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Shotcrete (sprayed concrete)

Verification of failure mechanisms and design philosophy for a bolt-anchored and fibre-reinforced shotcrete lining

Falling or sliding of loose blocks is one of the most common failure modes in a rock tunnel. For tunnels in hard and jointed rock, fibre-reinforced shotcrete (sprayed concrete) in combination with rock bolts is one of the most commonly used supports to prevent such failures. The structural behaviour, and especially the failure, of this type of rock support, is complex and involves several failure mechanisms; such as cracking of the shotcrete and interface failure along the shotcrete-rock, bolt-grout and rock-grout interface. Therefore, rock supports are normally designed using analytical solutions based on the independent failure modes. However, these failure modes are derived based on experimental testing and the assumption that no interaction between the failure modes occur. This assumption has not been verified. Therefore, a numerical model capable of simulating the failure of a bolt-anchored and fibre-reinforced shotcrete lining is presented. The model includes bond failure between shotcrete and rock, cracking of the shotcrete and pull-out failure of rock bolts. The structural behaviour for each failure mode and the complete structure have been verified against experiments from the literature. This shows that the model is capable of simulating the different phases of failure, and show good agreement with results from full-scale experimental tests from the literature. Furthermore, results from the numerical simulation confirms that the design of the shotcrete lining can be based on individual failure mechanisms. Moreover, it was shown that a design based on the residual strength of the fibre-reinforced shotcrete is conservative compared to a design based on the bond strength.

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Contact: Andreas Sjölander  , Rikard Hellgren  , Richard Malm , Anders Ansell  (profile pages)

In-situ and laboratory investigation on leaching and effects of early curing of shotcrete

During the construction of a rock tunnel in Stockholm, several sections with leaching shotcrete (sprayed concrete) were found one year after the spraying was completed. An investigation was therefore conducted, and its results are presented. The amount of leaching after such a short time indicated that a one-sided water pressure existed in combination with a permeable shotcrete. The reason for the water pressure was likely a partly unsuccessful grouting that created sections with leaking water. The permeable shotcrete could be a combined result of insufficient curing and the use of accelerators, and the effect of in-situ curing was therefore investigated. A total of six slabs were sprayed and cured under different conditions in the tunnel. Test results according to standards indicated that curing has no significant effect on the development of mechanical strength or water penetration through the shotcrete. However, this is believed to be a result of the test method rather than the non-existing effect of curing. Lastly, some modifications to the test standard were proposed for future studies of in-situ curing.

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Contact: Andreas Sjölander  , Anders Ansell (profile pages)

Practical guidelines for shotcrete work close to blasting and vibration in hard rock

Limited knowledge on safe vibration levels near newly sprayed concrete (shotcrete) often leads to over-conservative limits in underground construction and tunnelling, with additional costs and planning uncertainties as a consequence. Work on compiling a database of practical vibration levels for shotcrete work close to blasting in hard rock have been initiated and will provide guidelines for safe distances and waiting times for newly sprayed wet-mix shotcrete. A large number of calculations are carried out with a previously developed and relatively computationally effective numerical elastic stress wave propagation model, which will result in a systematically compiled database. These guidelines, giving relationships between the amount of explosives, distance, rock type, shotcrete type, age and thickness, will be of great value as reference for design work and facilitate comparisons with in situ data. It will be possible to adopt the design to ensure undamaged and safer shotcrete constructions with longer service life.

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Contact: Anders Ansell (profile pages)

Belongs to: Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering
Last changed: May 07, 2021