock throw, calculated from scaled depth of burial equations and parameters. These parameters are proprietary to world-recognized blasting consultant R. Frank Chiappetta of Blasting Analysis International Inc. and used by BME with permission.


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