This paper examines the effect of bucket geometry (cutting-blade profile, floor profile and blade thickness), speed, motor power output and muckpile particle sizes on bucket penetration and draft for rubber tire loaders. The work uses a 1:16 scale model of a load-haul-dump (LHD) in full-factorial experiments to examine the effect of the variables on penetration and maximum draft. The results show that speed and motor output are positively correlated with penetration and draft, and muckpile particle size is positively correlated with penetration and negatively correlated with draft (p < 0.0014). The results also show that buckets with a semispade cutting-nose profile yield the highest penetration (mean of 118.30 mm) followed by those with the spade profile (mean of 108.88 mm) and lastly, those with straight blades (mean of 95.19 mm). Bucket floor profile and blade thickness had no significant effect on penetration or draft. We determined that simultaneously increasing the speed and motor power output can reduce bucket penetration. Thus, operators should not waste energy for no additional gain or even loss in bucket penetration. In addition, this work finds speed and motor power output each combine with muckpile particle sizes to affect bucket penetration. This research furthers our understanding of the effectiveness of different bucket geometries in improving penetration and reducing draft for rubber tire loaders.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-021-00497-6