Single Point And Full Scale Laboratory Testing Of Timber Chock Construction

Galvin, Jim
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
4 and 6 point timber chock constructions are used extensively on both a systematic and spot basis by Australian longwall operators to support tailgate roadways. In 1996, the School of Mining Engineering at UNSW published design and performance criteria for timber chocks constructed from Australian hardwoods. The research was funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP). In 1997, ACARP awarded funding for a stage 2 testing program. This testing focussed on examining the effect of using thinner timber elements in chock constructions to improve OH&S and comparing the full-scale performance of traditional 4 point chocks to Link-n-Lock constructions. It was established that chocks constructed from thinner elements have failure loads much less than thicker elements. However up to the failure loads of the thinner elements there was no significant difference in the response to convergence of chocks constructed from 25, 50 or 100mm thick elements. Chocks constructed from 150mm thick elements have a similar ultimate strength to the 100mm thick elements. However, they have a significantly lower resistance to load, thereby permitting more convergence to occur. There is more potential for chocks comprised of thin elements to be constructed 'out of plumb' and so suffer eccentric loading. The full scale testing program established that at any given level of convergence up to 10% strain, the timber in a Link-n-Lock chock generates twice the support resistance of the same quantity of the same timber in an equivalent size 4 pointer chock. On the basis of support resistance per cubic metre of timber, there is only a marginal difference in the performance of 1.0m Link-n-Lock chocks and 1.2m Link-n-Lock chocks constructed from select Blue Gum. The cost per tonne of support provided by a Link-n-Lock chock is effectively half of that provided by a 4 pointer chock of equivalent dimension and timber. Up to a strain level of 4%. Link-n-Lock chocks constructed from 1.2m long elements are slightly more cost effective than the same chocks constructed from 1.0m long elements. Thereafter, there is no significant difference in cost per tonne of support resistance. Beyond a strain level of about 4%, Link-n¬Lock chocks constructed from landscape grade Blue Gum are just as cost effective as Link-n-Lock chocks constructed from structural grade 4 Blue Gum.
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