The Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) has developed a facility for
the static testing of full-scale ground support elements (Morton et al, 2007).
The test facility consists of several stiff steel frames used to support the
sample and a screw feed jack is used to load the sample.
A large-scale punch test method has been developed to load various shotcrete
configurations. The shotcrete is sprayed on to a rock substrate containing a
centrally located circular disc. The rock and shotcrete sample is placed on to
the sample frame and restrained on all sides. The circular disc is displaced at
a constant rate by the screw feed jack which in turn loads the sample.
Instrumentation measures the displacement and the load being applied to the
sample through the loading disc.
The testing method is described in detail and the results from the testing
program are presented. The results show that it is possible through laboratory
testing to simulate some of the mechanisms of shotcrete support reactions better
than conventional beam and panel tests.