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An Investigation of Expanding Split Sets in Weak Ground


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Author C Rossimel, G Davison and M Bouazza


Expanding rock bolts anchor within a rock mass more efficiently than non-expanding varieties. This is of great importance in weak ground conditions, where grouted friction bolts perform less efficiently than in good ground conditions. Filling a Split Set with demolition concrete has been shown to double the load-carrying capacity when compared to conventional use of Split Sets. This report details verification of these results by installing and pull-testing 14 Split Sets of varying grout conditions within in a fault zone. These Expanding Split Sets achieved loads double and triple that of ungrouted and normally grouted conventional Split Sets. A literature review and chemical analysis were conducted to understand the expansion process better. It was found that 20 per cent more calcium is included in expanding cement, which is responsible for its growth. Factors most affecting the expansion process were identified. Furthermore, the expansion rate of a bolt outside a borehole was measured and 6 mm of expansion across its diameter was found. The compressive properties of the cement were compared with other types, due to expanding cement becoming uncohesive after the expansion process is complete. When confined within a Split Set, compression testing demonstrated that this grout is just as strong and rigid as normal grout. Finally, the bolts were tested by shear and it was found that the Expanding Split Set (ESS) has a similar shear capacity to grouted Split Sets, which is 70 per cent higher than that of ungrouted Split Sets. These results enabled the mechanism for improved performance in weak ground conditions to be verified. Expanding grout will expand the Split Set into its borehole of varying diameter and lock it into place, creating increased friction and resistance to pull-out. This paper shows that ESSs can be a useful reinforcement technique in weak ground conditions.


Rossimel, C, Davison, G and Bouazza, M, 2014. An
investigation of expanding split sets in weak ground, in Proceedings 12th
AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference 2014
, pp 159–170 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).