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Innovative Ground Support System

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Author Gray P A and Fabjanczyk M W
ID P199207046

Description

Artificial ground support has developed into a refined science over the past 20 years. From reactive support systems such as timber props and steel supports, to active systems such as roof bolts and cable anchors, ground support technology has now developed efficient systems that work well in many instances. However this paper demonstrates that there is still a long way to go to develop optimum ground support systems. Some conventional rock bolts and cable anchors emphasise their tensile capacity only, without considering other factors such as their shear strength or shear modulus, or if the support member can transfer all of its support capacity to the surrounding rock. Examples are given of the use of ground anchors with high tensile and shear capacity in underground coal mining as well as examples of slope failures in open pits where the cable bolts have remained intact because they have been unable to transfer their full capacity to the surrounding weak rock mass. For underground coal mines, speed of installation is also of primary concern, but it must also have high tensile and shear capacity both in terms of strength and stiffness. Ground support systems of the future must therefore address these problems. An innovative new rock bolt is discussed which goes some way towards solving these problems. This new rock bolt is screwed into the rock and thus has a direct mechanical interlock with the rock. Initial field results show that it has an extremely high anchor capacity and can be fully installed in approximately 30 seconds. It has considerable capacity to improve the productivity of the coal mining industry.