The Application of Methods and Equipment for Grouting Saturated Fractured Rock

Kipko, Eh. Ya. ; Lagunov, V. A. ; Lushinkova, O. Yu. ; Polozov, Yu. A. ; Svirskiy, Yu. I. ; Williams, Roy A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
1.1 GENERALIZED METHODS OF SUPPRESSING THE INFLOW OF GROUND WATER DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF SHAFTS, DRIFTS AND TUNNELS Various methods are used to prevent or minimize the inflow of ground water into underground workings during their excavation. The two most common methods include freezing the saturated rock and grouting using cement, sodium silicate, polyurethane and/or other chemicals. Each of these technologies for combatting the inflow of ground water is effective only under specific hydrogeological conditions. For example, although the freezing of saturated ground is among the more universally adopted methods, it is designed to provide only temporary protection during construction. Before the saturated rock thaws it is necessary to emplace a waterproof liner which is labor intensive, time consuming, and expensive. Consequently, freezing is used only in exceptionally complex hydrogeological conditions, namely in those cases where the water-bearing strata consist of unstable rock or the ground water has an anomalous hydrochemistry. The classical grouting of saturated rock, carried out from the surface or from the face of the underground workings for the purpose of limiting the inflow of ground water during excavation, utilizes both cement and a variety of chemical grouts. Cement grouting has been regarded as the main method of combatting the inflow of ground water in fractured rock throughout the world. In such countries as the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Canada, the Republic of South Africa and Great Britain, cement grouting is the main method of reducing the inflow of ground water during the excavation of mine openings. In Great Britain and the FRG, cement grouting has been used in 80% of all shaft excavations. In the Republic of South Africa cement grouting has been used in almost 100% of all the shafts that have been constructed. The installation of grout curtains into permeable water- bearing strata significantly reduces their permeability and increases the rock strength. Grouting has the greatest effect in fractured sandstones, certain well indurated shales, fractured granites, fractured quartzites, and karstic limestones or dolomites. The following principal factors must be considered when assessing the expediency of grouting rock with cement: the geometry of the network of fracture openings, the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the fractured rock, the hydraulic head acting on the water in the rock, and the chemical composition of the ground water. On the basis of the geometry of the fractures and the thickness of each hydrostratigraphic unit, the characteristics of the cement grout are selected. As a rule, the cementing of large fractured zones with high ground water velocities is carried out using inert fillers (sand, mill slag, loam, loess, crushed limestone), special types of cement, setting accelerators, and high cement concentrations in water. Calcium chloride, soda ash, sodium silicate, sodium nitrate, amino alcohols, tin bichloride, trisulphate nitrate, and lumnite are used extensively as the setting accelerators for cement grouts. In the FRG and Poland, special cement injection compounds that embody a mixture of cement and active cement metal salts, water additives and binding substances are being used for the cementing of saturated zones with rapid ground water velocities. These reagents accelerate the rate of structure-forming reactions. In spite of the wide variety of additives used for cement grouts, the effectiveness of the method in large fractures below the water table is either poor or it leads to a very large consumption of cement due to the erosion of the grout through the cracks before it hardens. At the present time, a large number of cement types and brands are being produced by various countries. These variations permit cementing to be employed in a variety of geological conditions. However, both pure cement grout and grouts with fillers constitute unstable systems with a high water loss rate. Therefore during the grouting of finely fractured rock the cement grout's premature loss of a large amount of free water causes its consistency to increase, whereupon the grout solidifies. Consequently, it inadequately penetrates into the fine fractures of the stratum. In addition the high water loss rate in the cement grout causes unreacted cement particles to remain, which greatly reduces the grout hardness and the resulting rock strength characteristics are weakened. As a result, the binding properties of the cement are utilized perhaps up to 60%. The remaining portion is left in the grout as a filler. All these conditions significantly decrease the efficiency of the isolation effort both with respect to strength and cost. In order to expand the cement grouting method, re- search is being conducted to improve the quality of cement grout, to increase its range of application with respect to permeability control, to reduce its water loss rate and to increase its capacity to withstand the erosive and corrosive effects of poor quality ground water. For example, mixtures of bentonitic clay, carboxymethyl cellulose, aerated sodium sulfide, sulphated alcohol distillery waste, nitrolignin, gip-
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