Finding safe and efficient solutions in underground mining is not for the faint-hearted. As our technology and innovation team can verify, trialling new processes relies on a complex combination of engineering, practicality and complete confidence in products.
Recently, Aquacrete played a small but pivotal role in an interesting project involving the construction of structural barricades for a significant roadway fill – a project that involved considerable engineering across a number of phases.
After the roadway was constructed and support was in place, the project team set about constructing a series of barricades designed to withstand 150 – 180 kPA of pressure and a vertical head of 5 metres.
The barricades were designed with a 400mm angle in them to resemble a bay window. The construction material also needed to be carefully considered as the intention was for the barricades to be cut away once the fill had set.
Aquacrete Wet-RepelTM was specified as Aquacrete products don’t use mesh or bolts in the construction process. As more then 5,000 cubic metres of concrete fill was to be pumped, the mine also needed a product that could achieve a high factor of safety without the need for significant support in the construction.
The solution was a set of four Aquacrete Wet-RepelTM barricades as large as 7metres wide x 3.5metres high that were each sprayed to 300-400mm thick. To allow the project team to inspect the progress of the fill, manholes and thickness gauges were also installed at construction.
Our business development manager, Greg Kay, says the project was particularly exciting for Aquacrete as the structural engineers had a lot to consider in establishing design parameters for the barricades, particularly as the shape of the seals had the potential to affect their strength and performance.
It is fantastic that our mining clients understand that our products are designed first and foremost to enhance underground safety while optimising productivity. In this instance, Wet-RepelTM was a great solution.