Recommendations For Site Investigation, Design, Construction, Testing, Monitoring And Maintenance Of Permanent Intruded Concrete Plugs

Littlejohn, G. S.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
Following study of historical South African practice and a review of recent experience gained during the design, construction and testing of the high pressure plugs at the South Deep Water Barrier Project, this paper makes recommendations to improve practice. Initially, site investigation requirements are described with reference to geological, hydrogeological and seismic considerations, including site preparation and pre-grouting of the surrounding rock mass, if permeable. Structural and hydraulic aspects of plug design address topics such as residual permeability, aggressive mine water, plug materials, mortar strength and bleed. In situ thermocouples and piezometers are recommended to optimize the timing of plug tightening and monitor plug performance during service. Plug construction covers aggregate preparation, mortar quality control, plug tightening grouts, injection pressures, records and the overriding need for a method statement specification to control all aspects of plug construction. On completion of the plug, tests to establish surrounding rock stress regime, plug strength, and residual permeability are described to enable a comparison with original design assumptions. Monitoring and maintenance procedures are proposed to ensure satisfactory long-term performance of the plugs.
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