A dynamic support system for yielding ground

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1032, 1999

E. De Souza, Department of Mining Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and P. Mottahed, Consultant, Rock Mechanics, Glouster, Ontario

One of the major unsolved problems of safe, economical roof support in the evaporite industry has been that of obtaining and maintaining anchorages in relatively soft rock. This is due to the viscoelastic and viscoplastic behaviour of salt rock and associated deposits. This paper introduces a low-cost, yieldable support mechanism, consisting of a system of buckling disks, which provides viable solutions to dynamic support. The yieldable support system offers a number of advantages in comparison with existing dynamic support systems. It is characterized by its simplicity in design and installation, repeatability in behaviour and cost effectiveness. It also has the added advantage of providing the operator with a means of assessing support behaviour and ground performance by direct visual observation of changes in disk shape. Thus, the system can be utilized as a warning mechanism of ground stress and support load conditions. Such system not only provides a feasible and more effective rock mass stabilization strategy but improves mine safety.