Archives for News

Underground Live Testing Leads The Way To Engineering Certification Of VCD’s

The importance and complexity of the ventilation systems in many underground coalmines necessitates the calculation and determination of appropriate resistance values to be used for individual ventilation control devices (VCDs). Whilst there is a clear need to determine the required product strength and thickness of a VCD to meet individual site specifications, such data has previously been difficult to obtain. With more than 15 years experience in developing and manufacturing ventilation control solutions for the Australian underground mining sector, Aquacrete has partnered with registered and internationally-recognised structural engineers, Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), to provide mine operators with a means of determining
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Site Audits Key To Monitoring Structural Component Integrity

As underground mines increasingly focus on life-of-mine planning, understanding the long-term behaviour of structural devices plays an increasingly important role in ventilation and strata management planning. Having led the field with full-scale live blasting testing of its shot blast products as early as 1998, the ability to engineer structures to conform to the most adverse site specifications has been a key feature of Aquacrete products. Now, with structures in place in more than 80% of underground coal mines and an increasing number of hard rock mines throughout Australia, Aquacrete is well-placed to see how it’s products withstand the test of
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Innovation Key To Longwall Take-Off Approaches

Finding safe and efficient solutions to longwall take-offs has led to many innovations in underground coal mining. Having to take into account the risks of a failed take-off, including the costly impact of a potential roadway collapse, developing new processes is not for the faint-hearted. As an Australian manufacturer and provider of strata and ventilation control products has revealed, new processes that are being trialled rely on a complex combination of engineering, practicality and complete confidence in products to achieve their specified targets. Recently, Aquacrete played a small but pivotal role in the design and backfill of a longwall take-off
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Life-Of-Mine Breakthrought Marks Twenty Years Of Innovation

With twenty years of industry innovation under its belt, Australia’s only mine-to-site manufacturer of ventilation control and strata support solutions has a lot to celebrate. Presenting at the Australian Coal Operators’ Conference in Wollongong last week, Aquacrete’s business development manager, Greg Kay, unveiled trial results that could set the standard for life-of-mine planning and design of structural devices in underground mines. Having led the field with full-scale live explosion testing of its products as early as 1998, the ability to engineer structures to conform to the most adverse site specifications has been a key feature of Aquacrete products. “Being the
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Engineering Model Facilities VCD Compliance And Certification

While hazards resulting from spontaneous heating, gas migration, explosions and flooding remain a major threat to the safety and productivity of underground coal mines, specific research into overpressure ratings and integrity testing of ventilation control devices remains relatively limited. “Given the difficulty to conduct field tests in operational environments, as well as the high variability of mine ventilation conditions, and gas generation rates, predicting the performance of underground ventilation control devices has posed a significant challenge for underground mines,” says Michael Salu, Principal Structural Engineer at PB. In co-operation with ventilation control solutions manufacturer, Whitfield Minerals, Mr Salu has been
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Barricades – Safer, Faster and Stronger with Aquacrete

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
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Life of Mine Planning

With the high level of risk associated with the design and construction of dam walls and bulkheads, we selected a New South Wales client where a combination of bulkheads and dam walls were constructed with Aquacrete Wet-Repel TM. Our observations and experiences in designing water-retaining structures with Wet-RepelTM confirmed that the most significant factors influencing long-term bulkhead performance are the interface of the bulkhead with the surrounding strata as well as the potential magnitude of the hydraulic pressure to which they may be subjected. Over a period of two years regular site audits included a combination of visual inspections and
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Twenty Years of Engineering Integrity

With twenty years of innovation under our belt, Aquacrete’s commitment to leading the field in ventilation and strata control solutions is as strong as ever. Having led the field with full-scale explosion testing of gypsum-based shotblast products as early as 1998, Aquacrete devices have been specified in more than 80% of underground coal mines and a growing base of hard rock mines. However, the shift in focus in underground mining in recent years has seen a lot more emphasis being placed on engineered solutions that maintain structural integrity in a range of adverse environments. Unprecedented weather patterns and geotechnical changes
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In-situ Testing of VCDs: Aquacrete and PB Launch New Non-Destructive Testing Technique

Aquacrete, the Australian owned and operated ventilation control specialist, has developed in-situ testing technology that will allow underground mine operators to non-destructively verify the thickness and therefore overpressure rating compliance of ventilation control devices (VCDs). Launched at the Australian Mine Ventilation Conference at the University of New South Wales on 6 September, the Aquacrete Thickness Gauge (ATG) can accurately analyse existing and new installations without the risk of damaging the material structure of the VCD. While sample coring and analysis of installed seals has provided significant assurance to mines, it is difficult, time-consuming and costly to carry out physical sampling
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Advances in In-situ Testing of Ventilation Control Devices for Underground Mines

Greg Kay Aquacrete, Newcastle, NSW, Australia Michael Salu Parsons Brinckerhoff, Brisbane, QLD, Australia ABSTRACT: As underground mines increasingly face the challenge of maximising production without losing focus on safety excellence, the ability to predict the effectiveness and identify defects in mine seals and stoppings plays an increasingly important role in mine ventilation management. While technologies for sample testing installed seals provides significant assurance, the difficulty of conducting tests in operational environments, combined with the production impact of destructive testing procedures, has led to the development of a new method for non-destructively testing ventilation control devices (VCDs). This paper addresses the
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