A.1. Autostem III is currently, the only available non-detonating and self-stemming cartridge for rock breaking which adheres to greater safety standards, efficiency and cost effectiveness. It functions by deflagration as against detonation in the case of conventional explosives. Therefore, detonation/ blast wave and associated ill effects of conventional explosives (collateral damage, fly rocks, high levels of sound & vibrations, dust & debris) do not occur. The output is high and there are savings in indirect costs due to reduced withdrawal distances, no over breaks & fines, reduced no of boreholes and no requirement of stemming/ tamping. Further, immediate access to site permits continuous blasting. Autostem III is a green, environment friendly explosive causing no damage to earth strata with reduced sound levels, no toxic fumes and no leaching of chemicals into the soil.
A.2. No, usage of Autostem III is not time consuming. On the contrary, it saves time and facilitates earlier completion of the projects. It takes three simple steps of drilling, loading and firing to use Autostem III, with no requirement of the time-consuming process of stemming. In addition, less number of bore holes are needed as compared to conventional explosives. Reduced withdrawal distance permits immediate access after firing. Feasibility of continuous operations reduce the overall time required for the completion of the project.
A.3. An operator can be trained to use Autostem III in a maximum of two days. No specialized training is required.
A.4. Autostem III can be utilized using equipment which is normally used for drilling and blasting. No additional/special equipment is required.
(a) Drilling Equipment: Equipment such as hand-held drilling machine, jack hammers with compressor, ROC etc, for drilling holes with diameter from 10 mm to 95 mm and up to the required depth would be required.
(b) Exploder/ Dynamo: Equipment capable of generating 2.2 Ampere of current would be required. The resistance per cartridge is 0.52 to 0.56 ohms (approx).
A.5. The safety distance required is 50 meters. However, to cater for likely cases of overcharging (using Autostem more than the appropriate quantity), ensure a safe distance of 100 meters.
A.6. There will be no detonation. The Autostem III Cartridge will only deflagrate. A detonator requires a high explosive for it to detonate, whereas, the Autostem Cartridge contains only a propreitary mix of propellant and ammonium nitrate.
A.7. Autostem III falls under the UN Hazard classification of 1.4 S. As such there are no restrictions for storage and transportation. It can be stored with any other type of explosive. It can be transported by land, sea or air by cargo or passenger transport. Here PESO Regulations will apply as in the case of any other same classification product.
A.8. Autostem III falls under the UN Hazard classification of 1.4 S. The type and quantity of cartridges required will depend upon the type and size of rock and type of fragmentation desired. The smaller the fragmentation, the larger will be the charge weight required and smaller the inter cartridge spacings. As a broad guideline the charge weight of Autostem III required to be used is as follows-
a). For free standing evenly shaped rock: 40 – 60 gm per Cum
b). For uneven rock/embedded rock: 100 gm per Cum.
A.9. The cartridge is designed to function only in the confined space of bore hole of specific depth and diameter drilled in a rock/ concrete. It is a precision driven technology. Hence, if initiated in the open, it will just burn like a cracker.
A.10. The Cartridge is Eco friendly:
a). It produces very low vibrations resulting in minimal damage to surroundings.
b). Minimal fly rock resulting in low scatter of blasted rock.
c). Minimal fumes and dust allowing operations to be carried out continuously without the need to evacuate.
d). Only harmless gases like Nitrogen, Carbon-di-oxide and steam are evolved.
e). No leaching of chemicals into the earth.
f). Very low levels of sound.
A.11. When Autostem III Cartridge splits a rock, it causes minimal vibrations. Vibration monitors placed at a distance of only 6 m from the point of initiation, recorded a Peak Particle Velocity (PPV) of only 2 mm/s exhibiting very low vibrations.