The Design Of A Single Aggregate Concrete On Cullinan Diamond Mine

Steward, N. R.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
A single aggregate mix design was developed based on a slag/Portland binder blend and crusher sand. The primary design criterion, after performance, was the fluidity of the shotcrete and concrete product to ensure compatibility with existing manufacturing and shotcrete equipment as well as the pipeline transport system Cullinan Diamond Mine was investigating. Initial work had determined an optimum slag/Portland to aggregate ratio while retaining a water to slag/Portland binder ratio of approximately 0.4 to maintain the flowability of the product. A super-plasticizer was used to further increase the flowability of the product as opposed to increasing the water content. Finally a polypropylene reinforcement fibre was included in the wet shotcrete product to improve the energy absorption characteristics of the shotcrete. Previous work on the strength development of the slag/Portland based shotcretes and concretes suggests that strength class based on the EN 206 specification is C40/50 while the toughness classification based on the EFNARC plate test is c, or greater than 1000 joules1. Typically, Cullinan Diamond Mine wanted a shotcrete with a uniaxial compressive cube strength of 45 MPa and an energy absorption, based on the EFNARC plate test, in excess of 700 joules. This is an EN 206 strength class of C36/45 requiring a uniaxial compressive core strength of 30.5 MPa and a toughness classification of b1. In addition to the shotcrete development, Cullinan Diamond Mine required concrete products with a compressive strength range of between 25 and 60 Mpa for differing construction operations underground to be manufactured from the same mix design and raw materials as for the shotcrete. Finally, Cullinan Diamond Mine carries out extensive dry shotcrete operations and an investigation into the possibility of using the single aggregate mix design for dry shotcreting was also entered into. This paper presents data that indicates that, under the terms of reference, a wet and dry shotcrete and concrete product appears to be possible from a single aggregate less than 6.7 mm in size, and that a slag/Portland binder is suitable for use as the hydraulic binder in all the products, and that the necessary performance parameters of strength and energy absorption can be achieved.
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