Aquacrete’s structural design system is used to determine the design and installation specifications of Aquacrete structural devices.
The system predicts the performance of a structural device based on the dimensions and geotechnical conditions of the specific mine site. This in turn is used to provide engineering specifications regarding product selection, product thickness and required strength for each installation site. If an installation conforms to the specifications, independent engineering certification can be obtained to confirm compliance.
Developed more than a decade ago with data obtained from live underground testing of Aquacrete structures, independent engineers were able to analyse explosion dynamics and the structural responses of full-size structural devices to establish precise specifications.
While similar testing had been conducted at purpose-built facilities such as the Londonderry testing facility in New South Wales, Aquacrete selected an underground mine in Western Australia, which allowed the use of higher blast pressures due to full underground confinement of the explosive testing. This enabled a wider range of tests to be completed and the results could be confidently extrapolated to ensure closer relevance to operational mines.
The blast test results were analysed and used to calibrate a 3-dimensional finite-element computer model of a structure subjected to blast loading. This calibration began by transferring actual pressure distribution contours from the testing and then compared axial, bending and shear stresses as well as total loading and deflection between various configurations. The results were then used to develop a design system that can assess the required thickness of a device for any combination of height, width, over pressure, head of water and factor of safety for any individual site location.