Modeling the Effect of Bolts on the Behavior of Rock Pillars and Associated Insights on Rib Reinforcement

Sinha, Sankhaneel ; Walton, Gabriel
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2017
"Rib failures are a major hazard in underground mining. When pillars are subjected to loading, extensile cracks are generated parallel to the excavation boundary, which can manifest as rib falls. A common mitigation measure is to install supports, especially bolts, normal to the rib surface. The type and spatial distribution of these supports along the pillar is often based on experience rather than comprehensive analysis. Since conducting field experiments is often impractical and expensive, a convenient alternative is to perform 3D numerical modeling. In this study, FLAC3D has been used to capture the interaction of rib bolts and the failure processes governing the stability of pillars. An associated goal is to determine whether, at all, a continuum software is capable of modeling the effect of supports. The modeling involved two important steps: selection of a proper constitutive model, and, explicit simulation of rock bolts. Based on precursory work in the last decade, an S-shaped strength criterion was chosen that can describe the tensile fracture mechanism of rock at low confinement and shear failure mechanism of rock at high confinement. The built-in pile structural element in FLAC3D is a simplified representation of the complete bolt system. Hence, the different components of a rock bolt (i.e., steel, grout, steel-grout interface, and grout-rock interface) have been explicitly modeled within the rock mass and then tested for its ability to replicate the ground-support interaction behavior. INTRODUCTION Rib failure-related hazards and injuries have plagued the mining industry for decades (Mohamed et al., 2016; Iannacchione and Prosser, 1998). In highly stressed environments, excavation parallel cracks are the primary initiators of skin instability. In absence of any support, this failure can indirectly destabilize the excavation by increasing the exposed span of intersections and roadways. Over the last two decades, there have been numerous injuries (fatal and non-fatal) due to rib failures in underground coal/non-coal mines."
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