Evaluation of shotcrete rock support systems in underground mines by a new non-intrusive technique

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1063, 2002

M. Momayez, F. Hassani, P. Guevremont, and D. O’Donnell

Shotcrete is a practical and economical support system in many Canadian underground mines. Although shotcrete technology has gained acceptance in the mining industry, there are some problems that have emerged with respect to quality assessment and thickness measurement of the liner. This paper presents recent tests performed with miniature seismic reflection technology (MSR) developed and patented at McGill University primarily for thickness measurement of this heterogeneous liner. MSR is also capable of providing information regarding the quality of shotcrete in terms of its mechanical properties such as modulus of elasticity and Poisson’s ratio. Work was performed on site in an underground mine in Ontario, Canada. This paper also presents the results from laboratory tests performed on fiber-reinforced and non-reinforced shotcrete panels that were used to assess the P-wave velocity in both materials. The results of these tests were used in a second site investigation. The NDT thickness measurements showed good agreement with direct thickness measurement such as coring. In addition, the MSR technology has the advantage of being more accurate and more affordable compared to other non-destructive testing (NDT) systems in the market.
Keywords: Shotcrete, Underground mining, Support systems, Miniature seismic reflection technology.