Selection of class and type of the hydraulic bucket excavator as a basic machine for digging and loading at open pit mines, up to now was mainly considered from a point of view of technological parameters. In practice that resulted in achieving smaller mining capacities caused by nonconformity of digging force which is in function of the geology and geomechanical characteristics of the rock mass. During the bucket excavator operation in mining of coal, marl, and limestone, the biggest consumption of energy appears at penetration of cutting organ into the rock. This paper presents possibilities of application of the finite elements method through modelling of the contact condition for determination of the penetration force. Calculation results were compared with the results of the in situ measurements at open pit on one of excavator's cutting organs.

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