FlexKnot: An Innovation in Roof and Rib Surface Control

Bhagwat, Anand
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2014
Surface control can prevent the falls of ground between primary roof support systems and rib support. Using existing industrial products, and adopting them for mining applications, has historically attained surface control in underground mining. However, the latest innovative solution, a revolutionary wire mesh product, is designed specifically for underground mining applications jointly by Bekaert and Orica. This knotted wire mesh, FlexKnot? 2500 and FlexKnot? 3500, uses smaller gauge, higher tensile strength wires, than a chain link fence or welded wire mesh. The higher tensile wire enables the mesh to achieve greater ultimate load-bearing capacity, with significantly lower overall weight. Test results, obtained at the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) Mine Roof Simulator facility, illustrate the comparisons of the new FlexKnot with traditional 8- and 10-gauge welded steel mesh. The FlexKnot is superior in deflection, load-bearing capacity, and stiffness?categories that are critical in achieving safer surface control. It also offers enhanced corrosion resistance because of the galvanized coating applied on the individual wires prior to the knotting process. Case studies from underground coal mine installations confirm that FlexKnot has the ability to significantly reduce installation cycle time and to minimize use and repetitive manual handling of individual mesh panels. An added advantage is the ability to supply FlexKnot in rolls for quick and easy handling for either rib or roof support application. When using rolls, the bolter can install the entire roll with one continuous forward motion, unlike the wasteful back and forth travel for mesh panel.
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