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The face of innovation

Atlas Copco
Supporting your business
wherever you are
Rock & Soil
third edition

Rock & Soil Reinforcement

Atlas Copco supplies the widest range of advance Because we’re a global organization, we have the
cost-efficient rock reinforcement solutions for resources to be truly local.
mining and tunnelling, including fully-mechanized
Find out more at and select
Boltec rock bolting rigs, Swellex rockbolts, and
“Country”. Or give us a call. We’d be happy to listen
MAI self-drilling anchors.
to your requirements, and even happier to meet them.
Each and every product has been designed to help
maximize your tunnel advance and minimize costs
per drilled metre – and always with the highest Talking Technically
level of safety in mind.
Case Studies
Atlas Copco MAI Product Specifications
Third Edition

Phone: +43 4245 65 16 60

Fax: +43 4245 65 16 68 00
a technical reference edition
Printed matter no. 9851 6283 01b
RR3 CONT.qxd 19/7/05 8:33 Page 1

Foreword 99 Front Stabilization Using MAI Rock Anchors:
pre-reinforcement as a means of ground control in
2 Foreword by Federico Scolari, Vice President Marketing, Germany, Italy and Taiwan.
Atlas Copco Craelius. 104 Boltec at Kemi Mine: integrated process control
demands reliable and consistent mechanized
Talking Technically 109
Overcoming Squeezing Ground at Mitholz:
supporting deformed strata while fresh support is
3 Innovative Solutions for Rock & Soil Reinforcement installed.
5 Investing in Rock Reinforcement 113 Mechanized Bolting at Zinkgruvan: better rock
7 Controllable Rock Reinforcement reinforcement improves production and safety.
11 Swellex Manganese Offers Improved Work Index 115 Seismic Tunnelling at Bolu: crucial motorway tunnels
13 Swellex Premium Line recover from earthquake using Self Drilling Anchors.
15 Hollow-Core SDA System 119 SDA in the Baltic States: novel uses for grouted SDA
17 Atlas Copco MAI Self Drilling Anchors as micropiles to support ancient buildings.
19 Symmetrix For Large Holes 124 Increasing Land Use: SDA applied to subsoil
22 Sacrificial Drill Bits stabilization prior to housebuilding in UK.
24 Mechanized Bolting 127 Soil Nailing UK Transport Routes: securing major
28 Using Rocket Boomers to Install Rockbolts road and rail infrastructure using SDA.
33 Connectable Swellex 129 Portal Support Using Swellex: stabilization of
35 Rockbolt Corrosion in Mining and Tunnelling entrances to Porte tunnel in Italy.
38 Grouting for Support in Tunnels 131 Driving From Budapest to Nürnberg: difficult tunnels
41 Rock Mass Stability with Swellex using advanced rock reinforcement techniques.
43 Secoroc Uppercut – New Tapered Equipment 135 Systematic Grouting at Oslo Subway: Craelius
45 Getting the Drift with Magnum SR Unigrout provides the perfect solution for water ingress.
47 Rock Mechanics and Rock Reinforcement
51 Swellex in Shear Stress
55 Using ROC Drillrigs to Install SDA
59 3-D Imaging for Rock Support Design Product Specifications
61 Introducing Swellex Hybrid
139 Swellex Manganese Line
144 Plasticoated Swellex
Case Studies 145 Swellex Premium Line
148 Swellex Hybrid
63 Swellex in Mining: project reports from Canada, 149 Swellex Face Plates & Washers
Portugal, Turkey and Peru. 150 Swellex Pumps
69 Removing Bottlenecks in Austria: upgrading the 152 MAI SDA
European highway system in Central Europe. 164 Tophammer Crawlers
73 Extreme Temperatures: rock reinforcement in 166 Boltec Rigs
permafrost in Northern Quebec and volcanic strata in 172 Rocket Boomer Drillrigs
Hokkaido. 174 Hydraulic MAI Bolt Support
75 Coated Swellex at Kvarntorp: longlife installation of 175 Hydraulic Rock Drills
rockbolts in a corrosive environment. 178 Hydraulic Feeds
77 Nuclear Quality Assurance: long-term tunnel support 180 Symmetrix Overburden Casing System
for the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, US. 188 Unigrout Grout Plant
81 Versatility in Tunnelling: project reports from China, 189 Pusherleg Drills
Germany, Madeira, Spain, and Switzerland. 190 Secoroc Threaded Equipment
87 Rapid Support Close to the Face: reporting use of 204 Secoroc Tapered Equipment
Swellex at three important Italian TBM tunnelling sites.
91 Large Hydroelectric Projects: widely differing demands Front cover: Different applications involving rock reinforcement.
at sites in Austria, Bhutan, India, Philippines and Portugal. Atlas Copco reserves the right to alter its specifications at any
97 Top Combinations in Japan: reliable support in time. For latest updates contact our local Customer Centers or
sedimentary and volcanic rock formations in railway and refer to
road tunnels.

Produced by tunnelbuilder ltd for Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB, SE-701 91 Orebro, Sweden, tel +46 19 670-7000, fax -7393.
Publisher Ulf Linder Editor Mike Smith Picture Editor Jan Hallgren Contributors Anders Arvidsson, Claes Hillblom, Federico Scolari, Francois Charette, Gunnar
Nord, Hans Fernberg, Juha Hyvaoja, Jukka Ahonen, Lorne Herron, Mario Bureau, Mark Bernthaler, Olle Karlsson, Per-Olof
Einarsson, Sara Sjödin, Sten-Ake Peterson, all Adriana Potts,
Maurice Jones, maurice@tunnelbuilder. com. Wulf Schubert, Markus Potsch, Andreas Gaich, all

Designed and typeset by Sheldon Mann, Belvedere, Kent, UK

Printed by db grafiska, Örebro, Sweden Copies of all reference editions are available in CD-ROM format
from the publisher, address above. Reproduction of individual


RR3/FORE.qxd 19/7/05 8:36 Page 2

ngoing development of faster, safer and more exotic tunnelling techniques places a con-
stant pressure on manufacturers to provide more efficient rock support solutions which
will help the shortening cycle time.
The use of versatile drilling jumbos for mechanized installation of a variety of rock support
systems is part of the leading practice used in modern tunnelling. As ground conditions get more
and more demanding, emphasis is placed on flexible and intelligent support systems in which rock
and soil reinforcement is expected to contribute to the productivity and safety of the operation.
The trend has been to provide rock support/reinforcement systems that are easy to install, assure
efficiency and provide safety, both during and after excavation.
For the last 25 years, Atlas Copco has been offering the Swellex concept as a unique, safe and
reliable system of rock support. As the market leader in underground rock excavation technology,
Atlas Copco has also been developing safer and more efficient rock reinforcement products such
as the Manganese Line rock bolts, which are manufactured from a special type of steel. Another
development is the Swellex Premium Line of rock bolts, for use where high yield load and stiff-
ness are expected from the reinforcement system. The recent acquisitions of MAI and Rotex have
introduced a whole new range of products, which are now being developed for mechanized instal-
lation by both surface and underground drillrigs, creating fresh applications in rock and soil rein-
Atlas Copco’s Rock Reinforcement Competence Centre at Feistritz/Drau, Austria brings togeth-
er the skills necessary for the development of superior rock reinforcement products to serve the
tunnelling, mining and construction industries worldwide. In 2005, the centre became a part of
Atlas Copco Craelius, which is active in ground engineering with Symmetrix and ODEX overbur-
den casing drilling systems, and Unigrout and Logac grouting equipment, and produces multipur-
pose drilling rigs such as the Mustang. The combined product portfolio includes Swellex and MAI,
bringing together all elements of the Atlas Copco rock and soil reinforcement strategy.
As a result, market-driven product development at this new facility is already setting the scene
for another quarter-century of development in rock reinforcement and ground engineering.

Federico Scolari
Vice President Marketing
Atlas Copco Craelius


RR3/RT1 24/6/05 17:01 Page 3


Innovative Solutions for Rock and

Soil Reinforcement
Twenty Five Years On
Over the past 25 years, Atlas
Copco has developed a constant
stream of products that have pro-
vided innovative solutions to a
multitude of rock support and
reinforcement tasks, and solved
many difficult challenges for
miners and drilling contractors
around the globe.
Further developments are on
the way with the recent inaugu-
ration of a dedicated competence
and R&D centre for rock rein-
forcement in Feistritz/Drau,
Austria. Located at the headquar-
ters of Atlas Copco MAI, the
centre is dedicated to developing
cutting-edge products for rock
reinforcement and ground engi-
neering applications. Official opening of the new Atlas Copco rock and soil reinforcement competence centre at Feistritz/Drau,

Leading the Way • Swellex Manganese for increased launched the Boltec 500, a new rig for
tensile strength and higher elongation fully mechanized rock bolting, primar-
When Atlas Copco applied for patents capacity ily to increase productivity and to
for the Swellex rock bolt in 1979, it • Swellex Premium Line for improve safety when installing the
was a significant milestone in rock improved yield characteristics and ten- bolts. Safety is an especially important
reinforcement technology. This inflat- sile strength with slightly less elonga- consideration on sites with poor rock
able bolt was extremely easy and tion. conditions.
quick to install in a 38 mm hole, and However, the extreme conditions of
provided immediate support. Specialized Rigs rock bolting, in which water and rock
The advantages proved to be so
effective that over the next decade At the same time as applying for Atlas Copco Boltec LC is a highly productive
several million Swellex bolts were patents for Swellex, Atlas Copco machine developed specifically for rock bolting.
used in demanding ground conditions
In the years that followed, this suc-
cess led to the development of several
new versions including:
• Coated Swellex with rust protec-
tion to withstand corrosive environ-
• Super Swellex for larger hole
diameters and a 20-tonne load-bearing
• Connectable Swellex for tunnels
where the length of the bolt required is
more than the height of the tunnel
• Swellex Hanger for suspending
such facilities as conveyor belts and
working platforms


RR3/RT1 24/6/05 17:02 Page 4


stabilization, and in ground engineer-

ing for foundation reinforcement.
Atlas Copco MAI SDA are now
commonly used with modified
Boomer drill rigs. In this case, the drill
rod and bit are replaced by an MAI
adapter, coupling, anchor rod and a
sacrificial drill bit.

Competence Centre
The recent opening of the dedicated
competence centre at Feistritz/Drau,
Austria heralds a new era for the
development of superior rock rein-
forcement products to serve tun-
nelling, mining and construction
industries worldwide.
A considerable amount of market-
driven product development will now
be possible, and customers around the
Innovative two boom cable bolting rig drills with one boom while feeding and grouting cable with the other. world can expect to see many new and
interesting products in this area
cuttings pour down along the drill this technology, continually setting new coming from Atlas Copco in the years
string and onto the rock drill, feed and standards and breaking new ground. ahead.
moving components, had a negative In 2002, the company added self - The scene is now set for another
effect on the service life of these rigs. drilling anchors (SDAs) to its ever quarter-century of development in
Their performance was affected even widening product range, through the rock reinforcement and ground engi-
more when cement-grouted bolts were acquisition of SDA specialist MAI neering.
used, due to cement spilling out of the Ankertechnik of Austria. On the following pages, Atlas Copco
hole onto the bolting unit. These fully-threaded anchors, fitted presents some technical papers, case
In response to these challenges, with sacrificial drill bits, are designed studies and product specifications to
Atlas Copco continued to develop fur- for exceptionally poor ground condi- demonstrate this technology in action.
ther generations of more rugged and tions where holes collapse and con-
reliable bolting rigs that had fewer ventional bolts cannot be used. In by Federico Scolari
moving parts. addition, they are used in combination
The current fourth generation rigs are with crawler drillrigs for surface appli- Twenty five years of innovative solutions to rock
capable of impressive performances. For cations, such as soil nailing in slope reinforcement problems.
example, the Boltec LC working in a
Finnish mine recently installed more
than 120 Swellex Manganese bolts in a
single 8-hour shift.
Boomer face drilling rigs also began
to be used for tunnelling in poor
ground, drilling holes for rock bolts as
well as for the installation of pipe roof-
ing systems and self-drilling anchors.

Swellex Still Supreme

As the Swellex patents have begun to
expire, other producers have made
repeated attempts to imitate the design
and features of the Swellex bolts, but
none have managed to achieve the
same quality.
Swellex remains supreme, and Atlas
Copco remains firmly at the forefront of


RR3/RT2.qxd 24/6/05 14:54 Page 5


Investing in Rock
Safety and Economy
Time was, in tunnelling and
mining, that rock reinforcement
was considered a burden, a cost,
and a necessary pain. The aim
seemed to be to get around the
support work in the easiest and
cheapest way possible, and con-
centrate all efforts on excavating
the greatest amount of rock, in
the shortest time.
As the awareness of the con-
sequences of poor rock reinforce-
ment becomes more widespread
amongst clients, engineers,
miners and contractors around
the world, a sounder attitude to
this work is emerging. There is
now a wish to achieve the
required demands on quality, to
carry out the support and rock
reinforcement in the right order,
to properly monitor what has
been carried out, and to evaluate
the results of the rock reinforce-
ment effort. The latest Atlas Copco Boltec offers a new dimension in rockbolting safety.
As contractors and miners have
a reputation for looking after their
money, new ideas are born on The Atlas Copco focus is on total In a linear situation, for instance, if
how to carry out the support and economy, by fast installation of rock it takes 100 days for one man to dig a
reinforcement work in cost effi- support, adequately proven perfor- defined dyke, 100 men can do it in one
cient ways, and they are often pre-
sented as alternatives in their mance of reinforcement, and a tech- day. In tunnelling, life is not that easy.
quotations on underground con- nology that has the capacity to meet There may be only one face to work
struction projects. In mining, there modern quality demands. at, and there is usually little space for
is continuous ongoing evaluation In this presentation of the Atlas increased efforts at that face. The only
aimed at optimization of the exca- Copco approach, we discuss the cost remaining option for the tunnellers is
vation reinforcement method.
implications of the time taken for the to improve mechanization.
round in tunnel excavation, the quality The leading process has been
Practical Solutions of the Atlas Copco rock reinforcement drilling at the face. Since the introduc-
programme, and working environment tion of the original Swedish Method,
At Atlas Copco, as a supplier of rock and safety aspects. the drilling performance has improved
drilling equipment as well as rock dramatically. The introduction of
reinforcement tools and material, there Improving Performance heavy pneumatic drifters mounted on
is an ongoing drive to create new or articulated booms, followed by three
improved solutions to rock reinforce- Going back 20 years or so, and look- generations of hydraulic drill rigs, has
ment problems. This topic is generally ing into the time needed to excavate a further multiplied productivity.
broached at an early stage of a project round and how this has developed, If we consider a tunnel with 80 sq m
by the contractors, and is brought up will indicate the direction in which cross-section being driven in fractured
constantly by the mining industry. As tunnelling technology is going. limestone with clays strata, through
a result, Atlas Copco is right at the The round cycle is just as real today a couple of major faults, and with
core of practical solutions for rock as it was then. By doubling the 350 m overburden and significant
reinforcement, and this has con- effort, the time taken will reduce by water inflow, the drilling phase has
tributed to our approach. 50%. decreased from 40% of the total


RR3/RT2.qxd 24/6/05 14:54 Page 6


will be €500/h saved. Consequently,

there is a good incentive for looking
for cost saving measures, and rock rein-
forcement certainly is an area of interest.
Atlas Copco has taken this problem
seriously. Our approach is to provide
machines, rockbolts and know-how to
add value to your rock reinforcement.
We hope that the articles in this
brochure can explain how.

Investing in Rock
The Atlas Copco commitment is
towards a safer and more ergonomic
working environment. This commitment
is translated into ergonomic machines
and reliable rockbolts. There are no
shortcuts in this process. Swellex offers
Figure 1. Development of face excavation over the last 25 years, showing the changes in time taken for immediate support, with full column
various components of the round. contact, and pumps check the inflation
pressure of the bolts. Self Drilling
drilling time 20 years ago, to just 20% with all resources mobilized and the staff Anchors (SDA) are replacing manual
today. taking home their salaries, the cost will installation of rockbolts in collapsing
Figure 1 illustrates the development be at least half of the forecast cost. holes, where the manual job is more dif-
of drilling and ancillary face opera- Conversely, if the work is carried out in ficult. Boltec offers a new dimension in
tions over 25 years. Not all the differ- half of the set time, the reduction in cost rockbolting safety, while Cabletec does
ent phases in the cycle have the same will be at least 25%. the same for cable bolting.
development. Shotcreting shows a Assume a tunnel of 1.2 km in Assuming that you have done
positive trend on time reduction, while length, with a cross-section of 70 sq m, everything to optimize your face
mucking has a less noticeable devel- will be excavated over a time period of drilling, and that your detonators and
opment. These figures would improve one year. This is an average advance of explosives are the best available. You
for a smaller cross section. Scaling 100 m/month, at an estimated cost of have a modern ventilation system, the
shows a large increase in time, since €5,000/m or €6 million in total. The most powerful mucking equipment,
heavy hydraulic breakers now play an time related cost will then be at least and the most efficient shotcrete robot.
important role in improving the pull of €3 million, or €2,500/m. If a reduction And you still stay with the most
the blasted round by cleaning off the in construction time of one month can conventional rockbolting system?
face, as well as trimming the profile of be achieved, it results in a reduction Then it’s time to invest in rock
roof and sides to make safe. of the cost by €250,000. Further, reinforcement.
If we consider traditional, fully assuming that the working time is
grouted rockbolts, installed with a 500 hours/month, then the cost saving by Gunnar Nord
jumbo or with an automatic bolting rig,
the increase in productivity does not Rocket Boomer L1 C-DH drilling rockbolt holes at Auersmacher in Germany.
keep pace with the drilling. In our ref-
erence tunnel we can register a poor
saving of 10% in total time consump-
tion. Rock reinforcement, and in par-
ticular, rockbolting, is a bottleneck in
the excavation cycle, and this has to be
tackled in order to boost productivity.

Time is Money
In tunnelling the time related cost is most
likely in the range of 50- 60% of the total
cost. This means that, if no work is car-
ried out during the set construction time,


RR3/RT3 11/8/05 15:32 Page 7


Controllable Rock
Helping Rock to
Support Itself
Modern computer-based geot-
echnical monitoring techniques
indicate that the greatest relax-
ation or movement of the rock
mass occurs immediately follow-
ing excavation. They confirm
that, after a certain period, the
rock will establish a new equilib-
rium based on its own inherent
self-supporting capacity. The best
quality rock will remain self-sup-
porting for extensive periods of
time without the need for extra
support. As the rock quality
declines, support requirements
increase proportionally. The poorer
the quality of the rock, the greater
the degree of support required, Sequence of installation of a Swellex bolt.
and it becomes increasingly crucial
to install reinforcement as quickly
and as close to the face as possible functional. The basic underlying fac- immediate and full support action
after excavation. tors are: the inherent sensitivity of from the Swellex bolts. The moment
Engineers involved in the resin to heat, age and improper stor- the Swellex bolt is expanded in the
design of rock reinforcement sys- age; parameters during installation; hole, it interacts with the rock to main-
tems must satisfy ever increasing
hole annulus; cartridge damage during tain its integrity. The quality of the
demands to optimize the design
to gain maximum safety and insertion; injection nozzle alignment; bolt installation is automatically con-
economy. The primary objective presence of cracks and flowing water; firmed when the pump stops, and is
in the design of the support and levels of operator skill and care. independent of rock mass conditions
system is to assist the rock mass This is a highly unsatisfactory result or operator experience.
to support itself. Accordingly, in terms of worksite safety, and is Controllability means safety.
quality and time are the two
main parameters which must be
equally unfavourable in terms of econ- Control brings peace of mind at every
taken into account when deter- omy. Split-set type bolts may be quick step:
mining the type of rockbolt to be to install, but their anchorage capacity 1) Swellex bolts are manufactured
used for rock reinforcement, in is too low to keep stress concentration following a very strict quality
both mining and construction at distance from the rock face. control procedure using specific
applications. By contrast, the Swellex concept steels for which origin and com-
entails that the rock is secured by position are known and controlled.

Controllability Means Safety High pressure water expands the Swellex bolt into contact with the strata.

Traditionally, the use of rockbolts has

been limited to reinforcing reasonably
solid rock. Poorly consolidated and
friable rock conditions have required
the use of expensive external support.
Independent surveys reveal that as
many as 50% of cement- and resin-
grouted rockbolts are so poorly
installed that they are virtually non-


RR3/RT3 11/8/05 15:33 Page 8


arch or beam. Reinforcement is unaf-

fected by the presence of water, or
joints in the rock mass.
Swellex rockbolts, and the quality
assured installation procedure, permit
rock reinforcement where expensive
external support is normally required.

Immediate Support
Modern drilling and excavation equip-
ment used in civil engineering and
mining applications has led to major
increases in efficiency and productivi-
ty. In fact, development has been so
rapid that conventional rockbolting
methods frequently act as production
Developments in the speed and
ease with which rock reinforcement
Plasticoated Swellex with cap and without cap.
can be applied to improve equipment
All the manufacturing parameters Swellex rockbolts reinforce and utilization, limit machine downtime,
are filed and linked to a number improve the condition of the interfac- and increase productivity, while simul-
on the Swellex bolt bushing for ing rock, increasing its load-bearing taneously complying with safety
traceability. capacity. requirements, is of interest to all those
2) Installation of Swellex bolts is Depending on the rock mass involved in tunnelling and mining.
controlled by sturdy Atlas Copco strength, the pressure exerted during The Swellex concept has kept pace
pumps to assure a perfect installa- installation may compact the rock sur- with these advances, with a single
tion. The new patented HC1 rounding the borehole, increasing the operator installing 50 to 100
pump, once started, will only stop friction along the bolt, and/or deform bolts/shift.
when the set pressure is reached, its profile to match the irregularities of Timing of the rock reinforcement
independently of the operator. the rock, providing a combination of measures is of particular importance in
3) Pull-tests can be performed at any strong mechanical interlocking and NATM, the New Austrian Tunnelling
time on Swellex bolts. Whether high friction. The resulting high Method. In brief, NATM can be
they were installed a year ago in a anchorage capacity makes Swellex expressed as a sequence of activities
corrosive environment, or 10 bolts an integral part of the supporting for tunnel development: drilling and
years ago in a dry area, it is possi-
ble to control their load bearing Mn24H hanger rockbolts for suspending utilities while reinforcing the rock.
and yielding capacity. Expertise
has also been developed for exam-
ining the bolts with a fibre optic
camera to control internal corro-
sion or shearing.
The Swellex concept is designed to
optimize the effectiveness of each
bolt, so the bolting operation matches
the required safety levels as planned
by the engineers. Alternatively, com-
pared to other rock support, the same
bolting effort using the Swellex
system can result in increased safety,
since each installed Swellex bolt pro-
vides full support.
Swellex rockbolts have been used
successfully to complete many tunnels
in difficult rock conditions while, at
the same time, greatly reducing sup-
port costs.


RR3/RT3 11/8/05 15:33 Page 9


blasting; mucking and scaling; and in Canada has proved that Swellex
immediate initial rock mass support by boosted metres of advance by 10%
systematic rockbolting and shotcret- and reduced bolting costs by 10%. As
ing. more bolts were installed per working
The initial support system restricts shift, fixed costs for manpower and
ground movements after excavation, rigs were diluted, resulting in
thereby maintaining the inherent increased metres of advance/shift with
strength of the rock mass. This is the improved safety. For similar reasons,
essential idea behind NATM. The per- Swellex has became a standard in
manent lining is installed when the most European countries and in Japan.
rock has reached a state of equilibri- To summarize, when the Swellex
um, and deformation has ceased. bolt is installed in heavily fissured
Swellex rockbolts provide immedi- rock, the radial stresses enhance the
ate support, as well as the ability to contact forces between blocks of rock
accommodate large ground move- surrounding the bolt, leading to an
ments at maximum load-bearing increase in rock mass strength. In
capacity. Shear tests performed by soils, Swellex bolts provide consolida-
several international institutes have tion immediately around the bolt,
shown that, depending on rock com- leading to an increase in the strength
pressive strength, Swellex bolts can of the material, and improved anchor-
accommodate up to 90-100% of their Hybrid bolt for long anchorage in rock. ing capacity of the rockbolt. In hard
tensile strength under shear loading, rock, 0.5 m of anchored Swellex rock-
an exceptionally high figure. Joint ground water around the rockbolt and bolt gives a pullout resistance equal to
shear displacement at bolt failure can inflation water within the rockbolt. the breaking load of the bolt. A strong
be up to 35 mm/56 mm at a 90 degree It has been established that, for anchorage capacity will help to dis-
angle between the bolt and the surface medium term corrosion protection, the tribute the stress around the excava-
of the joint, showing that Swellex bitumen coating is best. However, tion and avoid stress concentration
bolts accommodate the same amount plasticoated Swellex offers longterm close to the surface that can lead to
of shear displacement as the diameter corrosion protection, independently of rock falls or strain burst.
of the drill hole, and even more in the rock mass parameter. There are Swellex rockbolts for
softer rock. If shotcrete or sealant are used, the almost any environment and purpose.
threat from atmospheric corrosion Swellex Mn12 and Pm12 are perfect
The Right Protection diminishes. In the case of Swellex, it for regular daily support in mining and
will seal and protect the inside of the tunnelling. When high loading capaci-
When it comes to choosing the right bolt, leaving a reduced corrosion ty is needed, Swellex Mn24 or Pm24
product for longevity, or for use in a potential to the external side only. If is the answer. Swellex Mn16 and
corrosive environment, it is advisable there is no shotcrete or sealant applied Pm16 are a cost-effective solution
to proceed with caution. There are after bolt installation, caps can be used when 43-52 mm drilling is preferred.
many products that offer what appears to seal the bolt internally. In highly corrosive conditions, or
to be lifetime protection. A real level of safety is achieved where there are demands for long life,
Unfortunately, in reality, the rock mass with Swellex, as the corrosion is Coated or Plasticoated Swellex may
properties such as water, joints, rock assessed, and the bolt can be con- be the choice. In situations where very
movement, may be unknown, and the trolled using pull test or internal visual long bolts are required, or in confined
quality of rockbolt installation may be inspection over time. space, Mn24E Extendable Swellex
unquantifiable. offers fast installation of up to 12 m-
Conventional types of rockbolts Total System Approach long bolts.
made from carbon steel are susceptible Recent years have seen the devel-
to corrosion. As only 50-70% of resin The cost and time involved in rock opment of the Mn24H, a type of
coated and grouted bolts are properly reinforcement compels project engi- Swellex that is part of the rock support
installed, they do not represent a reli- neers to evaluate a total system and is also used to hang heavy loads
able solution against corrosion. Also, approach. The cost of the rockbolt without inducing unfavourable stress
there is extra delay and cost associated itself, or such properties as tensile in the bolt’s head bushing.
with these bolts, compared to the strength, are seldom of primary inter- Atlas Copco is also proud of its
Swellex solution. est. The decisive factors are the result- latest patented hybrid system of rock
To help choose the right alternative, ing safety, the total cost, and the time reinforcement, see article in this issue.
Atlas Copco is using reputable corro- required to fulfil the mission.
sion institutes around the world to A productivity study comparing
assess the corrosion potential of Swellex to other bolts in a gold mine by Mario Bureau


Document2 3/10/05 12:10 Page 1
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Swellex Manganese Offers

Improved Work Index
Tough Newcomer
Atlas Copco’s Swellex rockbolts
have a long and successful his-
tory based on two simple advan-
tages for the customer: safety
and productivity. Swellex rock-
bolts are watertight, double-
folded, high-quality steel tubes,
which are expanded by a high-
pressure water pump through a
pre-drilled hole. The expansion of Wi Wi
the tube generates both contact
friction and mechanical interlock
between the steel and surround-
ing rock, giving immediate and
full-column rock reinforcement in
a simple and rapid way.
The latest range of frictional
bolts, marketed as Swellex Mang-
anese, will dramatically increase
performance, thanks to a new
steel composition and an innova-
tive heat treatment.
Figure 1. The excellent performance of the Super Swellex rockbolt is further improved by Swellex Mn24,
the corresponding bolt in the new Manganese Line.
New Tool
Atlas Copco research and develop- deformation and squeezing ground are Search For Excellence
ment has engineered a new generation all cases in which a bolt with a superi-
of Swellex bolt, which will better suit or capacity to follow the rock de- The Swellex range is based on several
the rock mechanical requirements. At formation can play an important role hole sizes. Standard Swellex is used in
the same time, it was decided to fur- in balancing and re-adjusting the strain combination with holes from 32 mm
ther increase the productivity, perfor- field towards stability. But elongation to 39 mm-diameter, while both Super
mance and reliability of Swellex without tensile strength is simply out and Midi Swellex work in the 43 mm
pumps. By these means, a quantum of the question. to 52 mm range.
leap forward in safety and perfor- Atlas Copco needed a new tool to A possible solution to increase the
mance has been achieved. measure the total performance of rock- Work Index was to increase the geo-
Loading capacity normally defines bolts, and a new parameter capable of metrical feature of the bolts.
a class of rock bolt. For example, combining capacity and elongation. Considering the Swellex position as
Standard Swellex is a 100 kN bolt, As the deformation is expressed in an established worldwide commercial
while Super Swellex is in the 190 kN percent (%) in the classical load defor- success, it did not make sense to
category. But other parameters can mation graph Atlas Copco is introduc- modify its well-accepted and fit-to-
influence the final performance of a ing the Work Index (Wi). The Work application dimensions. It was more
rockbolt, and especially its contribu- Index (Wi) as real work is defined by logical to work on material properties
tion to safety. the integral of load in function of the and production methods.
Experience in mining and tun- deformation also represented by the The steel used in Swellex is already
nelling operations has shown that area beneath the curve in Figure 1. a special type, with few impurities.
elongation is a very important parame- The Work Index (Wi) gives a truthful Well-established co-operation with a
ter in judging the performance of a picture of the total energy absorbed by leading steel supplier and with a pipe
bolt. In deep mines, strain concentra- the bolt before breaking down, or mill allowed a tailored technical speci-
tion areas, uneven load, progressive losing its function. fication to be developed for materials,


RR3/RT4.qxd 23/6/05 9:05 Page 12


Figure 2. After a series of experiments, a heat-

treated Manganese steel was chosen. This table
shows the results of the design efforts with
respect to tensile tests of the profile after
expansion to simulate real conditions.

and a series of alloys and high tensile a higher loading capacity and, at the
Summary of steels were considered. Only a limited same time, enhanced elongation. Figure
number of options can handle the 1 shows that, beyond yielding point,
Swellex® user severe requirement of Swellex rock- the manganese steel increases the load
benefits bolts with respect to radial deforma- capacity due to the hardening process.
tion during expansion, and weldability The curve continues to point up-
● Swellex provides cost- to assure perfect watertight contacts at wards until a 10% elongation is
effective rock the bushings. It was decided to use a achieved, then a long horizontal seg-
reinforcement in most better quality steel, with a higher man- ment goes above the 30% level before
rock types and conditions. ganese content. the profile breaks up. This extraordi-
Produced in a cold forming mill, nary behaviour gives the capacity to
● Swellex installation the steel reaches a very high tensile absorb a substantially higher quantity
procedure ensures that strength and high loading capacity, of energy, as indicated in the 80%
every bolt installed will but unsatisfactory elongation. A post- increase in the Work Index shown in
provide optimum production heat treatment is then used to Figure 2.
reinforcement. produce the extraordinary elongation
properties needed for the Swellex profile. Total Reliability
● Swellex rock bolts are
quickly installed, and very Improved Behaviour The heat treatment used during the
little training is required to production of the new Swellex
use the equipment. Figure 1 compares typical load/ Manganese Line further improves
deformation curves for Super Swellex repeatability of the performance
● Swellex rock bolts provide and the new Swellex Mn24. In obtainable by the bolts. A large
full column interlock with particular, the regular Swellex steel number of pull tests, representative for
the surrounding rock, profile shows a classical behaviour for millions of rockbolts, show very little
without the need for carbon steel. Beyond the yielding variation in the results.
mechanical locking point (200 kN), the profile accepts a As a result, engineers, miners, rock-
devices or grouting large amount of deformation, but with mechanics and consultants can rely on
slightly lower strength. When a 20% safe and quality controlled rockbolts,
elongation is reached, the profile through the entire process from manu-
● Swellex requires no breaks down. facturing to installation.
environmentally harmful The new, high-strength and fully
chemical grouts to anchor annealed Manganese Line now offers by Federico Scolari
the bolt in the rock. Work Index for
● The quick and easy various types of
installation, and the
assurance that every bolt
provides immediate full
load-bearing capacity,
makes Swellex the most
cost-effective rock


RR3/RT5 23/6/05 9:06 Page 13


Manganese and Premium Lines

Continuous Mn12 Pm12

Improvement Yield Load kN (Rp02)

Min. Breaking Load kN
Atlas Copco has, over the years, Min. Elongation % 20 15
improved considerably the Working index 2000 1800
Swellex system. Rock engineers
are extremely conscious that the
behaviour and efficiency of rock Mn16 Pm16
bolts can be dictated by the prop- Yield Load kN (Rp02) 105 130
erties of the steel from which Min. Breaking Load kN 140 160
they are made. Min. Elongation % 20 15
Accordingly, rock bolts are no Working index 2800 2400
longer judged simply by their
maximum tensile strength. The
rock mass stresses surrounding Mn24 Pm24
underground excavations have Yield Load kN (Rp02) 150 200
to be tamed using energy rather Min. Breaking Load kN 200 240
than strength. Sometimes, it is Min. Elongation % 20 15
better to bend with the stress,
Working index 4000 3600
while in other instances stiffness
is preferable. It all depends on Comparison tables for Mn and Pm bolts.
the type of rock, excavation size,
geology, stress field evolution, striven over the years to develop sup- Mn Line
seismicity, corrosion and port systems using the best available
longevity required. steel for each application. Mn Line bolts are made out of high
Atlas Copco, which introduced
the Manganese Mn Line of Once the anchorage mechanism strength steel, profiled, welded and
Swellex rock bolts a couple of is understood, the best way to pre- heat-treated to survive extensive
years ago, has recently launched dict how the rock support will deformation at maximum strength for
the Premium Pm Line. interact with the rock mass is to high-energy consumption before
look at the steel load-deformation reaching failure. Furthermore, the
graph. plastic zone is characterized by a con-
Competence Centre It is preferable to assess graphs tinuous progression of the load that
from manufactured product instead of allows, when the bolt is installed in
The Rock Reinforcement Competence the virgin steel, as the manufacturing rock, a progressive debonding. As the
Centre team at Atlas Copco under- process will modify the property of diameter of the loaded section reduces
stands the requirements of different the steel and the way the support will
rock reinforcement situations, and has behave under load. Typical load/strain graphs for Pm24 and Mn24 bolts.


250 Mn24





0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35


RR3/RT5 23/6/05 9:06 Page 14


under plastic deformation, a succes-

sion of new sections are progressively
released to work and stretch, provid-
ing extra energy absorbency and
avoiding rapid failure.
Mn Line bolts are therefore best
suited to an environment where rock
mass stress is high and unstable,
requiring good energy absorbency
Typical applications for the Mn
Line are where deformation/stress of
the rock mass is unstable in time.
These situations occur in mining
stopes, deep mining, mining in a high
stress environment caused by poor
geology or faulting, and mining in
zones where movement is expected in
the walls or roof resulting in stress
increase with time.

Premium Line
The Pm Line is also made of high
strength steel but having different
properties than the steel used for Checking nut and plate on Swellex Premium bolt.
the Mn Line. No heat treatment is
given to the Pm bolts, resulting in a Typical applications for the Pm Atlas Copco is continuously invest-
very stiff behaviour at high load, Line are where deformation/stress of ing in research and development to
because the yielding strength is the rock mass is stable in time and offer the market the best rock rein-
very close to the maximum tensile high stiffness is required. These situa- forcement products with safety and
strength. tions occur in tunneling, beam consol- productivity in mind. The right steel
Pm Line bolts are used where maxi- idation of strata in mining, mining for the application adds safety and
mum control of the rock mass conver- where the rock mass stress and move- productivity!
gence is targeted, and a high yielding ment are low or stable in time, and the
load capacity (Rp02) and stiffness are yielding load will never be reached,
required, as in civil tunnelling projects. and mining and tunnelling in soft rock. by Mario Bureau
Choice of Reinforcement Type

Conditions Properties of Preferred Reinforcement/

reinforcement Support Types

Soft Rock and low to High Stiffness Swellex Pm Line

medium stresses

Soft Rock and high Stresses Yielding and high Swellex Mn Line +
Weathered hard rock or laminated/ anchorage Connectable and Hybrid
schistose rock and high stresses

Hard Rock and low to High Stiffness Swellex Pm Line +

medium stresses Swellex Hybrid cemented

Hard Rock and high Yielding and retention Swellex Mn Line +

Stresses capacity Swellex Hybrid non-cemented
for rock burst
(seismicity & strain bursting)


RR3/RT6.qxd 23/6/05 9:32 Page 15


Hollow-Core Self Drilling

Anchoring Systems
The MAI bar is produced in 12 m
Support Without lengths and then cut to size depending
on customer requirements. Standard
Casing delivery lengths are 1 m, 2 m, 3 m,
The Atlas Copco MAI Self Drilling 4 m and 6 m. Recommended maximum
Anchoring System is a fully bar lengths depend on diameter and can
threaded steel bar which can be be up to 6.0 m. Additional lengths up
drilled and grouted into loose or to 12.0 m are available on request.
collapsing soils without the use
of a casing. The bar, or SDA, The Atlas Copco MAI coupler, which
features a hollow bore for flush- features a patented design that enables
ing, or simultaneous drilling and direct end-to-end bearing between each
grouting, and has a left-hand bar, reducing energy loss and ensuring
rope thread for connection to maximum percussive energy at the drill
standard drill tooling.
The Atlas Copco MAI SDA can bit. The coupler design has a thread
be installed in a variety of differ- arrangement in which the top half of
ent soils and ground conditions the thread is rotated against that of the
ranging from sand and gravel to lower half, providing a centre stop for
inconsistent fill, boulders, rubble each bar. All couplers exceed the ulti-
and weathered rock, as well as
through footings and base slabs. mate strength of the bar by 20%.
Applications associated with To enable the correct seating of
underground works include: each bar within the coupler, all bars
radial anchoring for stabilization have a precision cut at right angles to
of tunnel circumference during enable end to end bearing. A quarter
NATM-style excavation; as fore-
poles, spiles or umbrella for turn back of the coupler on the lower
advance protection of the exca- bar will ensure optimum seating of the
vation; as root piles for reaction upper bar within the coupler.
load of steel support arches; and The Atlas Copco MAI hexagonal
for slope stabilization of the nut, which is machined with chamfered
tunnel portal.
edges on both ends from high precision
steel, and tempered to meet any strin-
MAI SDA Functional Parts gent demands of the anchor specifica-
tions and the daily operations of
The system elements of the Atlas underground works. All nuts exceed
Copco MAI Self Drilling Anchor the ultimate strength of the bar by 20%.
(SDA) are as follows: The Atlas Copco MAI bearing
The Atlas Copco MAI bar, which is plate, which is a formed steel plate
manufactured from API standard with a centre hole, allowing articula-
heavy walling steel tubing, cold rolled tion of seven degrees in all directions.
to form a standard ISO rope thread All functional parts are constantly
profile. The rolling process refines the tested, in line with the company’s rig-
grain structure of the steel, increasing orous quality assurance policy.
the yield strength, and producing a The sacrificial Atlas Copco MAI
durable drill rod suitable for a range of drill bit is the most crucial part of the
applications. The standard rope thread anchor system, and is responsible for
of the Atlas Copco MAI bar produces the productivity of the installation.
an excellent bond between the bar and Atlas Copco MAI maintains a large
grout, as well as enabling connection range of drill bits to suit the changing
to all Atlas Copco Boomer and surface demands of geology encountered on
MAI SDA arrangement, showing threaded bar,
drill rigs, and use with a wide range of different projects. In order to improve
coupler, nut, plate and bit.
drill steel accessories. on performance and cost efficiency,


RR3/RT6.qxd 23/6/05 9:33 Page 16


Installation sequence of MAI SDA.

data is collected from projects around

the world, and incorporated into the borehole flush medium suitable for the
design with the aim to improve pene-
tration rate and bit quality, and to
specific ground conditions.
There are three types of borehole
reduce manufacturing costs. flush: 1) water flush for long bore- The One
holes in dense sand, gravel formation
Overall Advantages of MAI or rock conditions, for a better trans- and Only
SDA portation of large cuttings and cooling
of the drill bit; 2) air flush for short
Advantages of the Atlas Copco MAI boreholes in soft soil, such as chalk
SDA system are that it is particularly and clay, where water spillage is to be
suitable for very difficult and unstable avoided; 3) simultaneous drilling and
ground conditions, such as broken, grouting (SDG), for all lengths of
fissured and fractured rock formations, boreholes in all unconsolidated soil
or unconsolidated sands and gravels. conditions.
Re-drilling time due to collapsing Using SDG, the grout stabilizes the
boreholes is avoided, and speed of borehole during installation, providing
installation is high, with no primary a better grout cover along the nail
drilling required. The drilling, placing shaft. The grout has good penetration
and grouting of the anchor is per- into the surrounding soil, so higher
formed in one single operation, external friction values are reached,
reducing the drill labour compared to and the installation is completed in a
cased boreholes. single drilling operation, saving time.
Since conventional rotary-percus- By utilizing a sacrificial drill bit,
sion drilling equipment is used, the the MAI SDA is drilled continuously
method of installation is very similar forward without extraction, until the
for all ground conditions, and the bolts design depth is reached. To reach a
can be installed in all directions, required nail length of 12-15 m, the 3
including upwards. to 4 m standard rod lengths are easily
There is an option to use simultane- coupled together.
ous drilling and grouting techniques When using the first two flushing
during installation, to consolidate any media for the drilling operation, the
surrounding loose ground. soil/steel interface has to be created by
The anchor bar consists of a full grouting through the hollow stem of
length left hand rope thread, which the anchor rockbolt. The grout exits
gives the flexibility to adjust the bar through the flush holes of the drill bit,
length to the actual requirement. This and backfills the annulus around the
is especially useful if anchoring has to anchor that has been cut by the larger
be performed in a confined workspace. diameter of the drill bit.
For simultaneous operation, the
Method of Installation flushing medium is already a grout mix,
which has the ability to harden after the
Self Drilling Anchors are installed installation process is completed.
with air driven or hydraulic rotary per-
cussion drilling equipment, using a by Mark Bernthaler


RR3/RT7 23/6/05 9:34 Page 17


Atlas Copco MAI Self Drilling

Productivity and
Problem Solving
The Atlas Copco MAI SDA is a
unique bolting solution for un-
stable ground conditions such as
sand, gravel, silt, and clays, and
in soft to medium fractured rock
When discussing productivity,
only projects facing such ground
conditions should be considered.
Conventional rockbolts, or soil
nails, generally have the dis-
advantage that, when being
installed in poor ground condi-
tions, unproductive time is spent
on measures such as: retrieving
expensive drill tools from col-
lapsed boreholes; repositioning
the drill feed to clean collapsed
boreholes; introducing the grout
hose to the borehole bottom, and
grouting the borehole; and
inserting the nail or rockbolt with
Integrated Rotary Injection Adapter (Ceminject) mounted on a Boomer.
the assistance of the feed system
of the drilling unit.
The Atlas Copco MAI SDA COP hammer and the anchor bar. borehole and optimum filling of the
system is designed to avoid most Drilling is carried out using water or annulus; improved protection against
such time losses. With an opti- air flushing, but, upon reaching the corrosion; and consolidation of gravel,
mized installation method, tail- planned borehole depth, a suitable fissures, fractures or voids surround-
ored to the project’s needs, the
ultimate aim should be to limit cement mix is immediately injected. ing the borehole.
the installation time to the actual By slow rotation while applying
drilling time of the borehole. backwards and forwards movement Time Saving
of the SDA, the grout is pushed under
pressure from the bottom of the bore- Atlas Copco envisages full mecha-
Atlas Copco MAI SDA hole towards the borehole mouth. It nization of the Atlas Copco MAI
Techniques mixes in the borehole to provide opti- SDA to reduce the installation time
mum backfilling of the borehole and increase its productivity. The
Post installation grouting annulus contact to the soil. The company is also interested in resolv-
A number of Atlas Copco MAI SDA advantage of this system is the reduc- ing particular site problems, and in
bolts are installed in one phase to limit tion of cement consumption in hori- advancing tunnel technology for typi-
the working time of the drilling equip- zontal boreholes. cal applications of Self Drilling
ment and make it available for other Anchors. These are, in particular:
drilling operations within the excava- Simultaneous drilling and grouting radial nailing of the tunnel circumfer-
tion cycle. The grouting is performed Similar to the successive grouting ence; forepoling for cylindrical tunnel
as an independent operation from a method, this system also requires the advance, using lengths of approxi-
separate support vehicle. use of a Integrated Rotary Injection mately 4 m with 1 m overlap and face
Adapter (Ceminject). However, stabilization using lengths up to 15 m,
Installation and successive grouting instead of drilling with air or water and root piles.
In order to utilize this system, an flush, a suitable grout mix is intro- Worldwide, underground projects
Integrated Rotary Injection Adapter duced. The following advantages are are designed with geological expecta-
(Ceminject) is mounted between the achieved: stabilization of the tions based on information received


RR3/RT7 23/6/05 9:34 Page 18


Time savings by using MAI SDA System.

from rather limited soil investigations. allow an immediate intervention,

Furthermore, today’s need to satisfy reducing time wastage and increasing
the design requirements for infrastruc- productivity.
ture projects mostly doesn’t allow a The design of the Atlas Copco MAI
route selection that follows only good SDA also favours productivity in
rock conditions. This increasingly terms of storage and handling.
demands flexibility by the contractor, Anchor bars with a continuous left
who may be forced to adjust at short hand thread are delivered to site in
notice to unpredicted changes in geo- standard lengths of 2 m, 3 m, 4 m and
logical conditions. 6 m, and can be assembled to the spe-
Construction sites today have the cific lengths required. Transport to
option to cater for every eventuality, site, and onward to the working area,
and to maintain tools at site for every is simplified, due to the short lengths
type of ground condition. Prior plan- of the anchor elements and their
ning by the site management to main- accessories.
tain sufficient quantities of Atlas
Copco MAI SDA available for use can by Mark Bernthaler
Delivery lengths of Atlas Copco MAI SDA.


RR3/RT8 23/6/05 9:53 Page 19


Larger and Deeper Holes With

New World of
When Atlas Copco acquired the
Rotex company of Finland in
2004, it represented a major step
forward for contractors in the
field of overburden drilling and
related technologies. In addition
to its well-proven ODEX equip-
ment, Atlas Copco is now able to
offer Symmetrix, a unique
system that enables drillers to
drill deeper and larger holes than
ever before.

More Applications
The ODEX method of overburden
drilling with an eccentric bit is well
established amongst drillers, particu- overburden drilling, the specially- Symmetrix RC system used in Turku, Finland.
larly when it comes to shallow, small designed Mustang rigs for anchor
dimension holes. Now, with the intro- drilling and micropiling, and the the concreting process the support is
duction of the Symmetrix system, DTH products provided by Atlas transferred from the temporary drill
Atlas Copco has opened the door to an Copco Drilling Solutions in the casing, which is gradually withdrawn,
infinite number of applications where US, provide sufficient combina- to the concrete that forms the pile
casing drilling is the preferred solution tions to meet most overburden shaft. Likewise, the casing may be left
for forepoling, micropiling and other challenges. in place as additional structural sup-
types of ground engineering work. port, or for protection of the pile. For
Symmetrix enables drillers to go Case for Casings exploration and well drilling, the
larger and deeper than ever before. casing can become the conduit for
Whereas the ODEX method is ideal There is no doubt that the use of bringing the debris to the surface.
for drilling holes up to 273 mm in drilled casings in underground con- For these reasons, designers and
diameter, Symmetrix handles the struction is becoming increasingly owners turn to drilled casings, and DTH
installation of casings up to 1.2 m in popular worldwide, primarily due to drilling with Symmetrix is often the only
diameter, in holes of 100 m-deep (300 ft) the expansion of building and infra- method that can drill through all ground
and beyond. structure growth in areas that are less conditions, boulders and solid rock.
This unique capability gives con- than ideal for such development.
tractors the power to tackle any type Pile driving in dense urban condi- Symmetrix in Sensitive
of casing advancing work, from tions can disturb surrounding structures Conditions
micropiling, tunnel forepoling, and or utilities, and is often difficult to
foundation piling, to opening ‘rat- estimate in terms of costs. This is The Marina Palace Hotel, a large hotel
holes’ for oil and gas wells, as well as compounded by other problems, such and congress center located in the old
horizontal casing drilling. as ground settlement, soil compaction city of Turku on the south western
In addition, the Symmetrix and lateral soil displacement. coast of Finland, is going through a
system is a perfect complement to When using a drill casing, soil, rock main renovation scheme.
Atlas Copco’s extensive range of and other debris are removed within a Part of the project is to enlarge the
DTH (Down-The-Hole) equipment. protective steel tube and brought to parking capacity by building an under-
The Secoroc DTH hammers for the surface. For foundations, during ground parking lot. Ground conditions


RR3/RT8 23/6/05 9:53 Page 20



Principle of the Symmetrix system

1) The casing tube is drilled to the

required depth.

2) The pilot bit is withdrawn from the

CUTTINGS casing.

CASING PIPE 3) The casing is left in the hole as a

OVERBURDEN support for the pile.



1 2 3
SYMMETRIX BIT deep on the southern riverside. For the
garage foundation, steel casings are
in Turku are problematic, with The old town is built mainly on being drilled 1 m or 2 m into the solid
mainly post glacier clays at surface wooden driven piles. These are being bed rock, which means that longest
overlaying sand layers containing replaced by steel casings drilled all the casings are 67-68 m-long. Drilling
high water pressure. This is followed way to bedrock, for which several work is being carried out by Skanska
by till containing very hard boulders underpinning projects are underway on and their subcontractor, Sotkamon
typically sitting on steeply inclined the northern banks of the Aura river. Porakaivo. Casing sizes are from 140
non-weathered hard granite or dia- In the Marina Palace Hotel parking mm to 508 mm, all of which are thick
base. garage project, clay and till layers walled to form load bearing members.
reach 35 m-deep in the northern Most of these casings are in sensi-
Completing a deep pile at Marina Palace Hotel,
corner of the site, and the till is 65 m- tive conditions very close to existing
buildings and their foundations, so a
unique drilling system is required.
Atlas Copco Rotex has developed
reverse flushing drill bits in order to
control the air flushing in sensitive
conditions. Symmetrix RC is designed
to give the straightness the consulting
engineers require, control of flushing
media needed under existing founda-
tions, and high productivity in virtual-
ly any ground condition.
The Symmetrix RC system specified
by the supervising design engineering
company for the Marina Palace Hotel
job is being used on all four drillrigs.
Hard, rubber-like clays are normally
expected to be problematic, but sub-
contractor Sotkamon Porakaivo reports


RR3/RT8 23/6/05 9:53 Page 21


the locking mechanism and flushing

holes. The system consists of three
main components working together as
a single unit – a pilot bit with large
internal flushing holes and external
flushing grooves, a symmetrical ring
bit (reamer) with internal bayonet cou-
pling, and a casing shoe for driving the
The pilot bit is attached to the ring
bit with a bayonet coupling. Together
they rotate clockwise and cut a hole suf-
ficiently large to allow the casing shoe
to pull down the casing pipe. The ring
bit rotates freely on the casing shoe,
which is welded to the casing. During
drilling, the casing does not rotate.
Casings can be added to the string as
required. The flushing air is ejected
through the holes in the face of the pilot
bit, and returns immediately up wide
grooves between the pilot bit and ring
bit and the annulus between the casing
and the drill string. This ensures high
flushing velocity with low hole degrada-
When the hole is complete, the
pilot bit is unlocked from the ring bit
with a slight counter-clockwise
motion, and withdrawn up through the
casing. The casing can then be either
left in place or retrieved from the hole.

Future Development
The technology of casing drilling is
constantly developing, and the
demand is increasing fast in many dif-
ferent applications.
Drilling close to existing structures.
One of the biggest growth areas is
in drilling in urban environments,
that Symmetrix RC has made drilling Symmetrix Secret where it is no longer possible to open
very easy and productive, with casings up the streets for further drilling work
going in very straight and fast all the So what makes the Symmetrix casing without disturbing vital installations.
way through clays, sands, boulders, advancing method so unique? Basically, Here, Symmetrix will have a major
till, and even into very hard bedrock. the secret lies in the patented design of role to play.
Large city subways are typical
What it means for the contractor cases where tunnel roofs have to be
Symmetrix systems come in a large number of versions and sizes to suit a wide pipe-drilled in order to connect one
range of applications. These include: piling; forepiling and micropiling using underpass to another. With Symmetrix
both temporary and permanent casing; underpinning with grouted columns; well on board, Atlas Copco is able to pro-
drilling; and horizontal casing drilling. For the overburden drilling contractor vide customers with state-of-the-art
this means: straight holes without risk of deviation; quick setup and high pro- casing drilling technology that can
duction rates; less torque required in all formations; easy to lock and relock; meet these challenges, and many more
convenient drilling at any angle; no jamming and lost bits; can be used in all besides.
ground conditions and at any angle down to 100 m (300 ft) and beyond; and
by Jukka Ahonen
significant economic savings.
Product Manager, Atlas Copco Rotex


RR3/RT9.qxd 23/6/05 9:57 Page 22


Sacrificial Drillbits


RR3/RT9.qxd 23/6/05 9:57 Page 23



RR3/RT10 23/6/05 10:00 Page 24


Mechanized Bolting and

Utilization is the
For civil engineering applications
such as tunnelling, it is quite
common to use the same equip-
ment for all drilling requirements.
These days, a single drillrig can
accommodate drilling for face
blasting, bolt holes, protection
umbrellas, and drainage. As there
are normally only one or two
faces available for work before
blasting and mucking, it is diffi-
cult to obtain high utilization for
specialized equipment such as
mechanized bolting rigs.
By contrast, in underground Mechanized bolting underway using Boltec.
mining, especially where a
number of working areas are
is common practice in Canada and safety rules and works procedure in
using methods such as room and Australia. specific rock conditions.
pillar, high utilization of special- Since the 1960s and 1970s, consid- To summarize, equipment manufac-
ized equipment can be expected. erable effort has been spent on mecha- turers have had difficulty in providing
nizing underground operational globally accepted solutions.
activities, including the rock excava- Nevertheless, there is equipment avail-
Specializing for Safety tion cycle. Within the drill-blast-muck able to meet most of the current
cycle repeated for each round, the demands from miners and tunnellers.
There was a time when underground drilling phase has become fully mecha- However, there is a perception that
mining and safety were terms not com- nized, with the advent of high produc- equipment for full mechanization of
monly referred to in the same sentence. tivity hydraulic drill jumbos. rockbolting is expensive, and a large-
However, times have changed, and Similarly, blasting has become an scale consumer of parts and compo-
today safety is given a place of promi- efficient process, thanks to the devel- nents.
nence in the operational priorities of opment of bulk charging trucks and
the mining industry. easily configured detonation systems. Mechanization Stages
Freshly blasted openings leave con- After only a short delay to provide for
siderable areas of loose rock, which adequate removal of dust and smoke Various methods of mechanized bolting
must be removed to prevent fall-of- by high capacity ventilation systems, are available, and these can be listed
ground injuries. Improvements in the modern LHD rapidly cleans out the under the following three headings.
drilling and blasting techniques have muck pile.
helped to significantly reduce the These phases of the work cycle manual drilling and bolting
amount of this loose rock. Scaling, have been successfully mechanized, This method employs light hand held
which is the most hazardous part of the and modern equipment provides a safe rock drills, scaling bars and bolt instal-
work cycle, is used to remove the visi- operator environment. lation equipment, and was in wide-
ble loose rock. By contrast, the most hazardous oper- spread use until the advent of hydraulic
Subsequent blasting might result in ations, such as scaling, bolting and drilling in the 1970s. Manual methods
additional rock falls, especially in frac- screening, have only enjoyed limited are still used in small drifts and tunnels,
tured ground conditions. Screening or progress in terms of productivity where drilling is performed with hand-
shotcreting, as a means of retention of improvements and degree of mechaniza- held pneumatic rock drills. The bolt holes
this loose rock, is often used in combi- tion. The development of mechanized are drilled with the same equipment, or
nation with rockbolting. Screening, scaling and bolting rigs has been with stopers. Bolts, with or without grout-
which is a time-consuming operation, slower, mainly due to variations in ing, are installed manually with impact


RR3/RT10 23/6/05 10:00 Page 25


non-functional. Tunnellers were

reporting that they were not installing
bolts close to the working face,
because they might fall out when blast-
ing the round. Obviously, a large pro-
portion of rockbolts were being
installed for psychological reasons,
rather than for good face support and a
safe working environment.
However, by using a mechanized
installation procedure, the quality of
installation improves. The bolt can be
installed directly after the hole has
been drilled; the grout can be measured
and adjusted to the hole size; and bolt
installation can be automated, which is
especially important when using resin
cartridges, where time and mixing
speed are crucial.
It can be proved that mechanization
and automation of the rockbolting
process offers improved quality and
While mining companies and equip-
ment manufacturers, especially in
Canada, focused their development on
improving semi-mechanized roof sup-
port, evolution in Europe concentrated
on fully automated bolting.
During the 1990s, progress acceler-
ated, and today, around 15 % of all
bolting in underground mines world-
wide is carried out by fully mecha-
nized bolting rigs.
New generation Boltec LC rig installing screen.
However, compared to mechaniza-
tion of face drilling and production
wrenches. To facilitate access to high operator remotely located, away from drilling, this level of acceptance is far
roofs, service trucks or cars, with elevat- rock falls. Blast holes are drilled in the from impressive, and the industry has
ed platforms, are commonly used. face using a drill jumbo, and all func- been slow to accept the principle. The
tions in the rock support process are per- more obvious positive safety aspects of
semi-mechanized drilling and formed at a safe distance from the rock mechanized rockbolting have been
bolting to be supported. The operator controls sidelined by considerations relating to
The drilling is mechanized, using a everything from a platform or cabin, the scale of operations and the type of
hydraulic drill jumbo, followed by usually equipped with a protective roof. equipment available. Hence the higher
manual installation of the bolts by Where installation of steel mesh is acceptance in mining, where several
operators working from a platform undertaken, some manual jobs may faces are operated simultaneously. For
mounted on the drill rig, or on a sepa- still be required. Mesh is tricky to tunnelling applications, where the rate
rate vehicle. The man-basket, as a handle, because of its shape and of advance is of prime importance, the
working platform, limits both the prac- weight, and this has hampered devel- economic criteria might be different.
tical working space and the retreat opment of fully automated erection. Also, as there are more functions
capability in the event of falling rock. incorporated into the average rock-
In larger tunnels, the bolt holes are bolter when compared to a drill jumbo,
drilled with the face drilling jumbo. Quality of Bolting maintenance takes longer, and more
parts and components have to be
fully mechanized work cycle In 1992, it was reported that indepen- replaced. Bolting units are exposed to
A special truck, equipped with boom dent studies were indicating that as falling rock, or cement from grouting,
mounted hydraulic breakers, performs many as 20-40 % of cement and resin both of which impact upon mainte-
the hazardous scaling job, with the grouted bolts in current use were nance costs.


RR3/RT10 23/6/05 10:00 Page 26


Significant Improvements
When Atlas Copco introduced its new
series of mechanized rock bolting units
in late 2001, a wide range of radical
improvements was incorporated.
Based on the unique single feed
system with cradle indexing, the new
mechanized bolting unit, MBU, is con-
siderably more robust, and less sensi-
tive to falling rock, than its
predecessor. Holes are easy to relocate,
and the stinger cylinder improves col-
laring and the ability to install bolts
under uneven, rugged roof conditions.
Major re-engineering has resulted in
30% fewer parts. Less maintenance
and stock inventory are required, and
high availability has been recorded.
Furthermore, the chain feeds used in
the new Boltec series feature an auto-
matic tensioning device, which guaran-
Boltec MC equipped with screen handling arm.
tees even and strong feed force for the
rock drill, while a stinger cylinder
improves collaring and the ability to Boltec series based on RCS, the opera- Screen Installation
work under uneven roof conditions. tor copes easily with the more
The completely redesigned drill demanding cement grouting and resin In Canadian mines the combination of
steel support provides sufficient space cartridge shooting applications, by rockbolts and screen, or wire mesh, is
for bolt plates passing through, and controlling all functions from the commonly used for rock support. Since
facilitates extension drilling. cabin seat. Up to 80 cartridges can be rock reinforcement is potentially one of
The most outstanding benefit, how- injected before the magazine needs the most dangerous operations in the
ever, is the computer-based rig control refilling. Also, because meshing is work cycle, mechanized rockbolting
system, RCS. This system, which has often carried out in combination with has become more popular. A computer-
already been successfully incorporated bolting, an optional screen arm can be ized Boltec MC, equipped with screen
on the latest Boomer and Simba series fitted parallel to the bolt installation handling arm, has been in use for a
of drillrigs, offers simplified fault detec- arm, to pick up and install the bulky couple of years at Creighton Mine,
tion, operator interactivity, and the basis mesh screens. Up to 10 different pre- installing screen with split-set bolts.
for logging, storing and transferring of programmed cement-water ratios, and In general, the screen is 3.3 m-long
bolt installation production and quality various additives, can be remotely x 1.5 m-wide, and is installed in both
data. controlled. roof and walls, down to floor level.
The Boltec is equipped with the The new generation rigs offer the Typical spacing of bolts is 2.5 ft. Three
new rock drill, the COP 1532, which is operator a modern working environ- different types of bolts are used,
short and compact, and features a ment in a safe position. Low posi- depending on rock conditions, and all
modern double dampening system tioned, powerful lights provide bolting must be done through the
which, combined with the RCS, trans- outstanding visibility of the entire screen, with the exception of pre-bolt-
mits maximum power through the drill drilling and bolting cycle. ing at the face. In general, galvanized
string. The long and slender shaped The new Boltec family has two split-set are used for wall bolting,
piston, which is matched to the drill members: the Boltec MC, for bolt while resin grouted rebar or mechani-
steel, permits high impact energy and lengths of 1.5-3.5 m and roof heights cal bolts are used in the roof, and
long service life of all drilling consum- up to 8 m; and the larger Boltec LC for Swellex in sandfill.
ables. bolt lengths of 1.5-6.0 m, primarily for Once the screen handling arm has
large tunnelling projects having roof picked up a screen section and fixed it
Versatility and Ergonomics heights of up to 11 m. in the correct position, the powerful
The initial positive response from COP 1432 hydraulic rock drill quickly
Modern bolting rigs can handle instal- operators and mechanics confirms that completes the 35 mm diameter, 6 ft and
lation of most types of rockbolts, such the new generation of Boltec will pave 8 ft holes. The bolting unit remains
as Swellex, as well as resin and the way for further acceptance of firmly fixed in position after the hole is
cement grouted rebars. Using the new mechanized bolting. drilled, and the cradles are indexed,


RR3/RT10 23/6/05 10:00 Page 27


moving the bolt, with plate, into posi-

tion. The bolt feed, combined with the
impact power from a COP 1025
hammer, is used for installing split-set Cabletec
bolts. The complete rock reinforcement
job is finished in just a few minutes. Simba

Boltec MC Flexibility
The Boltec MC delivered to the
Creighton mine is capable of handling
several types of bolts: split-set, mechan-
ical-anchors, resin grouted rebar and
Swellex. The switch of accessories
between different bolt types takes 5-10
minutes. To minimize water demand
during drilling, water-mist flushing is
used. The Boltec MC can also be Stoping sequence at Kemi underground mine. Cabletec drilling upwards, and Simba drilling downwards.
equipped with a portable operator’s
panel connected by a 50 m-long cable. drill unit can rotate 360 degrees and tilt 32 m. The cable cassette has a capacity
Cartridge shooting is remote con- 10 and 90 degrees, backwards and for- of 1,700 kg and is readily refilled
trolled for the Boltec MC, and up to 80 wards respectively. The new rig is thanks to the fold-out cassette arm. The
cartridges can be injected before refill- designed on proven components and cement mixing system is automated,
ing is needed. A unique feature is the technology featuring two booms - one comprising a cement silo containing
possibility to use two different types of for drilling and the other for grouting 1,200 kg of dry cement. The cement is
cartridges, with fast or slower curing and cable insertion. It also features an mixed according to a pre-programmed
times, housed separately in the dual on-board automatic cement system with formula, resulting in a unique quality
cartridge magazine. The operator can WCR (Water Cement Ratio) control. All assurance of the grouting process. The
select how many cartridges of each these features facilitate a true single cement silo capacity is adaptable for up
type to inject into any hole. For operator control of the entire drilling and to 20 m-long, 51 mm-diameter holes.
instance, he can inject two fast curing bolting process. The two boom concept To date, most holes have been
cartridges for the bottom of the hole, has drastically reduced the entire drilling drilled in the 6-11 m range, for which
and follow up with slower-curing car- and bolting cycle time and, by separat- the rig has grouted and installed cable
tridges for the rest of the hole, all with- ing the drilling and bolting functions, the at a rate of more than 40 m/h.
out leaving his operator’s panel! risk of cement entering the rock drill is Depending on type of geology and hole
eliminated. The operator is able to pay diameter chosen, the drilling capacity
Cabletec L for Cable full attention to grouting and cable inser- can vary between 30 and 60 m/h.
Bolting tion, while drilling of the next hole after
collaring is performed automatically, Conclusion
Atlas Copco has developed a fully including pulling the rods out of the
mechanized rig for drilling and cable hole. Rock support, including scaling, bolt-
bolting by a single operator. The first Cabletec is equipped with the well ing, screening, and cablebolting, is still
unit is in operation at Outokumpu’s proven COP 1838 ME hydraulic rock the bottleneck in the working cycle in
Kemi chromite mine in northern drill using reduced impact pressure underground mining and tunneling
Finland, and a second unit has gone to with R32 drill string system for 51 mm applications. Clearly, any reduction in
Chile. The Cabletec L is based on the hole diameter or R35 for 54 mm holes. the time required to install the neces-
long hole production drilling rig Simba Alternatively, the COP 1638 rock drill sary support has a direct impact on the
M7, with a second boom for grouting can be used. Maximum hole length is overall cycle time, and consequently
and cable insertion. the overall productivity and efficiency
The booms have an exceptionally Cabletec main technical of the operations. The fully mecha-
long reach and can drill a line of up to nized bolting rig of today, incorporat-
4.7 m of parallel holes from the same rig ing all of the benefits of modern
setup. Likewise, the booms can reach up Length: 13.9 m computer technology, constitutes a
to 7.8 m roof height, allowing the Width: 2.7 m major leap towards improved produc-
Cabletec L to install up to 20 m-long tivity, safety and operator environment.
cable bolt holes in underground mining Height: 3.3 m
applications such as cut and fill mining Turning radius: 4.3m / 7.5 m
and sub level stoping. Furthermore, the by Hans Fernberg


RR3/RT11 19/7/05 8:45 Page 28


Using Rocket Boomers to Install

Adaptability for
Drilling and
When a contractor undertakes an
underground drill/blast excava-
tion project, it is of utmost
importance to have the most
suitable equipment available,
both for blast hole drilling, and
for rockbolt drilling and installa-
tion. For most situations, the
Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer is
the best possible unit to choose.
This is true, not only for its
drilling capacity, but also for its
adaptability to semi-mechanized
installation of some of the most Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer, with its very capable BUT booms, is suitable for all kinds of rock
frequently used rock bolt sys- reinforcement.
tems, such as Swellex rock bolts
and MAI Self Drilling Anchors with Swellex chuck, or, for mecha- keep the feed at the drill hole, and
(SDA). This affords the contractor nized insertion, the new Swellex recover the drill steel by the RAS grip-
the option of using a single drill- chuck mounted on the COP hammer. pers; attach the Swellex chuck to the
rig to cover all face drilling and
rockbolt installation operations. For mechanized handling of the drill COP hammer; manually locate the
On some contracts, this can steel, a Rod Adding System (RAS) Swellex bolt with faceplate in the drill
make the difference between can be mounted on the feed. For semi- steel support at the top; insert the
profit and loss. On bids, it can mechanized installation, the following Swellex bolt into its final position in
provide the margin for the con- cycle of operations can be used: select
tractor that swings the award.
a drill steel length that is slightly The new Atlas Copco Swellex Pm24C
longer than the length of the bolt to be and Mn24C features improved work
Swellex Rockbolts installed; drill the bolt hole at the absorption capacity by way of elongation
chosen spot, and to the full length; and load taking.
Regardless of manufacturing origin,
installation of rockbolts of lengths of 4
m and upwards is normally a heavy
and troublesome operation. The
Swellex Pm24 or Mn24 rockbolt is no
exception. However, by adding a few
optional items, a standard Atlas Copco
Rocket Boomer can be modified to
take care of most of this work. It will
insert the Swellex Pm24 or Mn24 into
the hole, fully inflate it to optimal
capacity, and even test it! Not only is
it quick and easy, but also safer than
the traditional manual method. Top of
the list of optional components is a
service platform to assist with the high
level holes. An onboard Swellex
hydraulic pump is advisable, and, for
manual insertion, a Swellex handle


RR3/RT11 19/7/05 8:45 Page 29


using the feed and the COP rock drill;

grip the bottom of the string with the
1. The first SPEEDROD BSH 110, and attach the bottom end
is drilled into the rock.
section of the connectable Swellex,
2. The gripers lift the second with faceplate; feed it into place using
1 rod into place and drilling
continuous. the rock drill and Swellex chuck; con-
3. When the hole is finished,
nect the Swellex pump, and inflate the
the RAS system uncouples bolt. It will take a few seconds to fully
and removes the rod. expand the complete bolt. When the
pump stops, the bolt is ready to take its
2 full 24 t load.

Swellex Hybrid
The Swellex® Hybrid consists of a
Swellex bolt coupled with one or more
MAI Self Drilling Anchors (MAI
Mechanized Road adding RAS. SDA®). A special connection cou-
pling welded on to the Swellex bolt,
the drill hole, using the feed-force drill rods. Recommended drill hole enables it to be inflated and the SDA
from the hammer; and inflate the diameter is 45-48 mm, with maximum portion to be grouted. After inflating
Swellex bolt using the on-board 51 mm, using R28 drifter rods with a the Swellex bolt, the rock mass
hydraulic Swellex pump. All done, coupling diameter of 44 mm. The between the face plate and the Swellex
and ready for the next bolt! installation sequence is as follows: is pre-tensioned to the desired value.
drill the bolt hole a little bit longer than The rock mass is then exposed to con-
Connectable Swellex the full bolt length; recover the drill finement pressure and the hole annu-
string, and remove it from the feed; lus grouted through the centre hole of
When there is a need for very long place the top-section of the Swellex the SDA. In this way, the pre-ten-
bolts to be installed in a narrow drift, Pm 24C or Mn 24C into the drill steel sioned support element is grouted for
tunnel or cavern, the solution can be support, and feed the bolt section into full protection and long lasting
the Swellex Pm or Mn 24C con- the drill hole, either manually, or using anchorage.
nectable rock bolt. This system com- the COP rock drill; grip the bolt with
prises three different types of bolt the BSH 110, or the retainer; thread in Installation sequence of the new Atlas Copco
section that can be combined to practi- the required number of middle sections Swellex Hybrid.
cally any required length. Each of
these three sections is characterized by
its function. The first section is sealed
at its top end and threaded at its bottom
end. The middle sections are threaded
at both ends, and the bottom section is
threaded at one end and designed to fit
into the Swellex chuck at the other.
The sections are threaded together to
form a tight connection. Installing
Swellex Pm or Mn 24C utilizes the
same optional components as for the
installation of long Swellex bolts, with
the addition of either the BSH 110
Swellex version, or by using a Swellex
retainer to keep the connectable
Swellex in place when tying in
Swellex sections. The RAS system can
greatly assist handling of the Swellex
Pm 24C or Mn 24C sections, using its
two gripper arms attached to the BMH
feed, which are remotely controlled by
the Boomer operator. The bolt hole is
drilled to full depth using extension


RR3/RT11 19/7/05 8:45 Page 30


Swellex® Hybrid rock bolts are

recommended for rock support in tun-
nelling, civil engineering and mining
applications where active (pre-ten-
sioned) support is required to preserve
rock mass structure, and grouting is
needed for long life expectancy. The
system is ideal in weak ground and
around structural discontinuities. It is Composition of the Atlas Copco Self Drilling Anchor (SDA).
also recommended as a problem solver
for long anchorage requirements.

Swellex Hybrid
The Swellex ®Hybrid consists of a
Swellex bolt coupled with one or more
MAI Self Drilling Anchors (MAI
SDA ®). A special connection cou-
pling located between Swellex and
SDA enables the Swellex bolt to be
inflated and the SDA portion to be
grouted.After inflating the Swellex
bolt,the rock mass between the face
plate and the Swellex is pre-tensioned
to the desired value.The rock mass is
then exposed to confinement pressure
and the hole annulus grouted through Atlas Copco SDA system is built around the Boomer, with add-on standard options, and backed up by Atlas
the centre hole of the SDA. In this way, Copco worldwide presence, know how and support.
the pre-tensioned support element is
grouted for full protection and long has a static load carrying capacity of then be suspended directly from the
lasting anchorage. 200 kN and is designed for hanging ser- eyebolt. The bolt, with faceplate,
vices while reinforcing the rock. After becomes part of the rock support pat-
Swellex Hanger the bolt has been installed by using an tern, with all the advantages of Swellex.
inflation adapter, a forged eyebolt Swellex® Pm 24H hanger rockbolts
Swellex® Pm 24H is a versatile rock- (M30/M36) is screwed on. Utilities can are recommended for rock support in
bolt having a flanged head which has a tunnelling, civil engineering and
female M30 or M36 thread. The bolt New Swellex PM24 Hanger rockbolt. mining applications where suspending
utilities in an underground excavation
is needed. The bolts are designed as
anchor points for hanging utility pipes,
ventilation columns and rails, while at
the same time reinforcing the rock.
Cables can also be passed through the
eyebolts to form lacing or trusses in
rockburst prone ground, or to reinforce
friable or weak formations. Swellex®
Pm 24H can be installed using a stan-
dard Swellex pump combined with an
inflation adapter.

Self Drilling Anchors

In 2002, Atlas Copco incorporated the
MAI series of rock bolts into its prod-
uct range. Products like MAI Self
Drilling Anchors (SDA) can be used in
ground formations that are so soft,


RR3/RT11 19/7/05 8:45 Page 31


BSH 110
The BSH 110 is a hydraulic drill steel
support providing gripping and guid-
ing functions. The BSH has to be
equipped with the rubber bushing and
steel bushing halves to match the SDA
The standard BSH 110 will manage
anchors up to size R51. There is also a
special version, BSH 110 available for
SDA installation, which minimizes the
part of the bolt protruding from the
rock and can fit SDA bars up to the
dimension of T76. All versions of
BSH 110 have to be equipped with
special SDA bushing halves when
handling SDA.
Atlas Copco semi-mechanized MAI bolt installation from a Rocket Boomer.
Installing SDA
fractured, or weak that a normal drill SDAs on a standard Boomer. The
hole will collapse before a standard shank connector is added to the shank Most current rockbolt installation
rock bolt can be inserted. The SDA adapter on the hammer, and should be methods are manual. However, when
system comprises standard items like chosen to match the thread that is used the operation is assisted by a Rocket
the sacrificial bit, a variety of bolt sec- on the SDA. Most frequently used Boomer, productivity and safety are
tions, couplings, faceplate and spheri- threads are R32 and R38, but also com- greatly improved. Using the optional
cal nut. Atlas Copco has developed binations for the R51 and T76 SDA equipment available for the standard
some components and functions for the systems are available. Once the SDA Boomer, a typical SDA bolting semi-
Rocket Boomer to make it the perfect activity is finished, the shank connector mechanized sequence will be as follows.
tool for installing SDA. The standard is removed and normal drilling can 1) Modify the rock drill by attach-
feed on the Boomer should be equipped resume. ing a suitable SDA shank adapter and
with the new BSH 110 drill steel sup-
port. This is used to guide the bolt Length of anchor protruding after installation, depending on BSH 110 used.
when drilling, and when extending the
SDA bolt sections. The new BSH 110
is designed to leave a minimum of the SDA length outside tunnel face = 405
bolt protruding from the rock face, thus
utilizing the full length of the installed 565
COP 1838
bolts. The BSH 110 has remote-con-
trolled functions for guiding, gripping
and drilling, giving the operator full BSH 110B
control of the bolting sequence from
the drilling position. The BSH 110 is
fully compatible with any BMH 6000 256
feed. For those worksites where a lot of
SDA drilling will be done, the COP
1238 or COP 1838 rock drills can be
fitted with a special SDA shank adapter SDA length outside tunnel face = 281
and a conversion kit. The SDA shank
adapter has a female end to eliminate 565
COP 1838
the need for a loose coupling sleeve,
saving time when unthreading the bolt.
This makes handling easier when BSH 110SDA
extending the SDA bolts, boosting pro-
ductivity and improving safety. At
work sites where SDAs are not in daily
use, a suitable solution is to use a shank 301
connector to simplify the handling of


RR3/RT11 19/7/05 8:45 Page 32


the drilled hole, filling cavities and

cracks along the bolt. This complete-
ly fills the hole, forming a strong
adhesion between the MAI bolt, the
cured grout, and the surrounding
ground formation. Once the grout has
cured for 8-12 h, the MAI bolt can be
post-tensioned to the required torque.
However, MAI bolt installation can
also be undertaken with continuous
grouting, using a grout pump m400NT
and the new integrated injection
adapter - Ceminject.
There is usually a need to alter-
nate between flushing with water
and grout. In underground installa-
Two-man operation for simultaneous drilling and grouting of SDA using a Rocket Boomer and MAI m400NT tion, especially for radial bolting, it
grout pump. may be inconvenient to do the
grouting during drilling as this may
an SDA COP kit that match the thread Suitable and flexible grouting units create a mess of grout on the feed,
on the MAI SDA bolt. are the MAI M400 grout pump, and and make it difficult to remove
2) Place the MAI bolt section on the the Atlas Copco Craelius UNI- excess grout mix used for flushing.
feed with the selected MAI bit, and GROUT E 22. The grout is pumped The alternative method offered by the
thread the bolt into the shank adapter into the hollow MAI bolt, and is dis- Ceminject system is to flush the bore-
female end. The BSH 110-SDA should tributed through the MAI drill bit into hole with water while drilling the SDA,
be in position to guide the bolt. and to commence grouting only after
3) Start drilling, and adjust the pres- MAI m400NT grout pump. reaching the design depth, while main-
sure to match the chosen bolt type and taining a slow rotation mode of the bolt
the prevailing ground conditions. still fixed to the drifter. This ensures
Normally, the percussion pressure for good in-situ mixing and penetration of
SDA drilling is less than half, some- the grout around the bolt, optimizes the
times only one third, of the hydraulic friction contact with the rock/soil, and
pressure set for blast hole drilling. The reduces wastage of grout mix.
SDA shank adapter makes it possible
to drill the bolt close to the tunnel wall. by Olle Karlsson
4) Grip the bolt with the BSH, and
hold it in position while adding anoth- Installation of anchor system using a Rotary
er MAI bolt section, prepared with a Injection Adapter.
suitable anchor coupling.
5) Once the MAI bolt section is
connected, open the BSH and contin-
ue drilling. When the last section of
the MAI bolt is being drilled, the BSH
110-SDA should be fully opened, to
allow the shank adapter to drill the
MAI bolt deep enough to leave about
280 mm of the bolt protruding.

Grouting SDA
The installation sequences described
above use water flushing for drilling.
The commonly used method for MAI
bolts is post grouting. This is carried
out manually from the Boomer basket,
or any other service platform, by
connecting a grouting unit to the
protruding end of the MAI bolt.


RR3_RT12.qxd 23/6/05 10:04 Page 33


Connectable Swellex
Alternative to
Cable Bolts
The Mn24C connectable rock bolt
is a relatively new addition to the
Swellex family. With a profile
made of Mn24 tubing, the sec-
tions of Mn24C are coupled
together with threaded connec-
tions that can support loads at
least as high as the profile
strength. Through an ingenious
assembly, the Mn24C combines
the exceptional ease of installa-
tion of Swellex with the length
capability of coupled bars or
cable bolts. Advantages of
Mn24C rockbolts are ease and
speed of installation, and quality
assurance of installation and per-
formance. Many mine operators
already consider Connectable
Swellex Mn24C threaded connection was launched in 2003.
Swellex Mn24 to be the best
solution to their ground control
problems in stoping. Although total cost ranged between C$13/m and saving is sizeable with long cable
manual installation does not C$35/m, a high standard deviation that bolts, it is not appreciable with lengths
appear attractive on a large scale,
operators are extremely interest- can be explained by disparities in the of less than 8 m-10 m, when Mn24C
ed in replacing their time con- costing systems across the sample becomes a good alternative.
suming cable bolting operations mines.
with the simpler and safer Swellex The market for very long cable Time is Money
system. With a semi-mechanized bolts is not targeted, as longer bolts
installation, Connectable Swellex
is very competitive, and is are usually installed by mechanized A comparison has been made for
deemed profitable in both North means. However, while the time typical underground mining practices,
America and South America.
Installing Connectable Swellex into a pilot drive.

Market Study
The following conclusions resulted
from a market study performed in
1995 in Canada on 71 responses from
109 underground mines, some 68 of
which are mining metal and industrial
minerals, excluding potash and salt.
The most-used mining method
reported was longhole stoping, fol-
lowed by Vertical Crater Retreat,
Sub-Level Caving and Cut & Fill.
An estimated 870,000 m of cable
bolts are installed every year in
Canada’s hard rock mines. Most mines
using cable bolts range in output
between 1,000 t/day and 5,000 t/day.
The average total cost of drilling and
installing the cable bolts was reported
at C$23.00 ± C$6.60/m. However,


RR3_RT12.qxd 23/6/05 10:04 Page 34


Table 1. Comparison of typical installation performances for Cable bolts and Mn24C.

Cable Bolts Cable Bolts Mn24C Mn24C Mn24C

Manual Manual Manual Semi-Mechanized Semi-Mechanized
Installation Installation Installation Installation Installation
Drilling – Installation Simultaneous
Separate Installation

Calculation Base: Calculation Base: Calculation Base: Calculation Base: Calculation Base:
40 double Cable 60 single Cable 60 Connectables 60 Connectables 60 Connectables
bolts 6 m long bolts 6 m long 6 m long 6 m long 6 m long

Drilling (Long Hole): Drilling (Long Hole): Drilling (Long Hole): Drilling (Long Hole): Drilling (Long Hole):
1.3 shifts x 1 man 1.4 shifts x 1 man 1.4 shifts x 1 man 1.4 shifts x 1 man 1.4 shifts x 1 man
64 mm diameter 50 mm diameter 50 mm diameter 50 mm diameter 50 mm diameter
holes holes holes holes holes

Installation: Installation: Installation: Installation: Installation:

2 shift x 2 men 3 shift x 2 men 2.3 shift x 2 men 2.3 shift x 1 man 1.4 shift x 1 man

Grouting: Grouting: Details: installation Details: installation

1.25 shift x 2 men 2.6 shift x 2 men time is 10 min. time is 10 min.
and is performed after and can be performed
all the holes are drilled. between each
hole drilled.

Plate tensioning: Plate tensioning:

0.5 shift x 2 men 0.5 shift x 2 men

Total: 9.8 man-shifts Total: 13.6 man-shifts Total: 6.0 man-shifts Total: 3.7 man-shifts Total: 2.8 man-shifts

Elapsed time: Elapsed time: Elapsed time: Elapsed time: Elapsed time:
5.0 shifts 6.0 shifts 3.7 shifts 3.7 shifts 2.8 shifts

Supplies: cables, Supplies: cables, Supplies: Supplies: Supplies:

grout tube, grout, grout tube, grout, Connectables, Connectables, Connectables,
plate, barrel and plate, barrel and retainers, plate and retainers, plate and retainers, plate and
wedge wedge $0.50/m for seals $0.50/m for seals $0.50/m for seals
and pumps parts and pumps parts and pumps parts

Drilling costs: Drilling costs: Drilling costs: Drilling costs: Drilling costs:
$5.80/m $5.00/m $5.00/m $5.00/m $ 5.00/m
Supplies cost: Supplies cost: Supplies cost: Supplies cost: Supplies cost:
$8.50/m $6.40/m $17.00/m $17.00/m $ 17.00/m
Install.: Install.: Install.: Install.: Install.:
$11.20/m ($45/h) $12.20/m ($45/h) $4.60/m ($45/h) $2.30/m ($45/h) $1.40/m ($45/h)

Total: $25.50/m Total: $23.60/m Total: $26.70/m Total: $24.40/m Total: $23.40/m

installing manual or semi-mechanized operating marginal cost similar to cable efficiency. Quality of installation was
cable bolts, using a 40 double strand bolts. Increase in productivity still has not jeopardized by geological cracking
cable bolts block or a 60 single strand to be analyzed in term of costs saving. and voids, or water, and there was no
cable bolts block. It was assumed that wait for curing before tensioning.
the support capacity required by the Conclusion The increase in productivity can be
designed pattern of double strand utilized to accelerate development of
cable bolts would be met by an array Productivity and costs analyses have stopes, adding flexibility to mine plan-
of 60 Mn24C rockbolts. The cost also been carried out to assess the ning, and facilitating the timely
analysis presented in Table 1 shows competitiveness of the Mn24C rock- extraction of ore and its delivery to the
that, in a semi-mechanized installa- bolts with cable bolting. mill. The added productivity would
tion, using Mn24C rockbolts to Field testing in Canadian mines also mean less overtime and schedul-
replace short cable bolts of less than demonstrated higher productivity in ing conflicts.
8 m-long saves a good deal of time. In ore extraction and development, due To summarize, Mn24C is not only a
addition, quality control is better, and to the flexibility of installation of the very efficient means of ground sup-
training is very simple. Analysis of Mn24C bolts. Perfect installation by port, it also underpins a smooth
Table 1 shows also that, for an Mn24C non-specialized crews, with immedi- mining operation.
price of C$16.50/m for the bolts, the ate support over the entire length of
combined system would have an the bolt, contributed to a higher by François Charette


RR3/RT13.qxd 23/6/05 10:05 Page 35


Rockbolt Corrosion in Mining

and Tunnelling
Observing Corrosion
The phenomenon of corrosion of
rockbolts in an underground
environment is a subject that is
attracting more and more atten-
tion from engineers and project
owners. Field observations have
shown that, in some conditions,
unprotected rockbolts corrode
freely and rapidly. A closer look
at the overall conditions at moni-
tored sites highlights the diffi-
culty in predicting the life of the
bolts. Often, water conditions are
not taken into account. Although
water supply can be non-corro-
sive at source, the process of re-
circulating water often gathers
corrosive ions, and renders the
water more aggressive toward
steel components.
At Atlas Copco, it was recog-
nized that theoretical predictions Figure 1. Pull testing to verify long term mechanical properties of Swellex rockbolt.
of a rockbolt’s life could only be a
first assessment of applicability metallurgically non-homogenous, or corrosion, where aggressive airborne
of non-protected ground support.
Ultimately, extra protection is where certain types of rock minerals contaminants are deposited on rockbolts
needed to isolate the rockbolt are in contact with the bolt. Crevice and any metallic surfaces. Water inflow,
from an aggressive environment. corrosion can occur with confined and chemicals in water, microbial species,
This can increase the effective life closely spaced metal surfaces, such as and fumes from both diesel engine
of the ground support, and secure at the interface between bolt collar and exhausts and explosive blasts, are the
its long-term performance.
Observed field performance in face plate. It has also been observed most common factors that will impact
known conditions can provide an that, in highly corrosive environments, on the corrosion rate of rockbolts. Level
extremely instructive insight of uniform and localized corrosion can of isolation from external agents will
the global corrosion process, and occur simultaneously. also determine the rate of corrosion.
on the means to alleviate its Galvanic corrosion is another type The major blame for corrosion in
effect on ground support.
of corrosion where dissimilar metals water lies with chloride and sulphate
are in contact in the presence of an ions. Very high concentrations of these
Corrosion Underground electrolyte, either liquid water or ions have been measured in both civil
vapour. A more appropriate descrip- engineering and mine tunnels, all over
Corrosion can be either uniform on the tion may be bimetallic corrosion. the world. Iron sulphide minerals,
exposed steel surface, or very localized. Graphical representation of the principally pyrite and chalcopyrite, are
Uniform corrosion is characterized by a types of corrosion likely to attack present in most metal mines, whereas
regular loss of metal from the corrod- rockbolts is presented in Figure 2, an extremely high chloride and
ing surface, while localized corrosion modified after Dillon (1982). sulphate ions concentration is more
will produce metal loss in a very con- In the main, environmental factors typical of Australian mines. Oxidation
fined area of the exposed surface. will determine the type of corrosion and of pyrite produces sulphuric acid, and
Under uniform corrosion, a rock- the mode of attack. From the point of mine waters with pH as low as 2 can
bolt will be radially thinned from the view of mechanism of attack, there are be produced. Also, water flow, and
outside or the inside, or, in the case of two main modes of attack in under- changes in ions concentration over
split tube stabilizers, from both sides. ground environments: corrosion in time, will affect passivation. Use of re-
Localized corrosion by pitting can be water, where the bolts are in contact circulated water increases the potential
seen in areas where the bolt surface is with running water; and atmospheric for corrosion problems.


RR3/RT13.qxd 23/6/05 10:05 Page 36


Figure 3. Fibre optics borehole endoscopic camera.

analysis, destructive pull tests and

profile endoscopy with a fibre optics
borehole camera (Figure 3). Figures 4
and 5 show the interior profile for two
Figure 2. Types of corrosion encountered on rockbolts (from Dillon 1992). Swellex bolts, corroded and non-cor-
roded. Pull tests, performed with the
Corrosion Potential corrosion, such as DIN 50 929. This equipment shown in Figure 1, will
first step allows the tunnel owner, or provide an index of load capacity at
Queries about the life expectancy of mine operator, to make a first decision the collar of the bolt. It has been
rockbolts are frequently received by on the need for corrosion protection. observed with the borehole camera
Atlas Copco from its customers. Next, during the operation of the that corrosion is limited to the first 30
While the only way to assure long-life tunnel or mine, regular testing can be cm from the inflation bushing, so the
performance under aggressive condi- performed, in order to assess the real loading capacity of the bolt inside the
tions is to coat the bolt to isolate it corrosion rate of the rock support. rock mass is almost always kept above
from the environment, the need to Third, if the tests showed that the its rated value. In relatively non-
know the expected life span in tempo- environment is corrosive enough to aggressive environments, non-coated
rary bolting applications has stimulat- reduce the effective life below that Swellex bolts have proved to retain
ed research and development in the required by the customer, the use of a their minimum loading capacity for
Rock Reinforcement group. A new corrosion protected Coated Swellex is over 10 years.
approach was elaborated, consisting of recommended.
three steps that allow a high level of Table 1 presents theoretical corro- Corrosion Protection
control on the bolt’s performance. sion rates calculated with the norm
First, preliminary analysis of corro- DIN 50 929 for underground sites in Atlas Copco Coated bolts are covered
sion potential is carried out, using Sweden, Japan, Canada and Australia. with Corrolastic Expander Paint
field data and standards in the field of Typical tests performed include water 839BX. This paint has been tested by

Figure 4. Snapshot of inside view of Swellex bolt with borehole camera – no Figure 5. Snapshot of inside view of Swellex bolt with borehole camera –
corrosion visible inside the Swellex profile. corrosion visible inside the Swellex profile.


RR3/RT13.qxd 23/6/05 10:05 Page 37


Table 1. Corrosion Rate Assessment of Unprotected Steel for Underground Sites Using DIN 59 929

Sites Ca (mg/l) Cl (mg/l) SO4 (mg/l) HCO3 (mg/l) pH Assessed Corrosion Rate
German DIN 50 929 for
Uniform/Pitting (mm/year)

Mine A Canada 600 540 1610 NA 7.8 0.1/0.5

Mine B Canada 540 870 61700 NA 3.4 More than 0.1/0.5
Sweden 22 2661 1.3 NA 6.95 0.1/0.5
Ritto Japan 13 2 3 52 6.7 0.1/0.5
Aspo Sweden N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.1/0.5 for non-coated
0.02/0.1 for Coated
Mine C Australia 140 1200 420 100 7.9 0.05/0.2
Mine D Australia 350 10 8300 38 3.0 0.1/0.5

the Swedish Corrosion Institute in accurately. However, predictive meth- and corrosion resistance. At a depth of
extremely aggressive environments, ods can be helpful to evaluate the need 300 m, the sodium chloride content of
and proved not to be affected by high for corrosion protected rockbolts. the seawater increases dramatically to
chloride or sulphuric acid levels for Field observations, followed by pro- 1.5%.
periods over 10 years. In Table 1, the tective coating of the rockbolt where Sydkraft Konsult chose Swellex for
Swedish Corrosion Institute has assessed necessary, can be used to control cor- the job, because of their high degree
that the life span (at Aspo) of a Coated rosion, both in temporary and perma- of versatility and quality of installa-
Swellex in a very aggressive environ- nent rock reinforcement applications. tion. The corrosion protection on
ment would be of more than 20 years. This approach to corrosion of rock- Coated Swellex met their demands for
The most critical parameters in corro- bolts has been developed by Atlas long duration use, and they found the
sion protection are the characteristic Copco to deal with the need for life quick and simple installation, with full
corrosion sensibility of the coating, and expectancy assessment in the mining support over the entire length of the
the physical state of the coating with and construction industries. bolt, extremely reassuring. Short
reference to scratches and indentations. 90 cm Swellex bolts were used for net
Tests performed by the Swedish Case Study at Aspo fixing, and 2.4 m-long Swellex bolts
Corrosion Institute for Swellex were used for the main rock reinforce-
immersed in sulphuric acid have The 4 km-long subsea tunnel driven to ment duties.
shown that, while the corrosion rate access the site of the Aspo nuclear The views of the project manage-
of unprotected Swellex would be waste research laboratory at ment were borne out by a study car-
0.5 mm/year in the simulated environ- Oskarshamn, Sweden required some ried out by the Swedish Corrosion
ment, the Coated Swellex showed no rock reinforcement, despite high quali- Institute to estimate the risk of corro-
traces of general corrosion, and pitting ty rock over most of its length. In sion of Swellex rock bolts used at
at scratch locations stayed very local- areas requiring support, rockbolts, Aspo laboratory, from which the fol-
ized. In these conditions, corrosion in rockbolts with wire mesh, and rock- lowing conclusions were made.
unprotected areas would not migrate bolts with wire mesh and steel fibre Bolts with an intact corrosion pro-
to a protected area, the coating mini- reinforced shotcrete were used. Test tection layer are not attacked for many
mizing corrosion and controlling its drilling showed that rock reinforce- years. In places where the layer is
spread. ment would get more difficult as the damaged, there is a risk for general as
It has been demonstrated that corro- tunnel progressed, because fissure well as local corrosion. The attack
sion is a very complex process, and zones and saltwater leakage would will, however, be limited and, as such,
corrosion rates are very hard to predict place high demands on holding power less significant for the strength of the
bolt. The time for fracture due to gen-
CORROSION POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT STEPS eral corrosion for a 2 mm-thick bolt
1. PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS USING DIN 50 929 can be considerably longer than 20
years, mainly due to low oxygen con-
tent in the water. The attack will, how-
ever, be limited and, as such, be less
significant for the strength of the bolt.
by François Charette


RR3/RT14.qxd 23/6/05 10:07 Page 38


Grouting for Support in

Eighty Years of
Atlas Copco Craelius has been
active within the area of grouting
for over 80 years. The company
originally started to develop and
manufacture grouting equipment
in an attempt to rescue expensive
holes. These generally occurred
when entering poor, fractured
rock, in which the drill string
showed signs of getting stuck, or
flushing fluids were lost.
Later on, grouting tools would
accompany Atlas Copco Craelius
diamond drilling equipment on
large international tunnelling
Today, grouting encompasses
so much more than traditional
ground injection in tunnels,
although it is still generally
defined as an injection under
pressure of fluid material into
fractures and cavities in rock, soil
or artificial structures. Depending
on the composition and mix of
the injected material, it will react
physically and chemically to sta-
bilize, strengthen, or seal the
ground or the structure. In
Scandinavia, the lower cost of Cycle of events in face excavation and support.
tunnels compared to the rest of
Europe is not only due to better
rock quality, but also because Drilling for Grouting in and with a maximum deviation of
grouting is classified as part of 3-5% from the intended target. This
the support. Tunnels involves starting with guide rods, and
It is generally accepted that Grouting is often considered as a hin- then using a rod adding system. Bigger
high grouting pressure, developed drance in the progress of the tunnel rod sizes are needed to ensure better
primarily by the French for use in
the Alps, increases the grouted advance. Instead it should be seen as a stability compared to blast hole drilling.
volume and strengthens and tool for the next step, and as one of the The diameter is normally 51-64 mm.
seals planes of weakness. Better most important parts of the final rock When the ground is of poor quality,
economy is expected using high support. it is harder to drill the holes, and the
pressures, by way of reduced The intention is to use the cement need to drill straight holes is much
drilling costs and a higher output
to stabilize, strengthen or seal the greater. In such ground it is also
of fresh, stable grout, especially
when using microcements. ground mass around the tunnel. It is a essential to place the grout where it is
Low pressure grouting, devel- waste of time and money to blast and required.
oped by the Americans for the sed- excavate the rock far outside the Where possible, grout holes should
imentary formations in the USA, required profile, and then replace be drilled at right angles to the main
and by the British in the coalfields, overbreak with concrete. fissures, in order to intercept as many
is designed to avoid further
damage to the strata by cracking Grout holes for pregrouting in tun- as possible. This is important when
or widening existing cracks. nels are 15-25 m-long, and should end post-grouting in tunnels, as well as in
3-4 m outside the theoretical contour, traditional surface grouting.


RR3/RT14.qxd 23/6/05 10:07 Page 39


contact grouting method also serves

to seal the joints between the lining

The cost for pregrouting can be
5-10 % of the cost of postgrouting for
reaching comparable and satisfactory
The main reason is that both the
Grouting of the curtain cone. grout pressure and the grout flow can
be fully utilized in undisturbed rock
This demand is difficult to meet Grouting in Tunnels whereas postgrouting always is done
when pre-grouting in tunnels, where against a free surface, often cracked
spacing is reduced to ensure that Tunnels are constructed for many dif- up from blasting and excavation.
fissure planes, with an unfavourable ferent purposes, and under widely Investigation drilling is done during
orientation to the grout holes, will be varying geographic and geological the actual tunnel work and parallel
grouted properly. Here, the diameter conditions. Tunnels carrying fluids, be with the pregrouting in order to inves-
of the drillhole has very limited influ- it fresh water or sewage, should not tigate the rock properties, like cracks,
ence on the grouting result. leak; and all tunnels should resist the fissures and fissure systems, occur-
Because of the stiffness of the inflow of water from the surrounding rence of water, and soft or weathered
drill string, larger hole diameters in ground. rock, for the next 50 metres or so.
general result in straighter, albeit more The latter requirement may be Pregrouting means that the rock is
expensive, holes. The setting of necessary to avoid draining natural treated ahead of excavation.
packers is more expensive and diffi- water into the tunnel, which could These two operations are repeated
cult in large diameter holes, as is the lead to a general lowering of the until a satisfactory result is achieved.
grouting. ground water table in a wide area The pregrouted zone should always
General requirements for drilling above its alignment. Movement of the go beyond the area that is disturbed by
equipment in tunnelling work are as water table may result in subsidence blasting, bolting or excavation.
follows. If possible, drill all holes and damage to existing surface struc- Grouting and pregrouting of tunnels
from a single set up, and with two dif- tures, loss of capacity of drinking have three different purposes:
ferent rod sizes and three different water wells, and similar undesirable stabilization, strengthening and seal-
hole diameters for blast hole, cut hole consequences. ing of the ground.
and grout hole. Use a service platform In other instances, especially in Stabilization grouting creates a
and a rod adding system (RAS) with unstable ground containing running skeleton of grout in weak parts or
rod magazine: drilling for a grout material under pressure, or in karst areas of the rock, to avoid sliding in
round may involve handling some 5 t formations, grouting may be necessary cracks, fissures or bedding planes.
of drill steel. A positioning control to stabilize, strengthen and seal the This type of is grouting is to support a
instrument is a necessity, together with strata. temporary construction or when a con-
good working lights, and an elevated Tunnels that have to be watertight, crete casting is done at a later stage.
sound-protected cabin for full view of as well as tunnels in weak ground that Strengthening grouting is done for
the face. A stepless mix of flushwater have to have a long service life, are reinforcing a tunnel permanently. In
and air is advisable, bearing in mind usually lined. This lining is often most cases it is less expensive to uti-
that one drill rig uses 200-300 lit/min placed concurrently with the tunnelling lize and strengthen the existing rock
of water. High pressure cleaning process itself, particularly in TBM structure compared to replacing it with
equipment will be necessary for the bored tunnels where it is constructed a new construction of concrete.
grout holes and the drilling and grout- of rings of prefabricated segments. Sealing grouting is strengthening
ing equipment. Even in bored tunnels, where the grouting developed to almost water
Grouting is too often planned and excavated shape and diameter are tightness. Sealing grouting is divided
carried out as an off time shift, when controlled within narrow limits, into different sealing classes depend-
the drilling equipment is elsewhere. there will be a slight annular gap ing on permissible water inflow.
Thus, when there is a need for addi- between the outside of the lining In Scandinavia normal tunnels are
tional grout hole drilling, this cannot be and the inside of the bore. Grouting said to present insignificant problems
undertaken immediately. Consequently behind the lining serves the purpose when the leakage is in the range of
the driller cannot easily pass his of filling this gap, so that the lining less than 5 lit/min per 100 m. If
information and observations to the will support the ground from the it exceeds 10-20 lit/min per 100 m,
grouting technician. beginning, without settlement. This then significant problems will occur.


RR3/RT14.qxd 23/6/05 10:07 Page 40


Drammen Case Study water flows, a major operation for two sizes of grout cylinders: 110 mm
which Selmer invested in a sophisti- and 150 mm diameter; and two types
At the Norwegian port of Drammen, a cated Atlas Copco Craelius truck- of valves: ball valves for normal
second single-tube 2.3 km-long tunnel mounted Unigrout E 400-100 WB. grouting applications, and disc valves
with bi-directional traffic flow was This comprised a containerized for when a smooth flow and minimal
required to relieve congestion on the mixing and pumping plant with exter- pressure drop are required. Main-
north bank of the river. The tunnel is nal cement feed and additive hoppers, tenance is easy, by way of a self
on a curved alignment beneath the and liquid additive tank. Inside the cleaning cement fluid end, water
Bragernes Ridge, an outcrop of igneous container were two Cemag units, and flushing of cement and hydraulic
rock comprising 50% porphyry and two 400 lit/min Pumpac units, with a piston rods, and only one 46 mm
50% basalt. The main face had an single 400 litre Cemix WB weight wrench for servicing the cement pump.
excavated arched cross-section of batching mixer. The unit’s nominal The Logac system is a computer
70.5 sq m, which included a large drain. capacity is 4 t/h of dry cement, but up based logging system for sampling
The main contractor was Selmer, to 66 t of cement was successfully and storing of data during the grouting
for client Statens Vegvesen Buskerud, injected into a particularly wet round operation. The recorder is housed in a
the local agency of the Norwegian over a 15 h period. cabinet with a Craelius Flow Pressure
State Highways Authority. (CFP) meter unit equipped with cable
A condition on the construction of Pumping and Logging and quick coupling for easy connec-
the tunnel demanded that there be no tion. The CFP meter unit consists of
interference with the water table, and The Atlas Copco Craelius Pumpac an electromagnetic flow-meter and a
the tunnel itself be kept dry. The maxi- System is based on a double acting pressure-meter. The logged parameters
mum ingress of water allowed before pump principle. The system has been are flow, pressure, volume, time, real
grouting was 30 lit/min/100 m towards made simple and user-friendly by way time and hole number. The standard
the tunnel ends, and 10 lit/min/100 m of modularized parts, independent and flow meter operates in a range of 0-
in the centre section. stepless variable pressure and flow, 200 lit/min with a maximum pressure
The grouting sequence commenced easy and fast change of valve assem- of 40 and 100 bar respectively. The
with the drilling of 27 m-long, 51 mm- bly units, and environmentally friend- standard pressure sensor covers a
diameter holes ahead of the face to test ly hydraulic fluid. Then the whole life range of 0-100 bar. All parameters are
for water. These were drilled by an cost is kept to a minimum by system shown in real time on the Logac 4000
Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer 353S, adaptability. The system features a recorder display, and stored on a PC-
using threaded extension steel, which hydraulic switch-over system, inte- card. The Logac 4000 samples data six
was manually attached. Generally, ten grated in the hydraulic cylinder, and a times per second, and stores it on the
forward holes were drilled, with a split cotter fast-locking system of the card every 10th second. The card can
10 m overlap, allowing 17 m advance two piston rods for easy dismantling be kept as a permanent record for
between events. of the cylinder assembly. Three sizes future references, or reused over and
The contract envisaged injection of of electric motors are available: over again. The control panel consists
2,370 t of grout to achieve the objective 7.5 kW, 15 kW and 22 kW. There are of an on/off switch for the recorder, a
display, a separate button for each of
Container mounted grout mixing and injection system to be carried on a truck. the eight groutlines, and a 10-key
keypad. Each groutline shows time,
real time, flow, pressure and volume.
There is a button to show either one
single line, or all eight lines simultane-
ously, and two diodes, one for telling
when logging is on, and the other for
informing when the memory card is
90% full.
One reason for Selmer’s success at
Drammen was that they could continu-
ously pump high volumes of stable
grout at high pressures. A normal
pumping rate is 110-120 lit/min at 50-
60 bar, and they used 80 bar as stop
criterion, and sometimes even 90 bar.
The water/cement ratio ranged from
1.0 to 0.5.

by Sten-Äke Pettersson


RR3/RT15.qxd 23/6/05 10:09 Page 41


Rock Mass Stability with

Early Strength
Means Early
According to Konda and Itoh, the
rock mass in a tunnel is unstable
between the face and 0.5D
behind the face, regardless of
rock types. Collapses occur most
often when the stress/strength
ratio of rock mass is smaller than
5, especially in sedimentary rock.
Discontinuities, caused by joints
in the harder igneous and meta-
morphic rocks, have also resulted
in rock falls up to 0.5D behind the
face. The risk of collapse in this
area grows with increasing cross
section of the tunnel.
Steel Fibre Reinforced Shot-
crete (SFRS) was recommended
to increase the rock stability in
the Tomei tunnel. The 28-day
strength of this shotcrete was
36N/mm2, using a steel fibre
mixture ratio of 0.7%. However,
early strength would be required
to give the necessary support.
Unfortunately, attempts to in-
crease the early strength of
shotcrete may induce micro-
cracking, with negative effect Pull-out testing of rockbolts in the underground laboratory.
on the long-term stability of
the concrete, particularly where
the initial deformation speed after installation, and also has greater said that the Swellex rockbolt is very
of the rock is high. control effect of displacement and suitable for support of a discontinuous
Without early shotcrete
strength, rockbolts become the rock mass plasticity, compared to rock mass.
main support. However, since grouted rockbolts. For stabilization of Comparisons between 4 m and 6 m
standard rockbolt grouting the region up to about 0.5D behind lengths of Swellex were also carried
materials require time to harden, the face, the Swellex rockbolt is a out. No difference in support effect
they don’t have much effect on more effective device than the grouted between the two lengths was found,
the initial stability of the rock
mass. rockbolt. offering the possibility of shorter bolt
The Swellex rockbolt also has more lengths if Swellex is used. This is
control over the shear behaviour of because Swellex completes the natural
Tomei Study joints compared to the grouted rock- arch immediately after installation.
bolt, because Swellex exhibits support
In a study on the Tomei tunnel in faster. As a result, it contributes to the Numerical Modelling
Japan, the influence on support of the formation of the natural arch, by
rockbolt installation method was improving stress continuity around the Face stabilization methods using
investigated by means of numerical tunnel, as well as displacement con- Swellex at Tomei were also confirmed
modelling. trol. Because one of the main roles of by means of numerical modelling.
It was found that the Swellex rock- the rockbolt is to improve discontinu- Tests determined the bonding stiff-
bolt exhibits more support effect right ous rock mass to continuum, it can be ness and bond strength of Swellex and


RR3/RT15.qxd 23/6/05 10:09 Page 42


behind the face. At 10 m behind the extends to more than 4 m, due to the
face, 50 kN was generated at the time lapse for grout hardening.
crown and 131 kN at the sidewall. When using Swellex rock bolts,
For both cases, loads on rockbolts maximum bonding with the strata is
do not increase more than 1D behind achieved right after installation, so the
the face, due to the convergence ten- required bolt length is shorter than
dency of rock mass displacement. with grouted bolts.
Except for right after installation, axial
force generated is about 1.5 times Summary
larger for Swellex than for grouted.
The excellent support effect of
Laboratory testing has determined the relationship
between curing time and load capacity for grouted
Natural Arch Swellex rockbolts can be summarized
in four points as follows.
The difference of crown settlements Compared with grouted rockbolts,
for grouted bolts and Swellex was Swellex exhibits a much greater sup-
grouted rockbolts as input for numeri- 0.5 mm, 1.2 mm, and 1.5 mm at 1 m, port effect right after installation, and
cal modelling. Using these values, 10 m, and 20 m behind the face, contributes to stabilization of the rock
two-dimension and three-dimension respectively. mass near to the face. In a continuous
models simulated pull-out tests. Using grouted bolts, a plastic rock mass, Swellex has a greater con-
The rockbolt axial force generated region of about 4 m is generated from trol effect over the plastic region. In
at the tunnel crown in the case of the crown to the sidewall section. In heavily jointed rock, Swellex con-
grouted rockbolts was 1 kN immedi- the case of Swellex, the plastic region tributes more to the formation of the
ately after installation, rising to 32 kN near the crown tends to decrease, and natural arch by controlling the shear
maximum. In the case of Swellex, the value is controlled at about 2 m. behaviour of joints, improving the
30 kN was generated immediately, Where there is no support, the value is stress continuity of the rock mass.
rising to 38 kN. For Swellex, the axial 6 m at the crown, and 4 m at the side Swellex controls tunnel deformation
force is more than 60% of the maxi- wall section. better, and exhibits excellent support,
mum value from the beginning, and is The tunnel is stabilized by generat- making it superior to the equivalent
about 1.6 times that of grouted rock- ing a natural arch of the surrounding grouted rockbolt.
bolts. rock mass, preserving its continuity Because stabilization of the rock
Overall distribution of rockbolt for tangential stress. In the case of the mass close to the face was a key point
axial force was measured at 1 m, Swellex rockbolt, since the continuity for the Tomei tunnel, Swellex rock-
10 m, 20 m, and 30 m behind the face. for ground stress of the arch section is bolts were specified. Swellex enables
Using grouted rockbolts, almost no greater than when using grouted rock- a tunnel structure to be stabilized by
axial force was generated from crown bolts, it is thought to have a major support, without the impediment of
to sidewall immediately behind the effect on tunnel stabilization. curing time for shotcrete and grouting
face. At 10 m (0.5D) behind the face, Joint shear displacement is generated materials. By installing Swellex bolts
30 kN was generated at the crown within 4.0 m of the tunnel profile, and immediately after excavation, it is
and 82 kN at the sidewall. Using this can be controlled immediately possible to avoid rock instability.
Swellex, 33 kN was generated at the using a 4 m-long Swellex bolt. With
crown, and 66 kN at the sidewall right grouted rockbolts, shear displacement by Federico Scolari

Displacement contour, rockbolt axial force, longitudinal, for grouted rebars. Displacement contour, using shorter Swellex rockbolts.


RR3/RT16 23/6/05 10:10 Page 43


Secoroc Uppercut – High

Quality Tapered Equipment
Tough Rods for a Tough Life strength and resistance to bending
Designed for stress, and, with the Uppercut range,
Rods have a tough life, transferring the have improved material properties still
Pressure percussion energy from rock drill to further.
Increasingly powerful pneumatic bit, and then into the rock. They’re
and hydraulic rock drills place
great demands on rock drilling
also subjected to high bending stress, Question of Degrees
not to mention corrosive water in the
tools, a fact that is well known to
flushing hole. These harsh facts have Different taper angles are used for dif-
drillers working in mining and
dimensional stone applications. not only guided Atlas Copco Secoroc ferent rock formations and rock drills.
This is the reality that has guided in its selection of steel quality, manu- A wide taper angle is normally used
Atlas Copco Secoroc in the facturing technique and heat treatment when drilling with high impact
design of its range of Uppercut processes, but also in their decision to hydraulic rock drills in medium hard
tapered equipment. to hard and abrasive rock formations.
have a rolled-in stainless lining
At the heart of these innova-
tive products there is a formid- throughout the entire length of the Taper angles of 11 degrees and 12
able steel grade and specialized flushing hole. Even the drifted flushing degrees are common on modern rigs.
manufacturing technique. The hole at the shank end is lined in the A narrow taper angle of 7 degrees is
unique heat treatment process same way. The flushing hole is also used for low impact rock drills and
employed helps to release the protected by special anti-corrosion oil softer rock formations. This angle can
internal stresses of the steel and
as standard, to prevent corrosion and also be used to counter spinning prob-
give it greater bending resis-
tance, while retaining high dura- risk of rod breakage. And for even lems when using 11 degrees or 12
bility. The result is a tapered rod greater protection, Uppercut rods have degrees equipment. In addition, a 4
that’s better suited to the stress- surface hardened shank and tapered degrees 46 minutes angle is available for
es and strains of modern rock sections for high wear resistance on very soft rock, to prevent bits from spin-
drills. ning or becoming detached when using
those parts exposed to severe stresses
All in all, you won’t find
during drilling. pneumatic or hydraulic rock drills.
longer lasting rods on the market
today! Secoroc tapered rods are already Secoroc Uppercut rods are available
renowned for their superior fatigue with 22 mm hexagonal rod section and

Features of Secoroc Uppercut tapered rod.


RR3/RT16 23/6/05 10:10 Page 44


range comprises button and cross-type drilling costs, and is taking market
bits in an extensive selection of design share from integrals, especially in
configurations. These designs can be mining applications and the dimen-
used in a variety of rock formations sional stone industry.
for maximum productivity.
Moreover, there are two new by Jan Lindkvist
models, with an extra front button for
improved hole straightness, higher
The Secoroc Uppercut
penetration rate and longer service
life. Furthermore, the Secoroc range of
ballistic button bits is in the process of ● Special anti-corrosion oil to
being extended to meet ever more protect the flushing hole of
diverse demands. the rod
● Surface hardened taper
Prepared for the Future end for high wear
resistance and a longer
Secoroc Uppercut tapered equipment service life
can be used in all types of applications ● Stainless steel flushing
and rock formations. The lowest tube lining to prevent
cost/metre drilled, a claim that has corrosion and breakage
Uppercut tapered rod and button bit ready to drill. long been synonymous with Secoroc ● Drifted flushing hole with
products, is now lower than ever with stainless steel lining at the
shank length 108 mm for 4 degree 46 this range, along with higher drilling shank end prevents
minute, 7 degree, 11 degree and 12 productivity. breakage and increases
degree tapers. Uppercut rods with 25 Tapered products, which first appeared service life
mm hexagonal rod section and shank on the scene in the 1960s,
● Surface hardened shank
length 159 mm are available with 12 can readily handle the impact energy from end for high wear
degree taper. modern pneumatic and hydraulic rock resistance and a longer
drills, while they are also ready to cope with service life
High Performance Bits the stronger rock drills currently on the
● Z708 steel for superior
drawing board.
Secoroc bit design and production fatigue and bending
Nowadays, tapered equipment is
processes are in a state of constant strength
favoured for increased penetration
refinement. The Secoroc Uppercut rate, longer service life and lower

Range of Uppercut tapered rods and bits from Atlas Copco Secoroc.


RR3/RT17 23/6/05 10:11 Page 45


Speedy Rock Reinforcement

Using Magnum SR
Thread System for
the Future
The tried and tested thread sys-
tems, R25, R28 and R32, have
served underground drillers well
for many years. However, with
the introduction of ever-more
powerful hydraulic rigs, these
battle-worn solutions started to
show weakness. Rod breakage at
the bit end, either just behind the
skirt or on the last thread, was
becoming distressingly common.
Why? Because it’s the most vul-
nerable part of the rod.
Consequently, bits were lost,
leading to costly downtime. Even
worse, holes often had to be re-
drilled, reducing productivity.
Putting it bluntly, drifting and
rock bolting equipment was
struggling to cope with the
power of the new rigs. It was
high time for fresh ideas.
Extensive development by
Atlas Copco Secoroc came up
with the new Magnum SR range,
which counters problems with
breakage and offers performance
to match that of the modern drill

Thread of Innovation
To solve the problem, Atlas Copco
Secoroc faced two choices: either Magnum SR used in a bolting application.
increase the dimensions of the rods
and bits in the same way as everybody
else, or find a new way. Being notori- diameter is larger at the end of the The new Magnum SR system for drift-
ously stubborn innovators, the choice thread and smaller at its tip. By adding ing and rockbolting, specially designed
was easy. considerably more steel at the end of for the new generation of powerful drill-
During the creative process, three the thread, the new design was given a rigs, delivers more and straighter holes
important insights emerged. First, the distinctive, conical shape. This con- per shift and has a considerably longer
hole sizes should remain as for drilling cept not only upped the fatigue resis- service life than any competing system.
with standard equipment. Second, the tance of the rods, but also reduced the
bits should be easy to uncouple. And tendency to deviate during collaring. Field Tests Worldwide
third, the old thread design had to be The Magnum SR thread design also
left behind. has the added bonus that the bits are Extensive field tests with the Magnum
As with all genuinely groundbreak- very easy to uncouple and change, SR were carried out on four conti-
ing endeavours, the solution was saving time and equipment, and result- nents, and involved more than a half
deceptively simple. The secret of the ing in more holes drilled. Magnum SR million metres of drilling over a
Magnum SR thread design is that the has proved a big hit with operators. period of one year.


RR3/RT17 23/6/05 10:11 Page 46


products for hole diameters of

43-64 mm.
The next addition to the family was
the Magnum SR28 range. Tests have
shown that SR28 is perfect for the
rapid drilling of holes for rockbolts,
but can also be used for small hole
drifting. This new line replaces the tra-
ditional R25 system in 33-35 mm
Tests in rockbolting have shown
convincing increases in service life for
both SR28 rods and bits. As with all
other Magnum SR products, the bits
are easy to uncouple, and as a result
the drillstring is subjected to fewer
damaging shockwaves, facilitating
rapid changes and more holes drilled.
All together, that means less downtime
changing bits and rods, and more time
spent drilling.
Magnum SR35, together with
Magnum SR28, are ultimately aimed
at helping drillers advance their tunnel
or drill rockbolt holes quicker than
ever before. The most recent member
of the family is SR32, which is spe-
cially designed for hole diameters of
38-41 mm.

Dawn of a New Era

The trend in drifting and tunnelling
is clear: the rounds are getting
longer, and the rigs more powerful.
Magnum SR was designed to with-
stand the high pressures so typical
of today’s underground drilling
Although Magnum SR is relatively
new to the market, the enthusiasm
with which it has been received, and
the performance that it delivers, have
given an indication of the direction in
which the product is heading. Atlas
Magnum SR bit ready to drill. Copco Secoroc is genuinely confident
that Magnum SR heralds the dawn of
The system was put through its uncoupling of the drillbits. This result- a new era in drifting and tunnelling, as
paces in mines, and in a variety ed in higher drilling productivity, well as for rockbolting.
of tunnelling projects. The results thanks to easy collaring, straighter The success of this innovative
were unequivocal: service life and holes and better equipment availability system is beyond dispute. Drillers
rig availability both enjoyed sharp during the drilling cycle. using it are not only drilling more
increases. and straighter holes than before,
The tests showed that the Magnum Expanding Family they’re also finding that Magnum
SR systems increased service life by SR lasts longer than any competing
25-100% on the rods, gave better ser- The Magnum SR thread system was solution.
vice life of the bits, and created very first introduced with the SR35, which
high operator acceptance due to easy has a comprehensive selection of by Anders Arvidsson


RR3/RT18 23/6/05 10:12 Page 47


Rock Mechanics and Rock

Reinforcement in Mining
Behaviour of Rock Rock Mass Characterization
Rock mechanics or geomechanics
is a term often used to include all Rock Mass classification and identification of failure modes
the steps that lead to define and
Structural failures and gravity Failure caused by overstressing
control the behaviour of rock
around excavations. From the
Shear analysis of critical structures Determination of in-situ stress
geological and mechanical defini-
tions, through rock mass charac-
Evaluation of failure zones Mechanical properties of rock masses
terization, to the design of
reinforcement and calculation of
Calculation of “factor of safety” Evaluation of zones of high stresses
factors of safety, rock mechanics
provides the basis for the assess-
Calculation of reinforcement needs Calculation of reinforcement needs
ment of reinforcement needs.
Influence of blasting Influence of blast and dynamic events

Rock Engineering Reinforcement design Reinforcement design

In the context of definitions, it is often

more accurate to talk about rock engi- Figure 1. (above) General process encompassed by the general definition of rock mechanics application to
neering, as components from geologi- the design of structures in rock.
cal, civil, mechanical and mining Figure 2. (below) Simplified description of rock mass conditions and rock failure (from Hoek E., P.K. Kaiser
engineering are combined to create the and W.F. Bawden. 1995. Support of Underground Excavations in Hard Rock. Balkema p215).
process presented in figure 1.
This global process can be very intensely schistose. Low stress levels High stress levels
detailed, or quite basic, depending Massive rock will draw
upon the magnitude of the mining most of the intact rock
operation and the available resources. strength, but will also
The fundamentals include: the defini- accumulate load and
Massive rock

tion of the structural fabric of the rock can fail violently under
mass including aspects such as joints, the right conditions (see Massive rock subjected to low in situ Massive rock subjected to high in situ
stress levels. Linear elastic response stress levels. Spalling, slabbing and
faults, shear zones; the evaluation of figure 3). Very frac- with little or no rock failure. crushing initiates at high stress
the mechanical parameters of the tured rock will tend to concentration points on the boundary
and propagates into the surrounding
intact rock and structures; the identifi- yield to stresses, and rock mass.
cation and quantification of the failure often deforms in a
modes based on stress and structural problematic manner
analysis; the influence of the excava- (figure 4). Obviously,
Jointed rock

tion mode; and the design of the rock excavation shape, size
reinforcement itself. and orientation also
Massive rock, with relatively few Massive rock, with relatively few
Differently formulated, it could be affect the response to discontinuities, subjected to low in discontinuities, subjected to high in
said that stresses and rock structures the acting forces at situ stress conditions. Blocks or situ stress conditions. Failure occurs
wedges released by intersecting as a result of sliding on discontinuity
are the two most important factors play. discontinuities, fall or slide due to surfaces and also by crushing and
gravity loading. splitting of rock blocks.
affecting the stability of any excava-
tion in natural strata material. Optimized
Heavily jointed block

Combination of various stresses Excavation

regimes and fragmentation will dictate
the behaviour of the excavation (see Although rock mechan-
figure 2). Rock stresses intensity can ics is a relatively new Heavily jointed rock subjected to low in Heavily jointed rock subjected to high
situ stress conditions.The opening sur- in situ stress conditions.The rock mass
vary from very low to very high, and science that deals with face fails as a result of unravelling of surrounding the opening fails by sliding
intensity of fragmentation from mas- the mechanical behav- small interlocking blocks and wedges. on discontinuities and crushing of rock
Failure can propagate a long way into pieces. Floor heave and sidewall closure
sive rock to sugar cube structure or iour of rock material, it the rock mass if it is not controlled. are typical results of this type of failure.


RR3/RT18 23/6/05 10:12 Page 48


This applies especially for the rock

reinforcement and support aspects.
Some rock reinforcement and sup-
port that can be perfect for static con-
ditions may become quite inadequate
when confronting seismic events or
high stresses and deformations. It is
then important to be able to predict
future conditions, and use rock rein-
forcement that will still be adequate
when conditions change, or will warn
when in-situ conditions are close to
exceeding the rating of the device.

Rock Reinforcement
Rock reinforcement devices and sur-
face support are used to control the
rock masses within a certain range,
Figure 3. Rubble created from a dynamic failure of Numerical Modelling allowing safe and economical access
a mine roof. to the excavated areas.
Long term excavation planning can Historically, before the 1900s, typi-
is now regularly used to optimize the benefit from detailed analysis like cal roof support in mines was timber
performance of mining excavations in numerical modelling. Stress regimes posts and beam. Then, as early as
rock. Using rock mechanics leads to a can be predicted and mining 1905, roof bolts were reportedly used
better understanding of the behaviour sequences optimized to keep the stress in coal mine roofs in the United
of the rock masses, which in turn leads level at a comfortable level: not too States. In late 1920, systematic rein-
to a more effective and safer opera- high to create seismic events, and not forcement of mine roofs was intro-
tion. Stress analysis is also more com- to low to create major structural insta- duced to allow the use of mechanical
monly performed on site, and results bilities. For day-to-day operation, full-revolving loading shovels, by pro-
are easier to analyze thanks to the use numerical analysis will give results viding room to manoeuvre free of con-
of powerful desktop computers. that must be confirmed by field obser- ventional timber posts. Inclusion of
The design process should also be vation, but can be used to plan with channel irons, fastened by rock bolts
repeated at later stages of the mining the right kind of conditions in mind. to support large area of roof led to the
operation, as field conditions will principle of “suspension roof sup-
almost always change for the worse. Figure 4. Ground conditions leading to yielding ports”. The need for early support to
It is critical that the correct assess- walls and roof. secure the lower roof layer to avoid
ment of failure mode is made, as this
understanding will lead to proper
reinforcement instead of using a long
and arduous trial and error methodol-
As an example, when hard and
massive rock fails, producing small
fragments like those seen on figure
5, it is often a sign that the rock is
overstressed and is rupturing in a
brittle and uncontrolled way. This
could be the precursor of seismic
events and dynamic failure, which
most rock reinforcement would be
unable to control. It is also a fact
that, as long as well-recognized
brands of rock reinforcement are
used, the support devices rarely fail
as a result of poor material quality,
but rather as a result of inadequate


RR3/RT18 23/6/05 10:12 Page 49


loosening the upper layers, as well as

the creation of roof beam action, laid
the foundations of modern rock rein-
forcement principles.
Around 1945, expansion shell
anchors appeared in England, Holland
and US, and by 1949 rock bolts began
replacing timber supports in US
mines at a rapid rate. By end of 1952,
over 2 million rock bolts per month
were being installed. In Canada, sys-
tematic bolting of roof in coal mines
began in 1950. By the end of the
1950s rock bolts were in use every-
where, thanks to the systematic use of
modern carbide tipped steels for fast
hole drilling.
Rapid installation, compared to
timber sets, was also compatible with
mechanized mining methods. Between
1952 and 1962 the introduction of
grouted slot and wedge bolts, fully Copco introduced the EXL Swellex, Figure 5. Slabs created by the violent failure of a
grouted untensioned deformed bars, as an all around high performance yield- mine roof during a small rock burst.
well as the hollow core groutable ing friction rock bolt.
expansion shell rock bolt, provided a In 2003, Atlas Copco and MAI large range of operational possibili-
strong argument in favour of perma- joined their efforts and introduced the ties. Surface retaining supports like
nent reinforcement with rock bolting. Swellex Pm Line and the mechanized shotcrete and reinforcing mem-
During the 1960s, experiments were installation of SDA anchors. Today, branes are now adding another
made with epoxy and polyester resins as Self Drilling Anchors that were first dimension to the reinforcement of
bonding media. By 1972, prepackaged developed for ground engineering underground excavations, and their
polyester resin systems were developed, applications are slowly gaining ground use in combination with rock bolts
tested and marketed. Immediately as an alternative in extremely poor provides a counter-effect to stresses,
active, full-length reinforcement of rock ground conditions. water and time.
masses became possible. For long reaching reinforcement,
Quality of installation remained an cable bolts, coupled rebars and,
issue, and lengths of bars, as well as more recently, connectable friction Figure 6. Estimated support categories based on
resin quality and setting times, created bolts (Swellex Connectable) and the tunnelling quality index Q (after Grimstad and
difficulties in installing the reinforce- Self Drilling Anchors, provide a Barton, 1993).
ment system. Exceptionally Extremely Very Very
Poor Fair Good Ext. Exc.
poor poor poor good good good 20
Modern Rock Bolts ted are
2.3 m 2.5 m
2.1 m
re 1.7 m
50 shotc 1.5 m 10
ing in
spac 1.3 m
By 1979, J.J. Scott introduced the Bolt 1.2 m 7
splitset rock bolt, and in 1980 Swellex 1.0 m
Span or height in m

bolts were introduced by Atlas Copco. (9) (8) (7) (6) (5) (4) (3) (2)
These two products started the use of 10 4.0 m


m m
friction anchored rock bolts in under- m m 3.0 m


m m
0m 90

0 a

25 15 12 are

ground excavation. 5 2.0 m ete

d 24
During the 1980s, the cone bolt, a 1.5 m
yielding rock bolt better adapted to ing
2 1.3 m lt sp 1.5
rock burst events, was introduced in Bo
1.0 m
the South African mines, and its appli- 1
0.001 0.004 0.01 0.04 1 0.4 10 4 10 40 100 400 1000
cation in other continents is still under Rock mass quality Q = RQD x Jr x Jw
Around the same time, recognizing REINFORCEMENT CATEGORIES 6) Fibre reinforced shotcrete, 90 - 120 mm, and bolting
1) Unsupported 7) Fibre reinforced shotcrete, 120 - 150 mm, and bolting
the need for support in moving 2) Spot bolting 8) Fibre reinforced shotcrete, >150 mm, with reinforced
3) Systematic bolting ribs of shotcrete and bolting
ground, Atlas Copco introduced the 4) Systematic bolting with 40-100 mm unreiforced shotcrete 9) Cast of concrete lining
5) Fibre reinforced shotcrete, 50 - 90 mm, and bolting
Yielding Swellex. In 1997, Atlas


RR3/RT18 23/6/05 10:12 Page 50


Adaptable Design Conclusion sharing it through conferences and

publications, rock mechanics people
Rock reinforcement and rock mechan- Rock mechanics in mining has are always pushing the limits of per-
ics applications are inter-related as the evolved tremendously over the last 15 formance of excavations.
design of an excavation and its rein- years with the availability of numeri- In order to get the full benefit of
forcement is an implicit process in cal models that run on desktop com- rock mechanics application and rock
which most parameters are interde- puters, and the very active transfer of reinforcement systems, the two must
pendent. The design of excavation knowledge and technology between be linked and interconnected in a way
also gets new “blood” with advances research and mining operations. In to provide feedback information and
in technologies. Better long hole fact, the practical application of rock data for each other.
drilling equipment provides straighter mechanics in everyday mining is often During the past two decades, the
boreholes that allow larger stopes considered a normal part of the extrac- impact of accidents and damages has
with less development and better tion process. been better understood. It has been
blasting control, and improvements in Rock mass classifications are used recognized that the safer the environ-
dilution and stability go hand in hand. systematically in most mining opera- ment, the better the productivity and
However, recognizing that ground tions in North America, and opening working relations. Social costs are
conditions are going to change brings sizes and shapes are carefully now considered as valuable, and
the need for easily adaptable design designed and planned to fit both the minimized. An objective of mining
methods of rock reinforcement. In equipment requirements and the sta- operations all over the world is to
this case, empirical methods can help bility limits. eliminate working injuries. As rock
rapid and sound decisions. It is true that mining operations are fall incidents are often fatal, they
Figure 6 presents a rock rein- often working at the limits of stability should be avoided by using integrat-
forcement design method based on of excavations, but then the profitabil- ed bolting systems to provide opti-
the tunnelling index Q. Fast and ity of mining demands that knowledge mum reinforcement and support
reliable ground control practices can and applications are at the forefront solutions.
make the difference between a prof- allowing the best overall performance .
itable extraction and a marginal one. By developing local expertise and by Francois Charette


RR3/RT19 18/8/05 14:00 Page 51


Performance of Swellex Rockbolts

in Dynamic Loading Conditions
Testing Procedures
Avoiding Dynamic a
The basic test procedure was: 1)
Failure turning on the electro-magnet and
Dynamic failure of rock under- lifting the weight at the appropriate
ground can generate high levels height above the impact position on
of kinetic energy and expulsion
of rock from the opening surface.
the bolt; 2) initiating the datalogging
Rock material reaches velocities system (when used) to measure
of a few metres per second and impact load; 3) turning of the elec-
in those conditions, the rock rein- tro-magnet to release the moving
forcement is more than often weight; 4) if no failure, or complete
destroyed or at least mobilized in
excess of its working range,
sliding of bolt inside tube, the weight
resulting in caving or closed-in is hooked up again and lifted up for
excavation contours. Rock rein- the next drop. The load data was
forcement used in those condi-
tions must be able to sustain the Figure 1. Testing apparatus with a) original
energy burst, as well as retaining configuration and b) modified configuration for
the rock adequately before and distributed impact, and c) completed test with
after the event. In order to assess modified configuration.
the Swellex capability in dynamic
failure conditions, laboratory
testing programmes have been b
undertaken to quantify the per-
formance of Swellex rock bolts in
dynamic loading conditions.

Testing Configuration
Figure 1 shows the testing apparatus
used to simulate the action of seismic
events on Swellex rock bolts. All
impact tests were performed on 2.1 m-
long Swellex Mn12 bolts. The static
weight of moving part was one metric
tonne, or 1000 kg. In field failure, the
Swellex bolts are usually broken at a c
distance varying from 10 cm to 50 cm
from the head bushing. Failure of the
bushing weld almost never occurs in distance from the head as to mobilize
the field. To try to reproduce the fail- load from the anchorage and retaining
ure pattern observed in the field, the force generated by the bushing-plate
Swellex bolts were inflated in two ensemble.
steel tubes, with the top tube generat- The friction inside the steel tube
ing the anchorage. The second (see was not sufficient to create failure of
Figure 1) shorter, impact tube also the bolt profile, and this highlighted
generates some friction above the the need to better simulate steel/rock
bushing and plate assembly, which anchorage capacity. However, this
dampens the impact. The rationale is reduced friction demonstrated interest-
that, since no bolts are breaking at the ing behaviour that has led to a better
bushing weld in field events, it must understanding of anchorage require-
be that the bulking occurs at such a ments in dynamic loading.


RR3/RT19 25/6/05 13:28 Page 52


maximum dynamic strength differs

A: Impact from maximum static strength.
A B: Sliding of bolt inside tube section
C: Harmonic oscillation of weight
A summary of impact testing is pre-
after sliding has stopped. sented in Figure 2, including an
B impact test where the recording equip-
The typical measurements of the ment was successful in picking up all
tests are:
Impact load
of the information. Table 1 presents
C Sliding Load typical results from the laboratory test-
Final load on load cell ing programme.
(should be equal to the
moving mass, i.e. 1 tonne)
Time Time of sliding
Analysis Of Energy
Time to failure (when it Absorption Capacity
Table 2 summarizes testing results on
Swellex Sample A1 various types of rock reinforcement
fixtures. Static steel properties can be
Load (tonnes)

used to preliminary assess the theoreti-
15 cal energy absorption capacity, but it
5 has been found that load and deforma-
tion are different from static tests.
0.95 1.05 1.15 1.25 1.35 1.45 1.55 Measurements show that the impact
time (s)
load exceeds the ultimate static tensile
strength by a factor of about 1.5, while
Figure 2. Typical signature of impact test on Swellex bolts: a) Typical phases of an impact test; b) actual when shearing was observed (Figure 3),
impact test with sliding of bolt inside steel tube. the impact load exceeded the ultimate
shear strength, taken as 60% of tensile
measured at time intervals of according to the load level. If the load strength, by a factor of about 1.4.
0.00005 seconds. reaches, or exceeds, the ultimate From the tests performed during the
strength, then the bolt simply breaks. spring of 2004, the bolts showed only
Impact Tests Analysis However, based on the test results, minimum yielding for loads exceeding
Table 1. Typical Impact Tests Results
Upon starting the test, the weight is
elevated to a pre-determined height
Result Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4
above the impact point. After being
released, the weight accelerates until it Impact Load (T) 10.4 15.3 17.8 18.2
reaches the impact point. At this point,
K(kJ) 9.1 8.6 6.1 9.1
the impact load is measured. Under
the impact load, the bolt starts to Status of bolt Failed in Failed in Failed in Slided
deform, but almost simultaneously, it shear shear and tension
also starts to slide inside the steel tube. tension
The sliding reduces the load on the
bolt, so that it does not fail if it is not Table 2. Theoretical energy absorption capacity based on quasi-static
pinned or restrained. During sliding, load -strain properties
frictional energy is dissipated accord-
ing to the friction generated on the Description Peak Load Displacement Energy
wall of the tube. As the weight slows (kN) (mm) Absorption
down, the friction coefficient increases
19 mm resin-grouted rebar 100 – 170 10 – 30 1–4
toward its static value, and the bolt is
16 mm cable bolt 160 -240 20 – 40 2–6
finally stopped. The momentum cre-
16 mm, 2 m long mech. Bolt 70 – 120 20 – 50 2–4
ates harmonic oscillations in the bolt,
16 mm, 4 m debonded cable 160 – 240 30 – 50 4–8
which acts as a stiff spring, and these
16 mm grouted smooth bar 70 – 130 50 – 100 4 – 10
are damped very rapidly. When the
Standard Swellex bolt 105 – 110 25 – 35 2–4
bolt is clamped or fixed so that it
Mn12 Swellex bolt 120 – 125 45 – 100 5.4 – 12.5
cannot start to slide at both ends, if the
Mn24 Swellex bolt 220 – 240 80 – 120 18 – 29
transmitted load at the restricted loca-
Split Set bolt 50 – 100 80 – 200 5 – 15
tion does not reach the ultimate
16 mm cone bolt 90 - 150 100 - 200 10 – 25
strength of the steel, the bolt only
deforms elastically and plastically, (Data from Kaiser, 1995)


RR3/RT19 18/8/05 14:01 Page 53


more than 50% of their maximum

static strength. In fact, in dynamic
testing, Swellex bolts elongated only
32 mm with a load of about 17 t on the
test to failure, absorbing about 5.3 kJ
of energy, which is similar to the
energy absorption capacity calculated
from static testing.
When the rockbolt was not
restrained, loading was not accompa-
nied by failure. The energy that a rock
bolt can accept is smaller when the bolt
is pinned inside the tube (Figure 4),
stretches to failure at the first blow. By
contrast, when the bolt is able to slide
slightly in order to avoid critical defor-
mation, the impact energy that can be
accommodated is quite a bit higher.
The mechanical properties of the Figure 3. Failure of Swellex bolt in shear.
bolts’ components can give instructive
insights on the energy absorption sliding is restrained. Profile deforma- energy through sliding, its energy
capability of a given bolt type. Table 2 tion during the tests ranged from 42 to absorption capability is enhanced.
gives some typical results from Kaiser 55 mm when the bolts broke. The Results from NTC’s tests on Swellex
(2, 3, 4) and from Noranda impact was localized on the head only (2003) and Cone bolts (1998) show
Technology Center (5). These results so the higher strength of the profile that, on a single event, it is possible
take in consideration only the elastic- could not be mobilized. to dissipate over 9 kJ with a Standard
plastic behaviour of the shank/body of Results from Kaiser et al. (3) as size Mn12 Swellex, which might be
the bolts when submitted to a static well as from Ortlepp and Stacey (1), more with rougher tubes and longer
load: the dynamic capacity is inferred outline the fact that most reinforce- bolts, and about 22 kJ with the Cone
in considering that the same load- ment fixtures have limited capacities bolt tested at NTC (Kaiser). These
deformation relationship would exist of absorbing energy when using values exceed by far any strain
during dynamic events. deformation/yielding properties, and energy accumulation mechanism. It is
In Table 3, results from dynamic values range from 1 to 25 kJ of important to understand that, in
testing are presented and, from energy at most. However, when a dynamic loading, ultimate load and
Ortlepp and Stacey (1), Swellex reinforcement fixture dissipates deformation are not the same as in
anchored in steel pipes could absorb Figure 4. Failure of bolt at pin location.
4 – 5 kJ of energy when sufficient
anchorage is provided, or when the
Table 3. Energy absorption
capacity from dynamic testing

Bolt Type Source Single


Cone Bolt Kaiser Variable

(NTC) from and al. with
Kaiser and Max: 22 kJ

Swellex Ortlepp 4.1 – 5.1 kJ


Rebars Ortlepp 4.1 – 5.5 kJ


Swellex Atlas 9 kJ
Mn12 Copco/
2.1 m NTC


RR3/RT19 25/6/05 13:28 Page 54


static loading, but the deformational coupled to the static anchorage capaci-
energy absorption seems to be quite ty. This operation was successful with References
similar. steel tubes instead of rock. The next
Tests results from NTC and Atlas step is to increase the friction against 1. Charette, F. Performance of
Copco also demonstrated another the bolt in order to simulate an anchor- Swellex rock bolts under dynamic
important fact. This is that maximum age capacity of 130 to 180 k/m, and loading conditions, The South
energy can be absorbed when the fric- repeat the same testing with Mn24 African Institute of Mining and
tion properties are tightly matched to bolts. Metallurgy. Second International
the strength of the material. When this It is also very interesting to consid- Seminar on Deep and High Stress
right combination is reached, the bolt er what kind of energy dissipation Mining, Johannesburg 2004.
head will move just before the could be achieved when using an 2. Ortlepp, W.D., Stacey, T.R.
shank/bolt body enters the deformation Mn24 instead of an Mn12 bolt. As the Testing of tunnel support: Dynamic
phase. This allows maximum energy bolt itself is twice as strong, the maxi- load testing of rock bolt elements to
absorption without failure of the unit, mum load could be doubled, and, provide data for safer support
and provides a consistent energy since the friction could be adjusted in design (GAP423), June 1998.
absorption capacity, coupled with order to provide the right anchorage 3. Kaiser, Canadian Rockburst
stable static load bearing capacity, capacity, the energy absorption could Design Handbook, 1995.
equivalent to the rated capacity of the certainly be in the order of +18 kJ per 4. Kaiser et al, Drift Support in
bolt. event. burst-prone ground, CIM Bulletin,
The conclusions obtained from March 1996.
Conclusion these laboratory tests is being 5. Kaiser, Support Against Rock
applied to the Hybrid Swellex bolt Burst – Short Course 1995–2003.
Dynamic testing at the laboratory has that combines the controllable slid- 6. Falmagne, V. Etude de fais-
shown that Swellex bolts can accept ing ability of the Swellex with the abilité: tests d’impact sur Swellex.
and dissipate a reasonable amount of strength and reliability of MAI Centre Technologie Noranda, Mai
energy without failing, and still provide bars. 2003.
an adequate load capacity, as long as
the anchorage length is adequately by François Charette


RR3/RT20 23/6/05 10:17 Page 55


Slope Stabilization with Self

Drilling Anchors
Soil Nailing for
Soil nailing is used to reinforce
and strengthen ground which has
questionable stability. Soil is gen-
erally a poor structural material
because it is weak in tension.
Steel, on the other hand, is strong
in tension. The fundamental con-
cept of soil nailing is to effectively
reinforce soil by installing closely
spaced grouted steel bars into a
slope or excavation, as construc-
tion proceeds from the top down.
A soil nail is therefore commonly
referred to as a “passive” anchor-
ing system, meaning that it is not
pre-tensioned, as is normal with
ground anchors.
Unstable slopes or excavations
consist mostly of unconsolidated
soils or deteriorated rock forma-
tions. To install conventional soil
nails, a cased borehole drilling
method is required to overcome
such difficult and unstable
ground conditions. An alternative
is the MAI Self Drilling Anchors
(MAI SDA), which is specially
designed for use in ground where
the boreholes tend to collapse
during the drilling process if
casings are not used.

Advantages of Self Drilling Installation of SDA R38 N with ROC D7 at Carriere d’Arvel, Switzerland.
thread, affording the flexibility to Method of Installation
Since the slow cased borehole drilling adjust the nail to the actual require-
methods were superceded, the speed ments on site, without waste or delay, Self Drilling Anchors are installed
of installation has increased consider- as construction proceeds. with air driven or hydraulic rotary
ably, up to 20-30 soil nails/day using Transportation and handling of percussion drilling equipment, using
MAI SDA, and the risk of re-drilling MAI SDA to and on site is safe and a borehole flush medium suitable for
time spent cleaning collapsed bore- economical, because of the commonly the specific ground conditions.
holes has been eliminated. used rod length of 3 m or 4 m. These There are three types of borehole
The selection of the drilling equip- can be extended using couplings to flush: water flush for long boreholes in
ment for MAI SDA installation is also allow installation of soil nails up to 15 dense to very dense sand, gravel forma-
more flexible, especially for working m depth, depending on the geology. tion or rock conditions, for a better
in confined space. There is also the option to use simulta- transportation of large cuttings and cool-
MAI SDA rods are manufactured neous drilling and grouting installation ing of the drill bit; air flush for short
with a continuous ISO standard techniques. boreholes in soft soil such as chalk and


RR3/RT20 23/6/05 10:18 Page 56


Galvanized MAI-SDA R 25 and R32 anchors

installed into loose and collapsing ground using
simultaneous drill and grout at the Shortlands
Junction, Bromley, Kent, UK.

When using the first two flushing

media for the drilling operation, the
soil/steel interface has to be created by
grouting through the hollow stem of
the anchor. The grout exits through the
flush holes of the drillbit, and backfills
the annulus around the nail that has
been cut by the larger diameter of the
For the third operation, the flushing
medium is already a grout mix, which
has the ability to harden after the
installation process is completed.
A typical application of SDA is
currently being carried out by the open
cast mine Carriere d’Arvel in
Switzerland. Here an Atlas Copco
clay, where water spillage is to be avoid- a better grout cover along the nail ROC D7 drillrig equipped with a
ed; and simultaneous drilling and grout- shaft. The grout has good penetration Ceminject (integrated rotary injection)
ing (SDG) for all lengths of boreholes in into the surrounding soil, so higher adapter and a rod handling system is
all unconsolidated soil conditions. external friction values are reached, being used for SDA installation.
Using SDG, the grout stabilizes the and the installation is completed in a The ROC D7 feed reaches to a
borehole during installation, providing single drilling operation, saving time. height of 7 m, allowing installation of
By utilizing a sacrificial drillbit, the two rows of SDA from one position.
Principle of the MAI Self Drilling Anchor. MAI SDA is drilled continuously for- The rod handling system contains
ward without extraction, until the design at least two sets of three 3.5 m-long
depth is reached. To reach a required nail R 38 N SDA rods, facilitating installa-
length of 12-15 m, the 3 to 4 m standard tion of two complete 10 m-long Soil
rod lengths are easily coupled together. Nails without having to manually feed

ROC D7 offers excellent reach with a folding boom.


RR3/RT20 23/6/05 10:18 Page 57


Atlas Copco ROC D7 The grout pump m400NT, available

installing MAI SDA from Atlas Copco MAI, is also recom-
for soil reinforcement mended.
using MAIm400NT
grout pump.
Two-man Operation
Only two people are needed – one to
handle the drilling, and one to handle
the pump. The SDAs, with their R
threads and sacrificial bits, are
installed and grouted in one operation.
These easy adjustments will enable
ROC D7 owners to get the best, and
the most, out of their equipment. For
some, it may open up whole new mar-
extension rods at these extreme work- A simple conversion kit enables kets that they have previously not
ing heights. this rig to be converted to an SDA even considered.
The newly developed integrated installation unit, without losing the The beauty of being able to adapt
injection adapter (Ceminject) can be advantages of the ROC D7 standard, the ROC D7 for such applications is
used for either simultaneous drilling high-tech features. that the contractor can make full use
and grouting, or as in this case, first The rock drill is fitted with a kit of the rig’s powerful and flexible
drilling to full depth with an air flush consisting of an Ceminject (integrated hydraulic system. The folding boom,
and then grouting the annulus of the rotation injection) adapter, swivel and for example, can be positioned up to a
borehole. The SDA installation brackets to replace the standard shank height of 7 m beside a slope, or very
becomes a fast continuous mechanized adapter. The SDA shank adapter is a low for horizontal toe-hole drilling. It
process with high grouting quality in a female shank having integrated coupling can also be positioned at extreme
safe working environment. sleeve to ease uncoupling. Available for angles, enabling SDAs to be used in
Similar methods were used to stabi- R32 and R38 anchors, it requires a very inaccessible places.
lize the slope at Shortlands Junction, flushing head with inner diameter of 53
Bromley, Kent, UK, where loose and mm, normally used on surface crawlers, Connecting Grout Pump
collapsing ground was affecting opera- because of the size of the female front and Ceminject adapter
tion of the railway. part of the shank adapter.
Ceminject is a SDA shank adapter Most of the time there is a need to
Installation Using ROC combined with a separate swivel pro- alternate between flushing with water
Drillrigs viding flushing media and grout. The and grout. In surface SDA installation,
swivel is mounted on the rock drill with it may be inconvenient to grout during
The use of self drilling anchors for sta- a bracket and has two separate inlets. drilling, as this may contaminate the
bilization and reinforcement work in The Shank Connector is a coupling feed with the grout, or minimize
soft rock is common both in the under- sleeve locked to the shank adapter. To spillage during collaring. The alterna-
ground world of mines and tunnels provide the locking function a special tive is to flush with water when
and, for a wide variety of applications male T38 shank is required. This is an drilling-in the anchor, and then grout it
on the surface. alternative to SDA-shank, when through the Ceminject. This would be
On surface, it is generally poor installing R51 or T76 anchors and when the final step in the installation
quality ground and soil that threaten alternation between bolting and blast sequence, prior to uncoupling the last
the stability of installations or land- hole drilling is required. A flushing head rod from the rock drill. To alternate
scapes. Embankments along roads and with inner diameter of 53 mm is needed. between water and grout, connect the
railways, various types of foundations The Rod Handling System RHS 52 grout pump and water hose to a y-cou-
and hills prone to landslide, and the is used for carrying bolts on surface pling equipped with two valves, so
sidewalls of cut-and-cover tunnelling crawlers. The system is equipped with that water or grout may be selected.
are just a few examples. SDA bushing halves in the gripping The hose from the y-coupling is then
Field tests have shown that the arms and the star wheels carrying the connected to the Ceminject, either
Atlas Copco ROC D-series of drillrigs rods. direct or by letting it run on the feed
can be used to install self-drilling BSH 110 is a hydraulic drill steel through the hose tree and over the
anchors (SDAs), as well as for blast- support providing gripping and guid- hose drum. This type of y-coupling
hole drilling. Hence, contractors who ing function. To drill SDA it is requires manual switching between
own one of these crawler rigs for quar- equipped with the rubber bushing and water and grout.
rying operations are perfectly- steel bushing halves to match the When installing SDAs using a sur-
equipped to take on stabilization jobs. anchor size. face drillrig, some contractors have


RR3/RT20 23/6/05 10:18 Page 58


pump and the other to the water flushing

system on the rig. The water supply
hose should be equipped with a non-
return valve at the connection to the
Ceminject, in order to prevent grout
from entering the water system. The
two hoses can be put on the feed over
the hose drum.
This system makes it easier to con-
trol both water and grout flushing,
with the water controlled by a valve
on the rig, and grout flow by starting
and stopping the pump. The grout
pump can be controlled remotely by
COP 1832 rock drill with Ceminject adapter. the rig operator, or by the pump oper-
ator on demand from the rig.

SDA Installation Cycle

The optimal SDA installation cycle
comprises the following steps:
1. Drill first SDA rod, either with
simultaneous drilling and grouting or
with conventional air or water flush,
guiding with the Drill Steel Support
(DSS) in open position. When the rod
has fully penetrated into the soil/rock,
stop the flush and loosen the rod end
connection to the drifter by clamping
the DSS and unscrewing the female
shank adapter. Uncouple before
Standard rod handling magazine with SDAs and couplings. retracting the rock drill.
2. Extend with next rod using the rod
handling system, open DSS and com-
mence flushing, then resume drilling.
4. Repeat rod-adding sequence until
final design length of the anchor has
been drilled.
5. If simultaneous drilling and
grouting modus has been used, then
the installation cycle is now complete
and the feed can move to the next
anchor position.
6. In air- or water-flush modus,
switch over to grouting mode and,
while maintaining a slow rotation of
the anchor, commence grouting until
The special bushing halves prepared for firm gripping of the SDAs. the hole is full. The in-situ rotation
mixing process of the grout guarantees
chosen to drill and grout simultaneously, only a single hose. It is possible to a homogeneous filling of the annulus,
using only grout as the flushing replace the hose for air flushing by improving corrosion protection and
medium. This has the advantage that, the grout hose by attaching it to the external friction values of the
once the anchor is completely drilled hose tree and letting it run over the rock–grout interface.
into the ground, it is fully grouted hose drum to the rock drill. 7. The installation cycle is complet-
and ready to be attached to the face To simplify the system further, and to ed and the feed can move to the next
plate. This makes the connection reduce number of people needed to do anchor position.
between the grout pump and the the installation, two hoses can be con-
Ceminject straightforward, needing nected to the Ceminject, one to the grout by Mark Bernthaler


RR3/RT22 23/6/05 10:23 Page 59


3D Images for the Design of

Rock Support
Reducing Rock Fall
Hazards in Tunnels
Rock blocks falling from the roof
or sliding into the tunnel can be a
hazard for the miners and equip-
ment, besides generating addi-
tional costs. Efficient
identification of potentially
unstable blocks and instant
design of appropriate rock rein-
forcement thus contributes to
safer and more economical
tunnel construction.
A recently developed imaging
system and evaluation software
assists in identifying unstable
blocks and design of rock sup-

Evaluated 3D image generated with JointMetriX3D®. Joints are represented by traces and areas. The
Introduction arrows indicate the orientation of an area by its normal vector while the spherical triangles indicate the
orientation of the plane fitted through the trace. The absolute position and orientation of the joints is
Currently the assessment of potential directly determined.
for excessive overbreak and disconti-
nuity controlled block falls or slides A 3D image combines a large take two free positioned images. In
heavily relies on experience. number of three-dimensional surface order to allow for measurements, the
Measurement of discontinuity pattern measurements with a high-resolution camera is calibrated. Scale and local
and orientations is done manually, if colour image, thus easing visual orientation is introduced by locating a
at all. The evaluation of the incom- inspection of the rock mass. vertically levelled bar somewhere
plete and inaccurate data with respect within the region of the images.
to block fall hazard is slow, and usual- Imaging at the Tunnel Site The whole data acquisition process
ly does not allow for the determina- requires only about one minute.
tion of appropriate rock support in The major goal is to record the actual Processing the images leads to 6 MPix
time. rock mass conditions comprehensively 3D images with several hundred thou-
In order to master these shortcom- by producing images that allow repro- sand 3D measurements.
ings with respect to efficiency and ducible assessments. The stereo-pho-
accuracy, a 3D imaging system has togrammetric principle of Panoramic Line Scanner
been developed consisting of an imag- JointMetriX3D® requires two images
ing device and 3D evaluation software of the same area captured from differ- For very high-resolution images, the
components. Named the ent positions in order to obtain 3D panoramic line scanner should be
JointMetriX3D® system, it unites sev- information. Currently, two options for applied. This scanner is capable of
eral features: imaging are available. The first one producing images of more than 100
• Data (image) recording at the face uses conventional calibrated single Mpix, recording very fine details.
• 3D image generation and assessment lens reflex (SLR) cameras, while the During scanning, the device head
• Metric and accurate measurement other uses a panoramic line scanner. rotates, recording the face column by
of discontinuity orientations, dis- column. A major advantage of the
tances, persistence, and other geo- SLR Camera panoramic principle is that existing
metrical properties reflective targets in the tunnel can be
• Link to other applications, such as A conventional SLR camera with a used to establish a reference of the
CAD minimum 6 MPix sensor is used to image to the tunnel. Data acquisition


RR3/RT22 23/6/05 10:23 Page 60


on site typically takes in the region of All measurements are metric and An imaging system, such as
ten minutes, leading to 3D images referenced either to a relative or the JointMetriX3D® can be installed on a
which are referenced to the tunnel tunnel coordinate system, and can be drilling jumbo, allowing for an instant
coordinates. exported directly into standard file for- imaging during work. Recorded data
mats. are transferred to the office for evalua-
3D Image Generation and A free copy of JMX Analyst is tion, and the necessary information for
Measurements available for download at www.joint- the rock reinforcement transferred back to the drilling equipment within
From a stereoscopic image pair a 3D minutes.
image is reconstructed by purpose- Prediction of Block Failure
built software. This can be carried out by Wulf Schubert, Markus Pötsch
Modes and Support Design and Andreas Gaich
by personnel on-site or off-site, using
secure Internet connections. The measurements derived from 3D
Once a 3D image is ready, assess- images are used to establish a consis- 3D imaging with SLR camera.
ments and measurements are taken tent and accurate ground model. Using
from it using the 3D software JMX the acquired information on the rock
Analyst. This software allows the mass structure, potentially unstable
inspection of 3D images thoroughly, blocks are identified with respect to
giving a realistic impression of the their location, volume, and weight.
actual conditions. Once the failure mode and the
Measurements are taken directly on properties of the blocks are identified,
the 3D image using the software, such the quantity, location and length of
as: required bolts to stabilize the blocks is
• Joint locations, orientations, spac- determined.
ing, persistence, etc. Further processing of the existing
• Lithological boundaries data can be used to extrapolate the
• Areas rock mass structure in a representa-
• Volume of overbreak tive volume around the tunnel,
JMX Analyst contains a tool to plot allowing an assessment of the condi-
joint data in stereographic projection tions ahead of the face. This
and the variation of orientations of enhances the quality of short-term
joint sets (cone of confidence, spheri- prediction, thus reducing any sur-
cal aperture, etc). prises during excavation.

Rock block support by bolting during tunnel excavation .

Prediction and final design is based on the rock mass structure derived from JointMetriX3D® measurements.


RR3/RT24 19/7/05 8:48 Page 61


Introducing Swellex Hybrid

became apparent that the solution was Components
New Versatile to combine the two. 1-
1 Retainer
Equipped with a Swellex end, the
Rock Support new rock bolt offers immediate
By combining the benefits of anchorage. As only a short segment of
Swellex bolts with those of the Swellex is required, the product may
MAI Self Drilling Anchors (SDA) be installed in long holes by simply
system, Atlas Copco has devel-
adding new MAI SDA segments. 2-
2 Swellex Connectable
oped a new versatile type of rock
support that can be pre-ten- Good anchorage capacity in any type (blind segment)*
sioned, grouted or use as a rock of rock is another advantage of using a
reinforcement system for seis- Swellex segment at the end of the bolt.
micity. Furthermore, as a plate and nut are
The new Swellex Hybrid pro-
fastened on the MAI rod side, real pre- 3-
3 Grouting valve*
vides immediate support, long
life expectancy and the level of tensioning is possible.
safety and productivity character- A special coupling has been devel-
izing Atlas Copco Rock oped to connect the MAI rods and the
Reinforcement products. By cou- Swellex segment for the purpose of
pling MAI SDA bolt sections, the grouting, offering longevity while
system can be installed in very 4 MAI Anchor Rod R32
tight locations to virtually any
adding stiffness in shearing. (hollow bar)
hole length. By limiting the length of the Swellex
segment, the anchorage strength can be
controlled. Sliding behaviour at high
Competence Centre tensile load consumes energy without 5-
5 MAI Anchor Coupling
compromising the integrity of the bolt,
The Atlas Copco Competence Centre with the insurance of a perfect, low-cost
team was looking for a type of rock bolt installation every time.
offering the following features: immedi-
ate and efficient support; immediate Pre-tensioning and 6-
6 MAI Anchor Rod R32
anchorage in any type of rock; adapt- Grouting
able to any hole lengths; fast and trou-
ble-free installation; longevity when The vast majority of grouted rebars
required; pre-tensioning capacity when and cable bolts are not pre-tensioned, 7-
7 Face Plate
requested; and the possibility to control mainly because this process is cum-
the anchorage capacity and behaviour bersome and time consuming. The 8- Nut
of the rock support to maintain the bolt need for pre-tensioning is higher if 99- MAI Anchor Adaptors
integrity in case of seismicity. ground movement is likely to occur for Swellex inflation and
Shortly after Atlas Copco acquired during the cement curing period. grouting
As pre-tensioning creates an active * Notes -
the reputable MAI SDA system, it The Grouting valve(3) is included with the
support, larger stress can be absorbed special version of Swellex Connectable(2)
Hybrid bolt for long anchorage in rock. without rock failure. when Hybrid bolt is to be grouted.
- A standard Swellex Connectable blind seg-
The Swellex segment and the ment (2) is used when the hybrid is to be
grouting device are inserted first, fol- used for energy absorbancy.
lowed by as many MAI SDA rods as Installation sequence of Swellex Hybrid for
needed to reach the required length. pre-tensioning and grouting.
The Swellex segment can then be
inflated through the MAI SDA The grout then achieves higher
anchors. A plate and nut are installed strength and resistance.
after inflation to provide immediate
support and real pre-tensioning. Seismicity
Grouting can then be carried out
immediately, or later, once equilibrium Most of the present generation of rock
has been reached with no further bolts, such as cone bolts and durabar,
movement of the rock mass expected. that address the seismicity problem


RR3/RT24 19/7/05 8:48 Page 62


use the same principle of having a part efficiency of rock reinforcement for When used for seismicity, Swellex
of the system that can disengage and seismicity, in order to make the system plasticoated and galvanized MAI SDA
absorb energy through friction or defor- absorb the energy and preserve the anchors are recommended for corrosion
mation. The efficiency of these systems rock mass between each bolt. protection. A plug can be used to protect
depends on the quality of the installa- the inside of the Swellex in the long term.
tion, which varies significantly with the Life Expectancy
quality of grout and de-bonding agent, Installation Sequence
rock mass condition, and experience When it comes to protecting the
and training. Often, because of poor investment, for long life expectancy For pre-tensioning and grouting:
quality of installation, these systems Swellex Hybrid offers solutions to 1-Drill the hole to the required
have not achieved the expected success match the threat. length using 48 to 51 mm bit.
and efficiency underground. When used for pre-tensioning and 2-Insert Swellex (the length can be
The advantage with the Hybrid grouting: determined from pull test – should
system is that, once the anchorage Atlas Copco has developed a spe- be sufficiently long to generate pull
capacity (kN/m) is deduced from on- cial grouting device that is coupled out resistance equal or higher to its
site pull test of the short Swellex seg- between the Swellex segment and yielding strength into the hole).
ment, it is easy to calculate the length MAI rods. This allows the Swellex 3-Thread the SDA rod all the way into
of the Swellex required to reach the Hybrid to be inflated, pre-tensioned the grouting valve on the Swellex.
maximum sliding strength that would when required, and then grouted Extend with additional SDA rods
not damage the bolt under dynamic through the MAI SDA rods. The and special Hybrid couplings (good
conditions, and the free sliding length grout then protects the Hybrid bolt, for 300 bar) to match the hole depth.
needed to dissipate the energy. The preserving the MAI rods from contact 4- Install plate and nut
installation is easy and, above all, with the environment. For full protec- 5-Attach inflation coupling to the
always perfect, as it is controlled by tion from a corrosive environment, or last SDA rod.
the Swellex pump. The installed for long life expectancy, MAI rods 6-Inflate Swellex through the SDA
system can also be tested at any time can be supplied galvanized, and rods using a standard Swellex pump
to make sure it is working according Swellex in Plasticoated or coated ver- having 300 bars in water pressure.
to calculation. sions. The grout will then offer the 7-Open the grout valve (in the Grouting
first protection layer, followed by the device) by rotating the MAI rods by
Site Testing zinc layer, or the plasticoating on the a 1/2 turn anti-clockwise.
Swellex. As the MAI bolts are grouted 8-Detach the inflation coupling.
The Hybrid bolt is now being tested at from inside out, there is no access for 9-Pre-tension the bolt.
WASM facility in Australia to deter- corrosive elements. 10-Grout (MAI 400 NT Grout Pump
mine the optimal anchorage for maxi- is recommended).
mal energy absorbancy of the system Installation sequence of the Atlas Copco Swellex
under dynamic loading conditions. Both Hybrid. For seismicity:
the Hybrid bolt and its system of con- 1-Drill the hole to the required length
trolled energy absorbancy are patented. using 48 to 51mm bit.
If, for example, a 1 m Swellex 2-Insert Swellex (the length can be
Pm24C offering a 150 kN anchorage determined from pull test – should
is proven to slide (yielding strength = be sufficiently short to generate pull
200 kN) under dynamic conditions out resistance lower to its yielding
without damaging the bolt, a sliding of strength into the hole).
0.15 m would consume as much as 3-Thread the SDA rod to the Swellex.
22.5 kJ of energy. 4-Install plate and nut.
Once sliding behaviour is tested and 5-Attach inflation coupling to the last
the system proven, a sliding pull test SDA rod
(on a short bolt segment inflated) per- 6-Inflate Swellex through the SDA
formed on site will confirm the anchor- rod using a standard Swellex pump
age capacity. The length of the Swellex having 300 bars in water pressure.
will then be chosen to match the maxi- 7-Detach the inflation coupling.
mum sliding strength, and sliding dis- 8-Pre-tension the bolt.
tance calculated according to the energy By combining the merits of the
to be dissipated. This system offers the Swellex and MAI SDA systems, Atlas
facility to be tested at any time. Copco has invented a completely new
Recent studies have shown that the approach to rock bolting.
quality of surface support is of para-
mount importance for ensuring the by Mario Bureau


RR3/RC1.qxd 23/6/05 10:46 Page 63


Swellex in Mining
Safe and Speedy
Rock support is often a bottleneck in
the business of underground mining,
and an obvious solution is faster
rockbolting. The cost is negligible
when compared to the higher profits
that can be made by keeping equip-
ment fully and economically employed
to increase production.
The mining industry is increasingly
recognizing that Atlas Copco Swellex
rockbolts, which are quickly and
safely installed to give immediate
support, are speeding up operations
and boosting revenues. Over the past
two decades, the Swellex rockbolting
system has become world famous as
schedule. This means that operations must Bieniawski diagram showing stand-up
be synchronized so that one does not fall times for different spans and rock
the simplest, fastest and most reliable
ground reinforcement technology behind, holding up the others and wasting classes.
available. time and money.
The Swellex bolt is a folded steel The development of Atlas Copco’s
tube, which is inserted into a pre-
drilled hole in the rock. Water is
Rocket Boomer and Boltec rigs is
blasted into the tube at high pres- constantly reducing drilling time, making
sure, blowing out the fold and Swellex the perfect partner to provide
expanding the tube into the exact reinforcement quickly, so that the next
shape of the hole, adapting to every operation can start without delay.
Bolt installation takes less than 30
Drilling ahead of the tunnel face to
seconds, and provides full and imme- install bolts or grout as pre-reinforcement,
diate support along the entire hole is a common way of improving the rock
length, in ground conditions ranging quality before excavation takes place.
from the hardest rock to clay and Instead of relying on supporting the ground
even non-cohesive material.
The system speeds up rock rein-
following excavation, pre-reinforcement
forcement considerably and, over the increases rock strength prior to excavation.
years, has built up an enviable repu- There are several benefits to this. First,
tation for saving time and money, as a pre-reinforced rock mass will be less
well as providing a safer under- damaged, both by blasting and by the
ground environment for miners and
tunnellers alike.
elastic and non-elastic stress redistribution
In the tunnelling business, Swellex of the excavation process. Second, the
bolts are already accepted as the key rock mass is never without support, even
to better operational efficiency. Now at the split second following blasting of
they are ensuring higher advance the round. Third, the support can be
rates, productivity and quicker access
to orebodies in mines as well.
more active when installed early, rather
than passive when installed later. Fourth,
pre-reinforced ground will not deteriorate
Forward Stabilization Using or collapse as rapidly as a totally un-
Swellex supported excavation, allowing a safe
working period for installation of regular
In single-face development, high-speed support.
rockbolting obviously cuts the time to The Bieniawski diagram shows the rela-
completion. But in multiple face develop- tionship between the unsupported span and
ment or ore extraction, the objective is to stand-up time of an excavation with refer-
utilize manpower and equipment efficiently, ence to its rock mass quality. Empirical
as well as to advance the faces on observations have shown that, for a given


RR3/RC1.qxd 23/6/05 10:46 Page 64


excavation size, a linear reduction in Rock stope exploitation, when production con-
Mass Rating (Bieniawski, 1974) will lead cerns may override ground support design
to a logarithmic reduction in unsupported concerns. The cohesive effect of the cable
stand-up time. Hence, a linear increase in is greater when added to undisturbed
excavation span results in a logarithmic ground than when added to weakened and
increase in instability potential. For large disturbed ground.
span drifts, the time period available to In tunnelling, the umbrella grouting
install roof support is significantly lower method of pre-reinforcement is frequently
than for small drifts. In the case of a 4.3 m- used. This method pre-supports the
span tunnel driven through poor to very planned roof area with steel rods. Large
poor quality rock, it may be logistically holes are drilled in the future roof peri-
impossible to support the roof before it meter, and grouted at high pressure with
collapses. Obviously, the operational and high strength, fine grained cement grout.
safety implications of such cases are Through each cemented hole, a smaller
important. hole is then drilled, in which a high-
Field observations show that cable bolts strength reinforcement bar is grouted.
installed in stopes before the first blocks Although highly effective for shallow tun-
are blasted are more effective than cable nels driven in very adverse ground condi-
bolts installed after the slot or cut has been tions, it is easy to see that such a
excavated. For cable bolts installed prior to work-intensive operation would be deemed
stope exploitation, the grout curing period neither practical nor economic for mining
is generally respected. This is not always applications, although the underlying con-
the case for cable bolts installed during cept could definitely be useful.

followed by a N-S extension; an inverse

Project: Underground gold mine pre-reinforcement.
shearing caused by a NW-SE compression;
Location: Mine Doyon, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec.
and a polyphased fracturing caused by an
Mining method: Longhole stoping with cemented rock fill.
as-yet undetermined stress gradient.
Rock: Quartz and sulphide veins surrounded by seritic schist.
The footwall of the No. 1 Zone is located
Rock reinforcement required: Protective umbrella in access
in very poor quality sericitic schist, with
Rock Mass Rating values between 0 and
Rockbolt selected: Super Swellex.
30. This alteration zone runs for about 100
m up to the ore body, which is located in
Mine Doyon Experience very weak chloritic schists. Stope develop-
ment in this ore zone was delayed due to
A variation of the umbrella method was repetitive caving in access drifts.
attempted at Mine Doyon, located near The rock mechanics engineer at Mine
Rouyn-Noranda, in northwestern Quebec. Doyon designed a pre-reinforcement
The Mine Doyon property is one of the most method using cable bolts installed over the
important gold-bearing orebodies in produc- future roof of the access drifts. An array of
tion in Canada. At least four major ore zones nine 50 ft cable bolts was used to pre-
are found on the Doyon property. Economic support the roof during drift development.
mineralization is found on a corridor that The method was successful from a rock
extends at least 2 km E-W, and from surface mechanics point of view, allowing three to
reaches a depth of over 1,000 m. four rounds to be taken before installing
The No.1 Ore Zone is defined by a heavy support consisting of vertical cable
major quartz and sulphide vein system, bolts and shotcrete. Primary support could
oriented E-W. The orebody is also oriented be installed during the normal cycle with-
E-W, dips steeply south, and has an aver- out safety problems.
age width of 8 m at depth. It is surrounded Although stability was achieved, pro-
by sericitic schist corresponding to the ductivity was compromised, since the
sub-unit 4b of the Blake River Group bolter was tied up in stope preparation and
(Savoie et al, 1991). Mining method is rehabilitation work. Also, since several
long hole stoping, with cemented rock fill. levels were being developed concurrently,
Mill production is around 3,500 t/day. travel time for the equipment and cable
Several tectonic events have been grouting crew was significant. A better
identified, among them a N-S compression solution was needed.


RR3/RC1.qxd 23/6/05 10:46 Page 65


Requirements were: easy integration in

the normal development cycle; installation
before the next drift advance; effective
support; and reasonable cost.
In order to increase productivity and
regain some flexibility, it was decided to
try pre-reinforcement using Super Swellex
bolts instead of cables, and to slightly
reduce drifting length to about 3 m. Five to
six Super Swellex, parallel and spaced
60 to 75 cm apart, are installed sub-hori-
zontally over the perimeter holes. Holes are
drilled using the development drillrig. Pre-
reinforcement holes are 50 to 60 cm longer
than drifting length, to accommodate the
3.6 m-long bolts. Inflation pressure is 300
bars. Several variations of the method were
used to secure pillars and cuts in stopes.
With the Super Swellex bolts, produc-
tivity actually increased to the same level
as for ramp and drift development in fair to
good quality rock.
Since the few extra holes required for
the spiling bolts are drilled at the same
time as the blasting holes, and the bolts are
installed in the short period between
drilling and loading, this pre-reinforcement
method does not increase the excavation
cycle time. The experience was a total suc- stope have been developed using this Pre-reinforcement using Super Swellex
cess, and the method became a standard at method. Close cooperation between the at Mine Doyon, Canada.
Mine Doyon for bad ground conditions. engineering and production departments
Presently, around 300 m of access drift and made this success possible.

Detailed Research in Peru Project: Underground gold and silver mine.

Location: North-west of Arequipa, Peru.
The Ares Gold and Silver Mine is located
Excavation method: Drifting.
275 km north-west of Arequipa, Peru,
Rock: Variety of different rocks.
nearly 5,000 m above sea level. It is a new
Rock reinforcement required: Permanent and temporary support.
ore deposit in which the Victoria vein,
Rockbolt selected: Standard, Midi and Super Swellex.
nearly 2,000 m long and up to 200 m deep,
is the main mineralized structure.
The design of drift support in the mine
has been the subject of detailed research by
its soil mechanics team, and different types
of bolts were field-tested.
The final choice, for both permanent
and temporary support in the five different
types of rock at the mine, was Swellex
bolts from Atlas Copco. Super Swellex and
Midi Swellex bolts are being used in areas
where the metal content is high and recov-
ery must be around 95% and, in addition,
some 1,600 Standard Swellex bolts/month
are being installed at the mine.
Thanks to its special features, the
Swellex system has not only increased
safety, but has contributed to an increased
Installing Swellex at Ares mine.
advance rate and improved economy.


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Super Swellex aids safe and cost effective development

at Louvicourt mine in Canada.

with a plunge to the east. Dimensions of

the orebody are 300 m along strike and
500 m along dip. Thickness varies from
20 m to 100 m. The mining method is long
hole stoping with paste backfilling.
Systematic stability problems are
encountered while drifting through fault
zones disseminated in the orebody. The
gouge associated with the faults, the
unfavourable dip of the two main joint
sets, and the intense black chlorite alter-
ation of the joints, contribute to the forma-
tion of high roof and unstable ground
conditions. Gouge thickness can reach up
to 90 cm.
An efficient solution to this problem has
been to use Super Swellex bolts as a pre-
reinforcement method. Three to four rings
of 3.6 m-long Super Swellex, on a 1.5 m x
1.5 m to 2.0 m x 2.0 m pattern, are
installed in the roof of the drift before the
next advance in the fault zone. The holes
are drilled 50 degrees upward, and the
bolts are inflated to 300 bars using a pneu-
matic Swellex pump. Steel straps are
sometimes used to increase support capacity
and cohesion. The immediate support
effect, and simplicity of the operation,
with minimum handling, are definite
advantages to using Swellex instead of
cable bolts.
The method creates a small increase
in normal cycle time, but the drilling
and installation time are more than
justified by the cost, risk and lost time
Project: Mine with copper, zinc, silver and gold. associated with rehabilitating a caved roof.
Location: Near Val d’Or, Quebec. The collaboration of the production depart-
Mining method: Longhole stoping with paste backfilling. ment was crucial to developing the
Rock: Volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit. method.
Rock reinforcement required: Support through fault zones. Such experience shows that Swellex
Rockbolt selected: Super Swellex. bolts can be efficiently used as a pre-
reinforcement system in order to improve
productivity and safety while excavating
Louvicourt Solution tunnels in incompetent rock. The method
can be applied to systematically support
The Louvicourt Mine is a polymetallic ore- roof, or to prevent caving from a nearby
body of copper, zinc, silver and gold, fault zone. The method is fast, improves
25 km east of Val d’Or in northwestern safety, and can be easily integrated into
Quebec. It is a volcanogenic massive sul- development operations. Cooperation of
phide deposit, starting 47.5 m below the underground department for testing is
ground surface. It is part of the Abitibi paramount to the success of the technique,
Greenstone Belt, within the Precambrian as the experience of the miners and super-
Shield of eastern Canada. The orebody visors is a valuable asset in improving
dips 70 degrees north and strikes E-N-E excavation methods.


RR3/RC1.qxd 23/6/05 10:46 Page 67


Increased Output in Portugal Project: Underground copper mine.

Location: Southern Portugal.
The Neves Corvo Copper Mine in southern
Mining method: Drift and fill with benching.
Portugal, owned by Somincor, has recently
Rock: Orebody roof and walls.
increased annual production from 2.1 to 2.3
Rock reinforcement required: Faster bolting to increase
million t. Reserves are around 30 million t of
copper and 1.9 million t of copper and tin ore.
Rockbolt selected: Swellex.
Some 95% of the ore is being extracted
using several mining methods: 60% of the
tonnage comes from a modified drift-and- Rockbolting is the bottleneck in the pro-
fill method, 20% from benching, 10% duction cycle, and several bolting units
from mini-benching, and the remaining have to be used because of the long dis-
10% from mining of the sill pillars. tances between the different faces,
Drift-and-fill mining is carried out by The mine blasts 25 faces/day to meet
13 face drilling rigs, of which nine are production targets, which means time is
Atlas Copco Boomer units. Two Atlas precious. Although the unit cost of Swellex
Copco Boltec rigs for mechanized rock- bolts might seem expensive compared to
bolting, equipped with the latest Swellex some other rockbolts, they have proved to
hydraulic pumps, have been put into pro- be the best solution in terms of the total
duction, and the time taken to install a installation costs.
Swellex bolt in a pre-drilled hole at the
mine is now less than 30 seconds.
For benching and mini-benching, the
mine is using three drill rigs, two of which
are Atlas Copco Simba units.
The two fully-mechanized Boltec rigs
are installing 2.4 m-long Standard Swellex
bolts in the roof and walls of the orebodies,
with an average spacing of 1 m. Swellex
bolts have been used at the mine for many At the Neves Corvo copper mine in
years, and more than 60,000 are installed Portugal, Sven Buskqvist, Wirsbo
annually. They are popular because they Stålrör AB, Antonio Rodrigues,
offer instant support with easy and fast Somincor, and Torres Marquez, Atlas
installation. Copco Portugal.

Systematic Support in Turkey Project: Underground coal mine.

Location: Çeltek, Asia Minor, Turkey.
At the Çeltek Coal Mine in Turkey, some
Mining method: Longwall mining.
300 km north-east of the capital Ankara, the
Rock: Seam roof.
support system of a gate road has been
Rock reinforcement required: Replace steel arches with bolts.
changed from the traditional steel arches to
Rockbolt selected: Standard Swellex EXL.
systematic support with Atlas Copco Standard
Swellex EXL bolts. This follows a joint effort
involving Atlas Copco Turkey and a team led After experiencing the speed and ease
by rock support expert Professor Erdal Ünal of the Swellex bolt installation, the mine
of the Middle East Technical University. The management and support crew agreed that
aim was to introduce the high load-carrying the system also offers value for money. ■
capacity and yielding characteristics of
Swellex to the country’s coal industry.
A universal pull-tester developed by
Professor Ünal’s team was used to show the
superiority of the Swellex bolts in terms of
speed, safety and economy.
Time spent on roof support in a cycle At Çeltek mine in Turkey, a Swellex
decreased from two hours to between 20 and bolt is installed to demonstrate its
30 min/m of advance in the gate road, result- unique ability to provide safe and
ing in an increased daily advance rate. immediate support.


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Removing Bottlenecks in
Crossroads of Europe Project: Parallel tube for existing bi-directional road tunnel.
Location: Graebern, on A2 Vienna-Klagenfurt highway.
With its position in the heart of Excavation method: Drill/blast and mechanical excavation.
Central Europe, Austria serves as a Contractor: Joint venture of Ostu Stettin, Hinteregger, and Porr
transportation hub for virtually any
business needing to move goods Tunnelbau.
across the continent. Rock: Mix of biotite gneiss and non-glaciated folded, faulted,
For traffic between the Balkan and tectonised strata.
States and the north, or diagonally Rock reinforcement requirement: Spiling followed by
across Europe from east to south, immediate face support.
Austria presents the shortest route.
Indeed, the risk of traffic nuisance is Rockbolts selected: Super Swellex and self drilling anchors.
such that trucks are currently banned
from its highways during the night
In its efforts to upgrade to full
European standards, Austria is build-
ing more dual carriageways, and
driving parallel tunnels for a number
of existing bi-directional tunnels across
the country. In the tunnels, the latest
in Atlas Copco technology is being
employed, including the Rocket
Boomer L2 C and self drilling anchors.
Two such projects are the parallel
tunnel recently completed at Graebern,
on the Vienna to Klagenfurt section of
the important A2 motorway which
connects Vienna with Carinthia and
Italy, and a twin tube tunnel project at
Steinhaus, located near Semmering, a
favourite skiing destination for the

Second Tube for Graebern

The new 2.148 km-long tube was driven An oversize safety section in the centre Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer L2 C at
parallel to the existing Graebern tunnel in of the alignment provides a third lane over Graebern south face.
highly variable ground conditions. The a distance of 48 m, where vehicles may
faces at either end were in different strata, park in an emergency, or possibly turn
requiring a flexible approach to excavation around. They may also turn to enter a wide
and support. cross passage leading to the second tube,
The contractors used some equipment, which is big enough for trucks.
such as the Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer
drillrigs, that was released following the South Attack
completion of the 9.9 km-long Plabutsch
tunnel, a similar dualling project on the A9 At the south end of the alignment, where
motorway at Graz. the rock was generally too soft for blast-
Around 1.5 km of the tunnel was exca- ing, an Atlas Copco two-boom Rocket
vated to standard 70 sq m section, Boomer L2 C drilled for spiling and bolt-
400 m of which was in excavation class 7 ing in the top heading, so that the face
and needed a reinforced shotcrete or con- could be mechanically excavated.
crete invert, requiring an enlarged section The area was intensively folded and
of 78 sq m. faulted, with a mixture of competent and


RR3/RC2.qxd 23/6/05 10:59 Page 70


Rock Support at Graebern Tunnel

incompetent rock. As there was no glacial North Face

cover during the past million years,
glacial erosion did not remove the highly The north end of Graebern featured biotite
tectonised and incompetent parts present at gneiss, a more-competent metamorphic
the southern portal. sedimentary rock with a high amount of
The centre section of the top heading quartz and feldspar. Predominantly, the rock
was generally left in place as a safety mass was jointed and faulted, and so mostly
pillar, to support the tunnel face decomposed and friable. Therefore, spiling
while sectional lattice arches were installed with pipes was often an absolute necessity. In
at 1.0-1.2 m centres, together with addition, Super Swellex 4 m-long bolts were
rockbolts and shotcrete. Part of the exca- set in the roof at the face as immediate support.
vated face was also temporarily secured Regular support comprised 15 cm of
by 12 m-long self drilling anchors, shotcrete with one layer of wire mesh and
which were grouted in place. For systemat- 4 m-long rockbolts. If spiling was re-
ic bolting, self drilling or cement grouted quired, lattice arches were erected, and
anchors with lengths of 4 m or 6 m were shotcreted in place. A three-boom semi-
used. automatic Rocket Boomer L3 C performed
When required, 25 mm-diameter, 4 m- the support drilling duties at the north end,
long pipe spiles were set around the roof in addition to blasthole drilling.
profile in 45 mm-diameter holes drilled by Drilling of a full round of approximately
the Rocket Boomer L2 C. Any blastholes 130 x 2 m-deep holes in the top heading took
required were drilled using 45 mm Atlas an hour, in addition to a half-hour for charg-
Copco Secoroc bits. ing and blasting. Blasting agents were dyna-
The top heading was followed by a 2.7 mite and cartridged slurry, with 19 intervals
m-high bench and invert, which were ex- of electronic detonators with millisecond
cavated some 60-80 m back from the face, delays at 80 milliseconds per step. The
but periodically slipped back to 150 m drilling rounds were set up using an array of
behind the face. seven lasers to establish a perfect profile.

Steinhaus at Semmering in which the village of Steinhaus is

located. It has been constructed by
The Steinhaus tunnel is on the B306 Bilfinger Berger for the Austrian highways
Vienna to Bruck road, which passes authority.
through Semmering, a favourite skiing The rock quality is variable, generally
resort for the Viennese. The B306 is being soft and non-glaciated, comprising chalk,
upgraded, and will form part of the new S6 phyllite, calcite and quartzite, with a maxi-
highway. This will connect with the San mum cover of 60 m.
Miguel interchange on the section of the The tunnels accommodate a two-lane
A9 Trans-European Highway between the highway in each direction. There are three
main centres of Graz and Linz. cross-passages, with the middle one having
The tunnel is twin-tube and 1.5 km- a large cross-section to facilitate the
long, on a double curving alignment switching of trucks between tubes in emer-
that takes it into the side of the valley gency situations.


RR3/RC2.qxd 23/6/05 10:59 Page 71


The full 80 sq m section of each main

Project: Twin tube 1.5 km-long road tunnel.
drive was achieved with top heading,
Location: Steinhaus on the B306 Vienna-Bruck road through
bench and invert excavations. The faces
passed beneath some village houses with
Excavation method: Mechanical excavation with some
around 50 m cover, and two blast vibration
monitoring stations were set up.
Contractor: Bilfinger Berger.
Rock: Soft, non-glaciated chalk, phyllite, calcite and quartzite.
Cautious Advance Rock reinforcement requirement: Forward support and
immediate face support.
Work at Steinhaus commenced at the west
Rockbolts selected: Self drilling Atlas Copco MAI rockbolts.
portal with a 47 m-long central pilot
tunnel, within which the pillar between the
two main tubes was cast using self-com-
pacting concrete. The separation over the
first 50 m of alignment was 2 to 4 m,
increasing progressively to 60 m at the
halfway mark. The rock pillar on the
second 50 m of drive was anchored using
pre-stressed bolts, tightened by plates on
both sides.
The drillrig fleet comprised three late-
series Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer 352S,
and one newer Rocket Boomer L2 C. They
spent 80% of their time drilling for rock
reinforcement because, generally speaking,
only 10-20 blast holes were required in the
faces of the top headings.
The faces, which were mechanically
excavated, were secured by up to nine 16 Once into more competent ground, the Rocket Boomer 352S at Steinhaus
ft-long self drilling anchors with mortar drillrigs were able to deliver 80-90 portal.
injection. Roof and side support was holes/round in the top headings, drilled to
achieved mainly with grouted rebars and depths of 1.5-1.7 m. Blasting was by mil-
self drilling rockbolts from Atlas Copco lisecond and long delay non-electric deto-
MAI, and five MAI M400 water mixing nators and encapsulated slurry main
pumps were used for grouting. charge. The bench followewd at between
In order to maintain reasonable under- 90 m and 220 m behind the face, where the
foot conditions, a temporary shotcrete invert temporary invert was ripped out by an ex-
reinforced with steel mesh was laid in the cavator with hydraulic hammer. A concrete
top headings, every 4 or 5 arches on pump was stationed at each bench as a
advance. Drainage holes were drilled in the convenient way of pumping shotcrete past
face whenever necessary. Usually, three or the ramp position, from where a mixer
four arches were set at 1.5 m intervals in truck transported it to the face jumbo.
each face during a 24 h cycle of three shifts. Self drilling rockbolts have become
very popular in recent years, and are now
Umbrella Working used in a number of different applications,
for both surface and underground drilling.
At the 90 m mark on the south drive, a In tunnels, their primary use is for advance
20 m-high Karst cavity was encountered, support of extremely friable rock, or in
which, fortunately for the tunnellers, proved formations where the drill hole will col-
to be dry. The drillrig was pulled back to lapse before a normal rockbolt can be put
drill over the face and into the cavity. in place.
Some 30 cu m of 8 mm concrete was The bolt is made up of five essential
then pumped through the drillholes, using parts: a threaded bolt, a single-usage drill
one of the shotcrete jumbos. Advance over bit, a connection casing, a screw plate and
a 10 m stretch beneath the filled cavity was a nut. The rockbolts are available in stan-
protected by arches of 20-30 spiles made dard lengths, by the metre from 2-6 m-
of 51 mm x 8 m-long R32 pipe installed at long, with special customer-designed
2 m increments. lengths of up to 12 m. ■


Document2 3/10/05 12:12 Page 1
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Swellex in Extreme Temperatures

Hot and Cold Mining Project: Raglan Katinniq nickel mine.
Location: Northern Quebec, Canada.
Swellex rockbolts are used success- Mining methods: Longhole stoping, cut and fill.
fully in hot and cold extremes on Operator: Falconbridge Nickel.
both sides of the world. Not only has
the bolt been found to perform to full Rock: Blocky with permanently frozen fissures.
capacity in all temperature condi- Rock reinforcement required: Long bolts not requiring resin.
tions, but it has also found favour Rockbolt selected: Swellex Mn24 and Connectable.
with the operators. Because of its
light weight, and speed of installa-
tion, the operators are finding that
Swellex does not overexhaust them
under the rigorous conditions in
which they work. Another bonus is
that grout mixes and resin ampoules
are not required, significantly reduc-
ing the transportation costs to
remote mines, and limiting the fetch-
ing and carrying to be done under
extreme conditions. This is truly a
market sector where Swellex is

Performing in Permafrost Location of Raglan Mine in Northern

The Raglan mine is located on the remote
Ungava Peninsula of northern Quebec,
where the mean annual temperature is Deception Bay, about 100 km to the east.
minus 10°C, with an ambient temperature The nearest supply town is Rouyn-
underground of minus 15°C. Noranda, about 1,600 km south.
It is a conventional shovel-and-truck With the ground permanently frozen to
open pit, with an underground mine at a depth of 425 m, rockbolting at Raglan
Katinniq, where there are two mining could be a difficult and time-consuming
methods in use: long-hole stoping and cut procedure, without Swellex. Although the
and fill. cold makes working conditions difficult,
Although large stopes are not typical at the ground is more stable because there is
the mine, a stope opened in 2003 measured no water moving through fissures in the
160 m-long x 63 m-wide. The orebody is rock. The normal maximum stope size is
wide, with limited height and strike length, 30 m-wide and 105 m-long, so ground sta-
and the footwall dips at a bility is important.
45° angle, making most of it unfavourable The host rock is extremely competent,
for development of longhole stopes. At with no ground stress problems. With
any given time, Katinniq has 10-15 stopes joint spacing over 2 m, the main rock
in operation, with only one or two support consideration is the risk of
being the more productive longhole falling blocks. The mine generally uses
stopes. The rest are cut-and-fill which, 2.4 m bolts for stability, but these may
despite being more labour intensive, increase to 4 m-long or 5 m-long bolts
account for over half of the 50,000- when big blocks occur.
55,000 t/month of ore produced. Previously, the mine used mechanical
Katinniq has reserves of 19.5 million t, bolts and rebar set in resin for rock sup-
grading 2.85% nickel and 0.79% copper, port. However, the mechanical bolts
as well as significant recoverable cobalt required periodic re-tensioning to be effec-
and platinum-group metals. The mine is tive. This was labour intensive, and the use
accessible by air, and linked by an all- of resin posed significant logistical and
weather road to ship-loading facilities at transportation problems.


RR3/RC3.qxd 23/6/05 11:01 Page 74


Easy Installation fastening screens in the 5 m-wide drifts;

50,000 of the 1.6 m bolts used largely in
After an extensive research and testing wall rock; 62,000 of the 2.5 m bolts used
period, Raglan made the switch to Swellex for the back; and 2,000 of the 3.8 m Super
bolts in 1999. Since then, they have been Swellex bolts as needed.
using Swellex almost exclusively, in order Raglan uses brine to expand the Swellex
to ensure consistent quality of rockbolting bolts in order to avoid freezing problems.
while maximizing productivity. This has not resulted in detectable cor-
At Raglan, all drifts are screened and all rosion in the bolts, and recent pull tests
stopes are bolted. The mine is budgeted to confirm this. Swellex Mn24 has now
use: 6,500 of the 600 mm Swellex bolts for replaced Super Swellex at the mine.

rock such as this, and rates the easy and

Project: Toyoha lead/zinc mine.
trouble-free installation system as a big
Location: Hokkaido, Japan.
Mining method: Sublevel stoping.
Toyoha uses up to 2,000 bolts/month of
Rock: Volcanic host.
the 2 m-long Midi Swellex type, which are
Rock reinforcement required: Easily installed non-grouted
well suited to the large diameter explosives
now being used. The number of holes
Rockbolt selected: Standard and Midi Swellex.
required at the face has been reduced as a
Hot Work in Hokkaido The operators prefer Swellex bolts
because they can be set in the hot condi-
Drillers at the Toyoha mine in Japan get tions without using a work platform, or
more than a warm welcome when they heavy tools and equipment. Two-thirds
arrive for work each day. Due to the vol- of the bolts currently used in the mine
canic rock in the area, the mine generates are Swellex. They are lightweight, easy,
rock temperatures of 130°C, and a heat- quick and safe to work with, and do not
wave follows the opening of any new require grouting, keeping the work area
areas. Humidity is extremely high, and clean. ■
it is not unusual to see jets of steam
coming from newly drilled rockbolt holes.
These are, indeed, extreme conditions
under which to install effective rock
Toyoha, which is the world’s largest
producer of the rare metal Indium from its
lead and zinc operations, carries out sub-
level stoping in the steeply inclined ore-
body, where drifts are 3 m-high and
4 m-wide.
In these difficult conditions, and since
neither cement grout nor resins can be
easily handled in such high temperatures,
the mine uses Swellex rockbolts from
Atlas Copco for rock reinforcement.
Drilling and installation of 1.5 m-long
Swellex bolts in the normal pattern used at
the Toyoha mine to stabilize a round is
performed by a single miner in just 32
minutes. This is a very fast production rate,
especially considering the high temperature
and humidity. The key is in the Swellex
system itself, which enables bolt after bolt
to be expanded in just 22 seconds apiece.
The mine management insists that only
Installing Swellex at Toyoha Mine, Hokkaido, Japan.
Swellex can give superior safety in hot


RR3/RC4.qxd 23/6/05 11:09 Page 75


Coated Swellex Examined

Unique Testing
Not far from Orebro in central
Sweden lies Kvarntorp mine, a dis-
used underground sandstone mine
that has been converted as an
archive store.
The rock is sedimentary, occurring
in horizontal layers, with sandstone
overlain by shale. The sandstone is
porous, but relatively homogeneous,
varying from white to light grey in
colour. It is lightly laminated with
thin clay seams, which are often not
more than 1 mm-thick. The ground-
water is corrosive, so, when Coated
Swellex rockbolts became available,
the mine was quick to realize the
advantages, and began using them in
1987. Recently, tests were conducted
on two of these bolts that had been
installed nine years earlier, and it was making it difficult to establish the exact Cross-section of bolt No 1 shows
found that virtually no corrosion had conditions to which the bolts have been corrosion described as insignificant.
taken place.

Support Investigation Rock Reinforcement

A few years ago, owner Yxhult AB experi- Support was exclusively by rockbolts,
enced a number of small falls of roof at installed vertically as the drives and rooms
Kvarntorp mine. It was found that several were excavated. Expander type point
point anchor expander bolts installed in anchor bolts were used initially, then the
1968 had rusted through 0.8 m inside the mine switched to cement-grouted rebar.
rock, and had fallen out. These were used from 1967 to 1969, when
The Swedish industrial safety authority they switched to resin-grouted rebar, and
requested Yxhult AB to launch an investi- in 1987 to Atlas Copco Swellex bolts.
gation to determine the extent of the prob- The following rock bolts and grouting
lem, and to recommend a rock support agents were used during the production
programme that would ensure the safety of phase of the mine: cement grouted rebar,
people working underground. 2.2 m-long; resin-grouted rebar, 2.2 m-
The company contacted SvBeFo, the long, with two Celtite cartridges; resin-
Swedish scientific organization involved in grouted rebar, 1.8 m-long, with two Celtite
studying the behaviour of rock in mining, cartridges; and Coated Standard Swellex,
construction and building, to solicit their 1.8 m-long.
involvement. The Stockholm-based con- During this development of rock sup-
sulting company Sycon was contracted to port, point anchor expander bolts proved
carry out the investigation, and Atlas entirely inadequate, and were replaced by
Copco agreed to take part in the project. cement-grouted rebar. The disadvantage of
The ground water in Kvarntorp seeps cement-grouted rebar is that it is messy,
through the overlaying shales, which have time-consuming, and does not provide any
relatively high sulphur content, and is support before the cement hardens.
known to be corrosive. There was a con- In 1969, the mine switched to resin
siderable amount of water present in the cartridges as the grout medium used to
rock during the excavation of the openings, install rebar dowels. This has the advan-
but this had disappeared over the years, tage of providing more immediate support.


RR3/RC4.qxd 23/6/05 11:09 Page 76


their minimum specified breaking strength

during these tests.

Overcored Bolts
It was then decided to over-core two
Swellex bolts to establish their condition.
These were forwarded to the Swedish
Corrosion Institute for further examination.
All Swellex rock bolts are stamped with
an alpha-numerical identification. The
recovered bolts were marked 1.8 930125 B
STD Sweden, showing that this was a
1.8 m-long bolt manufactured in Sweden
on January 25, 1993. They were recovered
in mid-May, 2002, so were in the rock for
a little over 9 years.
At the Corrosion Institute, the rock cores
were removed and the bolts visually
inspected, after which cross-sectional pieces
Internal surface of bolt No 2 shows it However, it is still arduous and, as with were sawn out for more detailed inspection.
is practically free from corrosion. cement, there are high wastage factors. Observations by the investigating engi-
Both resin and cement grouting of rebar neer were that uniform corrosion on the
present the operator with a number of outside of the bolts was very small, less
installation quality concerns. These range than 0.1 mm-deep. Internal corrosion was
from inadequate grout in the hole or, as in mostly non-existent, with a few small shal-
the case of resin, “over-spin” or “under- low patches. One of the bolts had two
spin”, both of which adversely affect the small local corrosion penetrations that did
support capability of the installation. not affect the breaking strength.

Coated Swellex Conclusion

Swellex rockbolts are manufactured from The conclusion was that, after more than
folded steel tubing that can be inserted in nine years in the corrosive environment of
the drill hole manually or mechanically, Kvarntorp mine, Coated Swellex bolts had
and expanded with high-pressure water. not lost any of their strength or support
The installation takes a few seconds, and capability. They were not involved in any
the expanded bolt is pressed tightly against of the rock falls that had occurred.
the rock, deforming to the irregular sides Sycon made the following recommen-
of the drill hole. This provides guaranteed dation: the area where the rock falls had
full column support, as the water pressure occurred should be re-bolted using 1.8 m
is applied equally throughout the bolt. Coated Swellex bolts fitted with 150 mm x
Coated Swellex has a rubberized bitu- 150 mm bearing plates, installed 5
men coating on the outside of the bolt. As bolts/row, with 2 m between each row.
the bolt is expanded, this coating, which The result of this investigation establishes
is semi-viscous, is pressed into the Coated Swellex rock bolts as long term sup-
microstructure of the rock on the inside of port suitable for use in a variety of environ-
the drillhole. The coating provides a barri- ments. Situations differ from mine to mine,
er between the rock and the bolt that pre- and from tunnel to tunnel, and require care-
vents the ingress of corrosive water. As the ful study by qualified people. However,
coating completely covers the outside of there is no doubt that mines and tunnels with
the bolt, and the bolt expands over its full aggressive environments can benefit from
length, the result is a guaranteed quality the many advantages of Swellex rockbolts.
installation. The full report from the Swedish
It was decided to perform pull tests on a Corrosion Institute is available from Atlas
number of bolts at Kvarntorp mine to test Copco in English upon request. Contact
their integrity after having been in the Turgay Ozan
rock for nine years. The Swellex exceeded and ask for report number 80 103 (rev 1). ■


RR3/RC5.qxd 23/6/05 11:10 Page 77


Tunnelling with Nuclear Quality

Stability for a Project: Nuclear waste repository investigation.
Location: Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
Hundred Years Excavation method: TBM and roadheader.
Contractor: Kiewit/Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The construction of the Exploratory
Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Rock: Volcanic tuff.
Mountain has set new quality stan- Rock reinforcement required: Systematic roof support with 100
dards for tunnelling operations. It has year stability.
been proved possible to build a Rockbolt selected: Super Swellex.
tunnel according to nuclear quality
standards, while at the same time
maintaining flexibility for scientific
investigations and acceptable tun-
nelling productivity. The 7.8 km-long
ESF tunnel has been driven by TBM
within the rock formation that is
being evaluated to determine suit-
ability for the final repository, and
may become a part of the repository
The requirements on long-term
stability for radiological safety of a
future repository, in this case equal
to 100 years, resulted in rejection of
most available ground support prod-
ucts. Instead, Super Swellex rock-
bolts were chosen, together with
welded mesh and a rolled steel
channel, for permanent support in
the ESF tunnel. A similar system
was used to support the more
recent 2.681 km-long East-West
Cross Drift tunnel to investigate
ground conditions over the proposed
Tunnelling at Yucca Mountain
will probably go on for many more
years, adding invaluable practical
experience to the world’s pool of
knowledge of how to construct an underground laboratory for engineers Curved drive at Yucca Mountain ESF
repositories for nuclear waste. With and scientists to help determine the ability tunnel, close to Las Vegas.
nuclear waste accumulating in many of natural and engineered barriers to safely
other countries, this project is being store spent nuclear fuel and high-level
watched very closely by a number of radioactive waste in a geologic repository.
agencies around the world.
A large percentage of the ESF tunnel
design has been done according to a
Underground Laboratory Nuclear Quality Assurance program
(‘Q’-standard), similar to that used for
Yucca Mountain, located in the Nevada nuclear power plants. Ground support is
desert approximately 160 km from Las ‘Q’ classified.
Vegas, is today the only site that the US This has impact on ground support
Department of Energy (DoE) is studying design, type of ground support chosen,
for the nation’s first permanent high-level procurement of ground support products
nuclear waste repository. (including lifetime documentation and
The Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), traceability of materials used in manufac-
part of the Yucca Mountain project, will be turing), installation of ground support, and


RR3/RC5.qxd 23/6/05 11:10 Page 78


The data gathered, together with results

and conclusions from the investigations,
will assist in the final decision on whether
Yucca Mountain is suitable for a nuclear
waste repository.
Yucca Mountain consists of layers of
volcanic tuff, with a total thickness of at
least 1.8 km. Most of the excavation will
be in the uppermost and middle Topopah
Spring formations, located approximately
300 m below the surface. This is the poten-
tial subsurface repository horizon, and is
more than 100 m above the groundwater
The ESF has been geologically mapped
along its total length, using a 55 m-long
gantry built into the TBM trailing gear.

ESF Tunnelling Progress

The TBM was launched from a 60 m-long
drill/blast starter tunnel. The first part of
the ESF tunnel, the North Ramp, was
driven at a 2% downgrade against rock
beds dipping 2° to 15° to the east. The first
200 m of tunnelling were difficult, and
steel sets were installed on 1.22 m centres.
The Bow Ridge Fault, encountered
Part of the ESF main tunnel with verification of the function of the products approximately 200 m into the mountain,
typical ground support installed. used. was filled with a soil-like, weak tuffaceous
A 7.8 km-long tunnel, which is a part of material, having an unconfined compres-
the ESF, has been completed. Investigations sive strength as low as 1.4 MPa. Even
to determine the suitability of Yucca though the fault had slipped approximately
Mountain as a potential repository are well 100 m, it was only a few metres wide.
underway, following which a repository After crossing the fault, the TBM entered
licence application will be submitted to the softer material in which steering was diffi-
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. cult. Ground was lost above the TBM,
necessitating backfilling and grouting of
Exploratory Studies Facility the void created.
For about 1,000 m, tunnelling was
The 7.8 km-long, 7.6 m-diameter ESF through the Imbricate Fault Zone, which
tunnel was excavated by Kiewit/PB using proved very difficult. Minor faulting
a CTS TBM to a design by TRW events had caused through-going joints,
Environmental Safety Systems Inc. By oriented in the same direction, closely
examining the surface and the underground spaced and nearly parallel. This, in combi-
space that will be accessed via the ESF, the nation with low stressed rock, led to block
scientists will be able to thoroughly inves- fallouts, and steel sets combined with steel
tigate rock strength and movement, lagging had to be used extensively.
groundwater, and earthquake and volcanic Close to the Ghost Dance Fault, two
activity. testing alcoves were excavated to gain
Other factors that will be considered in access to the fault deep inside Yucca
the site characterization include: geologic Mountain.
history; geologic information; public After approximately 2,700 m of tun-
safety and concerns; local economic and nelling from the entrance at the North
socio-economic impacts; environmental Portal, the TBM reached the Topopah
concern; ease and cost of constructing and Spring potential repository host rock at
operating the site; and the effect of high approximately 300 m depth. In this forma-
temperatures on the strata. tion, 3,000 m of the ESF main tunnel was


RR3/RC5.qxd 23/6/05 11:10 Page 79


constructed using Swellex bolts, wire mesh

and rolled steel channels for support, and
high advance rates were achieved.

NQA System Applied to

Ground Support
Since the ESF is an underground labora-
tory, where rock characteristics are studied,
the DoE stresses that ground support must
not interfere with the geotechnical and
geological testing. Also, the final ground
support system must be installed as the
tunnel progresses.
The tunnel must be reinforced in such a
way that stored nuclear waste could be
retrieved 100 years after it is put in place.
Hence, the ground support must ensure tion to this, steel reinforced concrete Each steel set and position for the
long-term stability and maintainability. inverts were installed as the TBM Super Swellex bolts has a number, for
Cement grouted rebar bolts cannot be advanced, providing the surface and track the installation report.
used in areas where scientific investiga- to support the TBM trailing gear.
tions will take place, because the grout About 70% of the tunnel has been sup-
may penetrate rock fractures and contami- ported by Super Swellex rockbolts, with
nate test results. Also, due to the curing steel sets used for the remaining 30%.
time of the grout, this type of bolt cannot More than 20,000 Super Swellex bolts
be tested immediately after installation. have been installed in the ESF tunnel.
There is also a ban on the use of epoxy The Super Swellex rockbolt is a friction
resin based rockbolting systems, since the bolt manufactured by Atlas Copco. The
amount of organic material in the tunnel bolt is made from a welded circular steel
has to be minimized in order not to pose tube, then folded on itself into a ‘W’-shape
any threat to nuclear waste packages. to decrease the diameter. Bushings are then Installing Atlas Copco Super Swellex
The use of shotcrete is limited, since it pressed onto the collapsed steel tube, and from the TBM bolting station in
can interfere with geological mapping and the ends sealed by welding, to create a competent ground.
geochemical tests.
For many such reasons, Swellex rock-
bolts, manufactured by Atlas Copco, were
approved for permanent rock reinforce-
ment in the ESF tunnel.
Procurement of ground support materi-
als requires lifetime documentation and
traceability, from materials used in the
manufacturing, to fully inspected installa-
tions. Records are kept in a thorough and
precise way, and internal and external
audits are carried out to certify that every-
thing is done according to specifications
and procedures.

Ground Support System

As main support, 3 m-long Super Swellex
bolts complete with the domed Super
Swellex face plate on a 1.5 to 1 m pattern,
depending on ground conditions, were
used, together with a 250 mm rolled steel
channel and welded wire fabric (WWF).
The steel channel and WWF prevent rocks
falling from the roof of the tunnel. In addi-


RR3/RC5.qxd 23/6/05 11:10 Page 80


spacing was 1,500 mm, with allowable

maximum of 1,687 mm. Spacing and pres-
surization of the bolts was monitored to
verify that they were properly installed,
with a pressure between 290 and 310 bar.
The Swellex pump unit was checked
with a calibrated gauge at least once a day
by the Shift Engineer to ensure that the
pump was giving the correct pressure.
During tunnelling, five out of every 100
rockbolts installed were tested to check if
the proof load was reached.
If the TBM entered a new geological
formation, five destructive pull-tests were
carried out to verify that the Swellex bolts
met the minimum anchoring requirement.
Complementary to this, 20 non-destruc-
tive pull-test were made. Not a single bolt
failed in the pull-out tests.

Future Tunnelling
Further tunnelling since completion of the
ESF tunnel has included the 2.681 km-long
exploratory East-West Cross Drift Tunnel
across the potential repository. This
employed a 5 m-diameter Robbins hard-
rock TBM, which started at an intersection
Using the drill feed to press the screen confined space inside the bolt. A hole is with the North Ramp of the ESF and, after
against the rock while installing a then drilled in the lower bushing. When an initial curve, followed a tangential
Swellex rockbolt. the bolt has been positioned in the bore- alignment, and crossed over the proposed
hole, water is injected through the hole repository block west of the main loop of
drilled in the bushing, causing the tube to the ESF tunnel, to terminate in the
unfold. At 30 Mpa the bolt is full expanded Topopah Springs geological formation.
in the hole, and the pump automatically Once again, Super Swellex 1.8 m-long
stops. As the pressure inside the bolt rockbolts were used for ground support on
reaches 30 Mpa, the steel tubing adapts to a 1.2 m x 1.2 m grid over the full crown,
the shape of the borehole, and may consol- with welded wire mesh and 1.2 m-long
idate the surrounding material while it steel channels. A total of 20 steel sets was
expands to fit the irregularities of the hole. required in only one area of the tunnel,
The resulting frictional and mechanical where the Super Swellex bolts could not
interlocking reinforces and increases the provide long-term support. The TBM aver-
stability of the rock surrounding the drilled age advance was 25 m/day over 106
hole. mining days, with a best shift of 34.6 m,
When each batch of bolts arrived at site, best day of 73.2 m, and best week of
the Kiewit/PB Quality Control group car- 266.7 m. The TBM was mining for only
ried out thorough tests and inspections to 25% of the time, due to the concurrent
verify that they had not been contaminated scientific and environmental experiments
or damaged, and that the dimensions were being carried out.
according to the specifications. The design of the repository is not yet
Rockbolt drilling and installation was finalized. However, a system of tunnels
carried out at two stations on the TBM. At totalling more than 200 km is being
the first station, four Swellex bolts were discussed in which more than 1 million bolts
installed, together with the screen and the will be installed over a period of 20 years.
channel. At the second station three holes Following the signing of the Yucca
were drilled, and the remaining three bolts Mountain Resolution on 23rd July, 2002,
installed, including the bolt located at the the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is con-
highest point in the tunnel. The nominal sidering licensing the repository. ■


RR3/RC6.QXD 23/6/05 11:12 Page 81


Swellex Versatility in Tunnelling

Fast Installation and Project: 1.1 km and 2.3 km twin tube, three-lane road tunnels,
150 sq m section.
Immediate Support Location: Motorway between Germany and Czech Republic.
Excavation method: Drill/blast, top heading and benching.
Since the introduction of the Atlas
Copco COP series of high-performance Contractor: Walter Bau.
rock drills, drilling is no longer neces- Rock: Syenite, fractured and weathered in places.
sarily the bottleneck in tunnelling Rock reinforcement requirement: Immediate support, due to
operations. Mounted on sophisticat- large span.
ed rigs, drilling preset hole patterns Rockbolt selected: Super Swellex, and Boodex close to the
with contour and profile control,
these machines have encouraged portals.
their owners to reappraise every
aspect of the face operation.
Inevitably, focus has been brought
to bear on the rock reinforcement
systems in use, and their impact on
overall productivity. Fast drilling and
slow rockbolting rarely make eco-
nomic sense, not least because
expensive equipment may be under-
utilized, while conditions are made
In this environment, Swellex bolts
come into their own, as the most
cost-effective solution. They are fast
to install, and give immediate sup-
port, making the face available for
further operations in the shortest
possible time. The following case
studies trace this theme, through dif-
ficult motorway tunnels in Germany
and Spain, fast-advancing railway
tunnels in China and Switzerland,
and in the new road system on the
volcanic Atlantic island of Madeira.

Driving from Dresden to

The new 200 km-long A17 autobahn under
construction from Prague in the Czech
Republic to Dresden in eastern Germany
will provide the Czech capital with rapid
access to northern Europe and the North
Sea ports, and will also form a vital section
of the Trans-European road network.
The most difficult part of this section is
the 8.85 km-long alignment from Gorbitz
to Sudvorstadt, where contractor Walter
Bau undertook the twin-tube, three-lane
1.1 km-long Doelzschen and the 2.3 km-
long Coschutz tunnels using sequential
excavation techniques.
Both tunnel alignments are predomi-
nantly in syenite, a hard rock with around
Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer 352 umbrella drilling at Dresden.
10% quartz content. They were each


RR3/RC6.QXD 23/6/05 11:12 Page 82


driven by drill/blast in a single direction early support, and 5% of these were ran-
from twin portals. domly tested at 10 t pulling pressure, as a
Top headings of 72 sq m section preced- routine stipulated in the contract.
ed the benches, advancing mainly in soft, Where immediate support is required,
mixed ground requiring a lot of support. Swellex rockbolts can be in place and pro-
The full, flattened ovoid section of viding full support up to seven hours
150 sq m was achieved with a 41 sq m earlier than conventional cement grouted
following bench, and a 37 sq m invert. bolts. This was invaluable in the softer
A total of eight Atlas Copco Boomer ground towards the ends of the tunnels,
352 drillrigs were used for face drilling, where pattern rockbolting was used.
rockbolting, and umbrella drilling. Face Elsewhere, in better rock conditions, the
drilling in the top headings was undertaken contractor favoured the system because
by two Atlas Copco 352 Boomers, stand- Swellex bolts are fast to install and offer
ing side by side. The added flexibility of guaranteed support. The consistent use of
the two-rig system speeded up the drilling top specification rockbolts was reckoned to
and charging process, to the extent that the improve the overall quality and integrity of
entire excavation cycle could be completed the tunnel.
in 2.5 h. This facilitated up to four rounds When the ground got too soft for con-
in each 24 h period, leaving 14 h available ventional excavation, two Atlas Copco
for support work and rock reinforcement, Boomer 352 machines equipped with drill-
much of which was scheduled for the night rod cassettes were available. These drilled
shift. 15 m-long holes around the periphery of
Heavy-gauge steel arches were set in the crown, using Odex eccentric bits and
the top headings, with two layers of Q378 extension drillrods. The holes were then
steel mesh and two applications of shot- lined with perforated steel tubes, through
crete to roof, sides and floor. A row of which cement grout was pumped to form a
4 m-long Swellex rockbolts was set in a protective umbrella. Beneath this umbrella,
22 m-long radial arch at the face to give a 12 m advance could safely be made.

1,800 m into deep valleys. Roads are tortu-

Project: A dozen km-long road tunnels, each around 60 sq m
ous and often dangerous, and travelling is
fraught with problems. Inland routes are
Location: Madeira Island, a self-governing region of Portugal.
slow and winding, and the coastal roads
Excavation method: Drill/blast, mostly at full section.
are fringed by high cliffs, and are prone to
Contractors: Zagope, Tamega, Epos, and Avelino Farinha &
rock falls caused by winter floods from the
Rock: Volcanic formations with lava streams, fractured basalt,
Tunnels have been employed to carry
ashes and tuff.
the roads beneath the mountains and under
Rock reinforcement requirement: Versatile system to cope with
the cliffs, levelling the routes and making
extremely irregular geology.
them safer. The picturesque Via Rapida
Rockbolt selected: Standard Swellex.
road from the airport to the capital Funchal
is a typical example, running over bridges
Fast Bolt for Madeira and through 22 tunnels, with a further six
to be constructed.
The chain of mountain peaks that forms The new Via Rapida tunnels were built
the Madeira Islands, an autonomous by three contractors: Zagope; Tamega; and
Portuguese region with its own govern- Avelino Farinha & Agrela. Rocket Boomer
ment, rises some 5,300 m from the bed of 104 and 135 drillrigs were used, two of a
the Atlantic Ocean. Madeira is the largest total of eleven Rocket Boomer rigs that are
island of the archipelago, and is 57 km- employed on tunnelling projects in
long and 22 km-wide. It has a population Madeira. Atlas Copco Swellex rockbolts
of around 260,000, of whom 120,000 live are also a favourite reinforcement method
in the capital, Funchal. The islands are in the typical strata of volcanic basalt and
located 545 km from the coast of north tuff.
Africa, having been formed by volcanic The Porto Moniz project, near São
eruption. The resulting mountains are Vicente, comprised five tunnels up to
steep, and plunge from elevations of 1,269 m-long. It was designed to divert


RR3/RC6.QXD 23/6/05 11:12 Page 83


heavy traffic from the scenic coastal road

that runs under the cliffs by the ocean. This
is a dangerous route, not least because of
rock falls and floods. Portuguese contrac-
tor Tecnorocha used three of their fleet of
nine Atlas Copco Boomer drill rigs
equipped with COP 1238 rock drills to
develop the tunnels. Blastholes were
4.2 m-deep, and advance varied between
3.5 m and 4 m/blast, resulting in an aver-
age advance of 7 m/24 h.
Standard Swellex rockbolts, together
with mesh and shotcrete, provided the per-
manent support, because they proved to be
the most cost-effective solution. The speed
of installation enabled Tecnorocha to finish
the project sooner, and utilize their equip-
ment more efficiently.
The Ecumeada Tunnel, built through the
Serra de Agua mountain in the centre of
the island, is the longest single tunnel at
3.1 km, and has cut driving time from the
north to the south coast by 20 minutes,
making the journey much safer.
Contractor EPOS excavated the tunnel
by drill and blast, using Standard Swellex
rockbolts, together with steel fibre rein-
forced shotcrete when the rock was good
enough, and steel arches, together with
wire mesh and shotcrete, when it was not.
The volcanic rock formations are prone to
change very quickly, and heavy water
inflows were often experienced. The geo-
technical engineer reported that the
Swellex bolts proved very quick and easy
to install, and provided good reinforcement Boomer 352 installed 15 bolts/h with a Porto Moniz, Madeira, where
in the constantly changing rock conditions. pneumatic Swellex pump, and up to 30 topography favours tunnels as a
Ponta do Sol was a project comprising bolts/h using a hydraulic pump. means of shortening distances.
three road tunnels, with a total length of Very large water inflows were experi-
1,900 m, where Avelino Farinha & Agrela enced, and a waterproof plastic membrane
used an Atlas Copco Boomer 352 for was installed prior to the final 25 cm-thick,
drilling the blast holes and bolt holes. cast-in-place concrete lining. The heads of
Rock reinforcement comprised Swellex all bolts were cut away to provide an even
rockbolts, wire mesh and shotcrete. A surface for the membrane.

Hong Kong Cannot Wait Projects: Tai Lam tunnel–West Rail, 5.5 km, 110 sq m. Black Hill
and Pak Shing Kok tunnels, 20.5 km on the MTRC (metro),
Major new tunnelling operations in Hong
80 sq m.
Kong have used Atlas Copco drilling and
Location: Hong Kong, China.
bolting equipment fitted with the very
Excavation method: Drill/blast, full section.
latest computerized capabilities, together
Contractors: Nishimatsu-Dragages joint venture, Dumez.
with Swellex rockbolts and full service
Rock: Mainly hard rock, such as granite.
back-up agreements.
Rock reinforcement requirement: High productivity systems to
The 5.5 km, 110 sq m Tai Lam tunnel
speed up excavation.
on the West Rail development was a
Rockbolt selected: Standard Swellex.
Nishimatsu-Dragages joint venture, with
the two contractors driving the single


RR3/RC6.QXD 23/6/05 11:12 Page 84


long, five-station extension which will

serve a population of 340,000. A major
factor in the progress of both projects was
the performance of six Atlas Copco L2 C
Rocket Boomer rigs.
The Black Hill tunnels total 8 km, with
four tunnels designed to serve the up and
down trains of two MTR lines, and a
centre siding. Here, six junction chambers,
and two crossovers with 80 sq m cross sec-
tions, were excavated by joint venture con-
tractors Dumez of France and Chun Wo of
Hong Kong.
The contractor used three new Rocket
Boomer L2 C rigs for face drilling, and
two second-hand Boomer 281 units for
rockbolting. The rigs drilled 4.6 m rounds,
and some 30 m/day were achieved for all
four tunnels, with a best daily advance for
a single face of more than 12 m.
The Pak Shing Kok tunnels project was
also a complex job, with nine tunnels
totalling 6.4 km built by a jv of Hyundai
and Kier International. Tunnelling was car-
ried out in a mixture of volcanic tuff and
granite, using three Rocket Boomer L2 C
Rocket Boomers WL3 C drilling tunnel from opposite ends. Nishimatsu’s drillrigs with two booms, drilling to a
rockbolt holes at Tai Lam in Hong stretch was 2.6 km-long, and they achieved depth of 4.2 m. Poor rock areas required
Kong. an average advance of 200 m/month with around 60,000 cu m of fibre-reinforced
Rocket Boomer WL3 C rigs. Their best shotcrete, and some 5,000 Atlas Copco
monthly performance was 230 m, with two Swellex rockbolts. Swellex was chosen
blasts/day, using the fully-automated ABC primarily for its fast installation time of
mode for 80% of the time. around one minute, compared to the 10-15
Atlas Copco agreed a drillmetre con- minutes for conventional bolts.
tract linked to spare parts and rock drilling Although the tunnels are amongst the
tools supply, as well as an around-the- most complicated on the MTR, the con-
clock service arrangement. tractor was able to maintain an average
The Black Hill and Pak Shing Kok progress of 550 m/month, completing the
tunnel projects on the MTRC Tseung job in less than a year, compared to the
Kwan O Extension are part of a 12.5 km- forecast of 18 months.

Holding Fast on Slipping Biscay, from San Sebastian in the east to

La Coruña in the west, linking the cities of
Ground Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, Gijón and La
In Spain, the Autovia del Cantabríco Coruña. The project and works promoter is
motorway will eventually run some the Ministry of Public Works. Parts of the
500 km along the coast of the Bay of eastern section are already open to traffic.
Other sections, like the 65 km-long stretch
Project: 1.3 km El Fabar, twin tube road tunnel. from Ribadesella to Gijón, are under
Location: Northern Spain construction.
Excavation method: Drill/blast, top heading and bench. The 1.3 km-long El Fabar twin tubes, in
Contractor: Joint venture Dragados and FCC. predominantly fractured limestone with slate
Rock: Weak strata of slates and fractured limestone. and quartzite, were driven by a jv of FCC
Rock reinforcement requirement: Anchorage capacity, even in and Dragados using Atlas Copco Rocket
clay-bearing formations. Boomer L2 C drillrigs on each face. Three
Rockbolt selected: Standard Swellex. Atlas Copco Wagner ST 8A Scooptrams
were employed shifting the muck.


RR3/RC6.QXD 23/6/05 11:12 Page 85


The 54 sq m top headings were driven

some 700 m from the east end, then the
whole operation moved to the west portals.
The top headings were holed through in
the middle of the tunnel before bench
excavation started. The Scooptrams were
fully effective at this range and section,
enabling the normal number of load/haul
operators to be halved.
The Boomer L2 C units drilled 40-50
blastholes per round, with the fractured
rock limiting depth to 1.5 m, and steel arch
support with mesh and reinforced concrete
was required. For every metre of advance,
ten 3.6 m Swellex rockbolts were installed
for instant support, in holes drilled by the
Boomer rigs.
A 24 h/day, 6 day/week schedule was
operated at the site, with the average daily
advance 4 m on each face. Rocket Boomer L2 C in top heading at El Fabar.

AlpTransit, Largest European Projects: Gotthard base tunnel, 57 km; Lotschberg base tunnel,
Tunnelling Project 34 km.
Location: Switzerland
Lotschberg was being driven from the Excavation method: Drill/blast, full section and top heading;
south by a 9.38 m-diameter TBM from the TBM 9.43 m diameter.
Raron portal and a similar machine from Contractors: Satco jv (Mitholz), MaTrans jv (Raron), Ast-
the Steg lateral adit. Both of these were Holzmann (Amsteg).
gripper TBMs, each equipped with work Designers: Consortium of best Swiss engineering and
platforms with anchor drills immediately consulting companies.
behind the face. Rockbolting and meshing Rock: Mainly hard rock such as granite, limestone, schist,
was undertaken 4.2 m behind the cutter- gneiss, granodiorite, amphibolite.
head, and this is followed by independently Rock reinforcement requirement: Safety; versatility to cope
operated shotcrete robots, which sprayed a with geology and load requirements; high productivity with
concrete lining over the crown. Yielding drill/blast and TBM; some rock bolts have to withstand rock
Swellex was installed to counter expected bursts.
problems of rockburst, caused by the Rockbolts selected: Standard Swellex, Super Swellex, Yielding
increased overburden in competent gneiss. Super Swellex.
In rockburst, the pressure builds up in the
rock around the tunnel perimeter, and can
yield explosively, causing dangerous Operations in the north were concentrat-
spalling. If the rockbolt is designed to take ed at the lateral adit at Mitholz, from where
up some of this swelling pressure, then the two faces were driven south, and one north,
bursting effect can be mitigated without using Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer XL3 C
compromising on support. three-boom rigs. These are each followed
Experience gained at Raron has been by a suspended trailing backup carrying
used to develop the new Swellex transformers, cable reels, ventilation fans
Manganese Line, which offers more load- and ancillary equipment. A full 8 m-wide x
ing capacity and enhanced elongation. 8.5 m-high face was drilled to 4.5 m depth
COP 1432 rock drills speeded up the for each blast. During and after mucking
drilling, and the easy and fast installation out, the blasted area was mechanically
of the Swellex bolts provided immediate scaled, and the roof and sides were shot-
support behind the TBM. The TBMs creted. Some 20-30 Swellex 3 m or 4 m
advanced an average of around 90 m/week. rockbolts were then installed into holes


RR3/RC6.QXD 23/6/05 11:12 Page 86


At Alptransit Gotthard, contractor Ast

Holzmann completed the 1.78 km Amsteg
access adit on a 1% downgrade through the
Aar Massiv and Erstfeld gneiss to the main
tunnel horizon, where four faces were
An Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer 353E
drillrig was used on the adit to drill a full
face of 105-110 holes to an average 3.5 m
depth. The face took around 1 h 50 min to
drill out, and the holes were charged with
aluminized slurry with non-electric detona-
tion. Average daily advance was 10 m, or
four rounds.
Swellex rockbolts of lengths 3 m or 4 m
were installed into holes drilled by the
Boomer 353E, using the rig basket for
access. Following each second round of
advance, a 5 cm layer of shotcrete was
applied to the roof. A further 5 cm of fibre-
reinforced shotcrete was then applied to
the walls, and another 2 cm to the roof.
At the base of the adit, a 90 m-long x
13 m-wide x 12.5 m-high transformer
room was excavated, again using the
Rocket Boomer. This was advanced as an
8.5 m-high top heading and 4 m bench to
create a 125 sq m cross-section, reducing
Mountain of Swellex at Mitholz on drilled by the Boomer XL3 C. In squeezing
AlpTransit Lotschberg.
to 108 sq m at the back. Most of the sup-
ground, wire mesh and fibre reinforced
port was by 3 m and 4 m-long Swellex set
shotcrete were used, and, in the extreme
in 38 mm holes.
south of the drive, where crystalline rock
The junction with the running tunnels is
may produce rockbursts, Swellex
Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer XL3 C, one hugely impressive, particularly in view of
Manganese and MAI SDA were used.
of three delivered to Mitholz. the 1,000 m of overburden at this point.
The profile of the running tunnels was near
perfect, with average overbreak of
18-22 cm measured by the Bever profiler
on the drillrig.
Two 9.58 m TBMs started on the
11.4 km drives towards Sedrun in mid-
2003, with 40 m-long crosspassages at
320 m intervals.
In the opposite direction, excavation
towards the portals has not yet started.
Meantime, Murer and Strabag have driven
a 1.88 km-long cable tunnel between the
transformer room and the existing Amsteg
power station using a Robbins 3.7 m-diam-
eter hardrock TBM.
Swellex has a prominent role in
AlpTransit, since Swiss designers can rely
on the safety and controllability of its
installation, as well as its versatility, which
is particularly important in long and deep
tunnels. Contractors are happy that
Swellex is a good investment, improving
productivity and helping to keep costs
under control. ■


RR3/RC7.qxd 23/6/05 11:13 Page 87


Rapid Support Behind the TBM

Improving Utilization Project: Pilot tunnel for motorway link road.
Location: Alassio, Italy.
For TBM tunnelling, the Alpine and Excavation method: Open face TBM.
Appenninic geology of Italy is both Contractor: Ilbau srl.
good and bad. The relatively hard
rock suits TBM tunnelling, but
Rock: Soft, dry, non-abrasive calacareous marls, some clay and
volcanic and seismic activity over blocky rocks.
the millennia has rendered it highly Rock reinforcement required: Fast, dependable roof support
fractured and disturbed, requiring a with five-year life.
relatively high degree of support. Rockbolt selected: Swellex.
TBM utilization in Italy can be as low
as 30% to 50%, with rock support
and reinforcement accounting for
50%, or more, of the total production
Alassio Motorway Link Road
When rock support is required in Ilbau, a division of Austrian contractor
conjunction with a TBM operation, Strabag, has excavated a total of over
consideration must be given to 100 km of TBM tunnels, of which more
the type of support required, and than 50 km are in Italy. The company
how quickly it can be installed. In employed its veteran 3.6 m-diameter Jarva
highly fractured rock, reinforcement,
principally rockbolts, should be Mk12 TBM to excavate the pilot for the
installed as quickly, and as close 2.4 km-long two-lane road tunnel on a new
to the face, as possible. However, link road between Alassio and the nearby
for most types of TBM, installing Genoa-Firenze motorway. The four-lane
support close to the face results highway was built in the 1960s, and passes
in downtime. Given the relatively
through many tunnels and over many
high cost/m of TBM tunnelling,
such stoppages are a major concern bridges on its route parallel with the Italian
for both the contractor and the coast. As with all TBM projects, the aim at
client. Developments in the speed Alassio was to install adequate support
and ease with which support can with minimum impact on TBM productivity.
be applied to improve TBM utiliza- With a stroke of 1.2 m and a cutterhead
tion are of interest to all parties
body of about 2 m, the Jarva TBM allowed
involved in TBM tunnelling in dis-
turbed rock. The main challenge is to installation of immediate support within
limit machine downtime and increase 3 m of the face. However, since this
productivity while at all times involved TBM downtime, it was kept to a
respecting safety requirements. At minimum, with most support work carried
Alassio, the client specified Swellex out concurrent with TBM advance from
and supplied a stock of bolts to the
contractor, such was the interest in the platform on the trailing backup some
improving TBM utilization. 16 m back. This also allowed installation
of truly radial rockbolts in the crown.

Ground support by rock classification

behind a TBM.


RR3/RC7.qxd 23/6/05 11:13 Page 88


Table 1. Comparison of rock classifications methods. defined bedding, some clay content, and
zones of fractured and blocky rock. Rock
Class Bieniawski 1973 Deere 1969 Barton 1974 O-Norm
quality tends to change very rapidly, and
RMR RQD Q Class (3.9 m dia. TBM)
often from stroke to stroke of the TBM.
I 83 90 33.0 F1-F2 As a rock reinforcing tool, Swellex is
II 67 75-90 12.5 F3 effective over a particularly wide range of
III 52 50-90 8.5 F4 rock and soil types. In Ilbau’s table of rock
IV 29 25-50 1.5 F5 support for instance, Swellex is applicable
V 15 less than 25 0.09 F6 in all classes requiring rock bolts, from
class F1 to F6. By specifying Swellex, there
As part of its contract, Ilbau was respon- is no need to keep a stock of any other type
sible for the design of the pilot tunnel sup- of bolt on site. Together with its ease of
port. For more reliable estimating, and application and immediate support poten-
easier communication with its client, Ilbau tial, Swellex has the all-round advantage.
developed a rock class and support mea- In the first 1,918 m of the Alassio pilot
surement system specifically for TBM tun- tunnel, required support was mostly that of
nelling (Table 1). Adapted from established types F2 to F4, with 15% in type F5. Swellex
Austrian practice, the table not only consid- reinforcement over the same length averaged
ers the most appropriate rock support for about four bolts/linear metre, 60% of which
given rock conditions, but also specifies were 1.5 m-long, and the remainder 2.1 m.
where, and how quickly, the support should Support installed was about 10% more than
be installed. In better rock conditions originally estimated, with a corresponding
(Classes F1, F2 and F3) bolts, mesh and 10% reduction in productivity.
shotcrete could be installed from the work- Swellex, wire mesh and shotcrete were
ing platform without interrupting TBM used in fault zones where roof falls had
progress. In Classes F4, F5 and F6, support occurred. In other areas, thin layers of shot-
must be installed as close to the face as pos- crete spalled off, with small falls of rock
sible, and requires a halt in TBM advance. away from bedding planes. These created no
Class F7 constitutes rock with no self- serious safety hazards, and confirmed that
supporting capacity. In such conditions, Ilbau was installing adequate support for a
ground consolidation techniques, or full pilot tunnel, neither too much, nor too little.
lining support with ribs and timber lagging Rock support accounted for approxi-
or bolted liner plates, may be required. In mately 50% of TBM downtime on the
zones of extremely difficult ground, con- Alassio pilot tunnel, with most falling into
solidation and support measures ahead of support types F2 to F4, and 15% in type F5.
the TBM should be considered. To monitor the quantity and quality of
At Alassio, because of the potential support installed, the client’s consultant
impact on TBM utilization, the payment geologist visited the site about twice a
schedule for rockbolting and other support week. In addition, the consultant monitored
requirements varied according to where it geotechnical instrumentation installed by
was installed, with higher unit prices for Ilbau. Along the tunnel there were 15 con-
support installed close to the face, involv- vergence measuring stations, and three sta-
ing TBM downtime. tions containing three groups of 1.5 m, 3 m,
The client specified the use of Swellex and 4.5 m long extensometers in the crown
for rock reinforcement at Alassio, and sup- and into each wall, as well as five tangen-
plied the requisite bolts to Ilbau for installa- tial and five radial pressure cells. Data
tion. Although sometimes perceived as more gathered greatly assisted the main tunnel
expensive than alternative rock support and final support and lining designs.
reinforcement systems, the unit price of The TBM completed the 2,472 m-long
Swellex becomes substantially less signifi- pilot tunnel in eight months, working
cant when compared with the costs saved in 127 h/week on a 2 x 11 h shift/day, 5.5
labour and TBM downtime. The easy han- days/week, and broke through on schedule.
dling of Swellex is welcomed by tunnelling Average advance was about 15 m/day, with
crews, and its geomechanical properties and a best advance of 53 m/day in class 2 rock,
speed of installation are attractive to consult- installing 110 bolts, mainly from the backup
ing engineers, clients and contractors. platform. This was close to the optimum
Alassio geology comprises mainly soft, 60 m/day achievable in a short tunnel oper-
dry, non-abrasive calcareous marls with ating a single track muck hauling system.


RR3/RC7.qxd 23/6/05 11:13 Page 89


Val d’Arzino Water Diversion Project: Water diversion tunnel.

Location: Arzino River, Pordenone, Italy.
The Val d’Arzino is north of Venice, near
Excavation method: Robbins 4.5 m-diameter TBM.
the border with Slovenia and Austria. A
Contractor: Ilbau, Austria.
scheme to divert water from Arzino River
Rock: Limestone and marl, interspersed with mudstone,
to the city of Pordenone included a tunnel,
claystone and weathered formations.
5.7 km long, 4.5 m diameter, with a slope
Rock reinforcement required: Rapid support behind TBM in
inclination of 1.5% to 2%, mostly through
variable strata.
stable limestone and marl strata. The older
Rockbolt selected: Swellex.
formations overthrust the younger strata,
and the tunnel crosses the main fault zone.
The area is highly seismic, and, in 1976, a
major earthquake with epicentre near the
Val d’Arzino was apparently linked to the
faults crossed by the tunnel. The rock
encountered along the tunnel alignment
demonstrated a large variation in stability.
A large section of the tunnel (63%) was
driven through good, fair or fairly unstable
rock (Class Fl to F3), but the remainder was
through difficult, unstable ground (Class F4
to F6). The weak formations include rocks
such as marl, mudstone and claystone, with
faults, overthrusts, and weathered rock close
to the surface or affected by underground
water. The challenge was to select a
machine with high productivity in good
rock, but which would still be able to over-
Effect of rock conditions on the 4.5 m TBM at Val d’Arzino.
come difficulties in weak and unstable rock.
The contractor, Ilbau, used a brand new
Robbins TBM, with Swellex rockbolts as
support. Average advance rate was
20.9 m/day and 453 m/month, and highest
advance rate was 90 m/day and
808 m/month. TBM utilization varied from
a maximum of 45% in Class Fl to a mini-
mum of 8.5% in Class F6, averaging
25.6%. The penetration rate was between Rock class distribution at Alassio.
5.5 m/h in Class Fl and 3.5 in Class F5.
Rock reinforcement took 44.4% of the
total time. The contractor worked 2
shifts/day, 11 hours/shift.
Best performance was 54 m/day in
Class Fl, but a significant achievement was
7.4 m/day in Class F6, where heavy rock
reinforcement was required, and only 2 m
to 4 m/day would be expected. It is inter-
esting to note that the good overall perfor-
mance was achieved in spite of two poor
months of around 50 m/month.
A delay was caused by an unexpected
methane gas inflow emanating from a
black marl formation, which accumulated
close to the machine and caused an explo-
sion. Luckily nobody was injured, but tun-
nelling stopped for three weeks to upgrade
gas detection, install safety devices, and
improve ventilation systems.


RR3/RC7.qxd 23/6/05 11:13 Page 90


Alto Adige was a pilot project for Italy

Project: Underground sewage treatment plant and tunnels.
as a whole, with a view to building other
Location: Media Pusteria valley, Alto Adige, Italy.
facilities such as reservoirs, storage depots,
Excavation methods: 3.9 m-diameter TBM, drill/blast.
car parks and sport and recreational facili-
Contractor: Ilbau srl.
ties underground.
Rock: Alpine schist.
The plant consists of a 950 m-long,
Rock reinforcement required: 3 m and 4.5 m bolts for pilot
3.9 m-diameter headrace tunnel, which
tunnel and cavern support.
conveys the sewage into large caverns
Rockbolts selected: Standard Swellex, Super Swellex.
where screening, desanding, degreasing,
preliminary sedimentation, biological and
chemical treatment, are carried out.
Alto Adige Treatment Plant Some of the resulting sludge is pro-
cessed for agricultural applications, and
The Alto Adige area of the Italian Alps is a some is converted into biological gas to
paradise of mountains, valleys and rivers, feed a built-in heating plant, achieving a
where protection of the environment is of 50% saving in energy costs.
paramount importance, especially as the The headrace tunnel and 326 m-long
local economy relies heavily on tourism. pilot tunnel for the central cavern were
This was uppermost in the minds of plan- driven by an Atlas Copco Jarva Mk12
ners when a sewage treatment plant TBM. Standard Swellex bolts were
became an urgent necessity in the Media used for reinforcement in the pilot tunnel,
Pusteria valley, near the Austrian border. and more than 4,000 Super Swellex in
Rather than upset the environmentalists, 3 m and 4.5 m lengths were used for
they opted to place the 25,000 sq m plant reinforcement of the central and side
underground. This plant is the first of its caverns.
kind in central Europe, and will serve Blasthole drilling was carried out by an
95,000 people, cleaning 95% of phospho- Atlas Copco Boomer H 188 two-boom rig,
rus, nitrogen and other oxygen-depleting equipped with service platform. In the
pollution out of the waste water. The plant drilling and bolting operations, Atlas
will occupy the smallest possible surface Copco Secoroc rock tools were used
area at the bottom of the valley, eliminat- throughout, drilling 51 mm and 64 mm
ing odour and noise, and will also be safer holes. Bolting, using both Super Swellex
in the event of earthquakes. The design and cable bolts, was carried out with an
and size are in accordance with the latest Atlas Copco rig equipped with a BUT 35
European regulations, and will achieve boom and automatic rod adding system. A
strict purification limits. service contract provided for regular
maintenance of the COP rockdrills,
TBM usage statistics for different rock types. which were dispatched to the Atlas
Copco workshop in Milan after every
Relation between Classification, ROP and TBM Utilization 5,000 drillmetres.
Above ground, an Atlas Copco ROC
Rock ROP Utilization Daily Thrust Cutter load Torque 612HC with folding boom was used for
(m/h) % average (bar) (t/cutter) (amps) benching on the construction site where
(m/day) the administration and service buildings
J1 4.61 35.2 35.7 99.5 14.3 125
were erected.
The site manager found it a great bene-
J2 5.88 38.0 49.2 82.7 11.9 138 fit to have a single supplier covering the
J3 3.96 47.1 41.0 93.1 13.4 137 job, for drillrigs, rock drilling tools, and
T1 4.71 46.6 48.3 86.9 12.5 133 rock reinforcement. In addition, where
R 7.70 25.6 43.3 73.7 10.6 144
drilling long holes for bolting in a narrow
space is normally difficult, the rod
LT 5.27 19.9 23.1 56.1 8.1 114 adding system on the BUT 35 boom made
F 5.22 21.4 24.5 62.4 9.0 130 it easy.
CF 5.28 38.4 44.6 76.2 10.9 128 The geologist found that the Swellex
bolts fulfilled their safety function
J1 to LT are volcanic rocks-pyroclastites. excellently in the schist rock. They were
F and CF are Brixen quartz-phyllites. fast to install and gave immediate rock
support. ■


RR3/RC8 23/6/05 11:16 Page 91


Swellex in Large Hydroelectric

Construction Reliability Project: San Roque on Agno River, 345 MW.
Location: Philippines.
International consultants are increas- Excavation method: Drill/blast.
ingly specifying Swellex in their Contractor: Raytheon Ebasco Overseas Limited.
designs for hydro projects, because
of the need for absolute controllabil- Designer: Golder Associates.
ity of installation. Unlike railway and Rock: Mainly volcanic tuff.
highway tunnels, hydro tunnels are Rock reinforcement requirement: Quality control, capacity to
not easy to inspect, so there has to work in soft and weak rock.
be a greater emphasis on reliability Rockbolt selected: Super Swellex.
of construction methods and materi-
als. The fact that projects can be
designed in one country for construc-
tion in another, using materials from
a variety of sources, can be a cause
of great concern to both the hydro
tunnel designer and his client. Using
Swellex as the specified support
system reassures both parties that
the quality, flexibility and reliability
factors are fully covered.

Removing the Bottleneck at

San Roque
US contractor Raytheon Ebasco Overseas
Ltd. (REOL) was responsible for the San
Roque dam project on the River Agno in
the Cordillera Mountains of Pangasinan
province, about 250 km north of Manila,
the Philippines capital. The 1,100 m-long,
188 m-high dam embankment is believed
to be the biggest in Asia, and is the twelfth
largest in the world. It will create a vast
14 sq km reservoir for recreation, provide first such equipment to be used in the Three diversion tunnel portals at San
downstream irrigation to 87 sq km of farm- Philippines. Six ST-7.5Z loaders worked Roque.
land, and supply power to the national grid on the main tunnels, matched by the same
from the dam’s integral 345MW hydro- number of MT-436B mine trucks. These
electric power station. were supported by a further ten of the
Three diversion tunnels were designed to smaller Wagner ST-2D units for use in the
accommodate a flood flow of 4,600 cu m/sec. dam’s grout gallery tunnels. When the size
The two largest high-level tunnels are of the tunnels was increased, six of the
16.5 m-high, 11 m-wide and horseshoe- Wagner ST-2D loaders were replaced with
shaped. They will each cater to flows up to the larger Wagner ST-3.5 units.
2,100 cu m/sec. The remaining 400 cu m/sec Exceptional availability of between
of flood water will go through the smallest 92% and 96% was achieved, exceeding the
low-level tunnel, which is 817 m-long, 6 m 85% guaranteed by Atlas Copco. Atlas
x 6 m, and also horseshoe-shaped. It will Copco Wagner’s comprehensive preventa-
normally have a flow of about 120 cu m/sec. tive maintenance programme, combined
The underground fleet at San Roque with operative training, which is part of the
comprised 22 Atlas Copco Wagner company’s on-site full service package,
Scooptram loaders and Mine Trucks, the was the key to the equipment’s success.


RR3/RC8 23/6/05 11:16 Page 92


of 7 m/day was achieved on each face,

generally from two 4 m rounds. After
drilling, blasting and mucking out, the
exposed rock was sprayed with 50-75 mm
of fibre-reinforced shotcrete before instal-
lation of the 4 m-long Super Swellex bolts.
A second application of shotcrete was then
applied to produce a smooth 350 mm-thick
tunnel lining.
Immediate rock support was especially
important when facing the soft and un-
stable rock at San Roque. Moreover, in
such rock conditions, reinforcement is a
bottleneck in the excavation cycle, so the
contractor was pleased with the oppor-
tunity to use a fast and trouble-free bolt
like Swellex to speed up production.
The 11 m-wide, 8 m-high benches
remaining in the two large tunnels were
duly excavated on schedule before the start
of the typhoon season. The Atlas Copco
Wagner fleet then moved on to muck out
two 1,500 m-long tunnels at the site, a
Installing Super Swellex at San Roque. Super Swellex was specified by the 7 m-diameter irrigation tunnel and a 9 m-
designer, Golder Associates of Georgia, diameter tunnel to the main powerhouse.
US, as the regular pattern bolt. This San Roque Power Corporation will sell
hydraulically-expanded bolt gives immedi- and supply electricity to the national grid
ate rock support and full column bond, and from 2002 for 25 years, before transferring
has an excellent quality control procedure ownership to the Philippines National
during its installation. An average advance Power Corporation.

Economical Support Solution will harness the flow of the Jhelum river,
and its 480 MW turbines will supply
at Uri much-needed electricity to the region.
The Uri project is located in the foothills Urico contractors, a design/construct
Atlas Copco Boomer H178 face drilling of the Himalayas, in the Kashmir Valley of joint venture led by Skanska and NCC,
at Uri hydro scheme. northern India. The new hydropower plant employed six Atlas Copco Boomer H178
drillrigs on the development of 22 km of
tunnels at Uri. The Boomer H178, with its
three booms, was selected as the most flex-
ible machine available to excavate faces of
cross-sections between 25 and 100 sq m,
together with the 22 m-wide machine hall
cavern. Average progress in the tunnels
was 250 m/week, with a best week of
278 m. Atlas Copco assisted the contrac-
tors with an extensive training programme
to teach the local employees how to
operate the rigs.
Rock reinforcement at Uri consisted of
shotcreting and bolting, with Swellex com-
prising 75% of the bolts used. The drillrigs
were used for all rockbolting work,
installing 700 x 3 m-long bolts/week.
Swellex was chosen wherever possible,
because they are quicker to install, and
more economical overall, than grouted


RR3/RC8 23/6/05 11:16 Page 93


rebar bolts. Indeed, in places where water

Project: Uri hydroelectric power station.
was flowing, Swellex was the only realistic
Location: Northern India, Jammu and Kashmir.
option. The rock encountered varied from
Excavation method: Drill/blast, top heading and bench.
quartz schist to shale, with some of more
Contractor: Joint venture Skanska and NCC.
recent volcanic origin.
Designer: Skanska/NCC.
Construction at Uri involved the exca-
Rock: Variable, from weak to hard rock.
vation of 1.2 million cu m of rock under-
Rock reinforcement requirement: To cut bottleneck in
ground, and the placement of 375,000 cu m
production cycle.
of concrete lining along the 15 km of water
Rockbolt selected: Standard Swellex.

Right Combination at Alto Project: Alto Lindoso hydropower.

Lindoso Location: Northern Portugal, close to Spanish border.
Excavation method: Drill/blast.
Atlas Copco was the main supplier to Contractor: Torno Construction.
Italian contractor Torno for the Alto Client: EDP – Portugal National Power Board.
Lindoso 600 MW underground hydroelec- Rock: Hard granite, weathered granite, schists, and shales.
tric plant located in northern Portugal, Rock reinforcement requirement: To provide temporary
close to the border with Spain. The com- support for access ramps, tunnel and chambers.
pany provided all of the drilling equipment Rockbolt selected: Standard Swellex.
needed for 12 km of headrace, tailrace and
access tunnels. The power generating plant
was installed in a chamber 70 m south of a drillers faced weathered granite, as well as
110 m-high arched dam with a span of some schists and shales.
296 m near the confluence of the Castro Torno operated a two-shift system of
Laboreiro and Lima rivers, which provides 12 h/shift, gaining advances of 3.5 m/round.
a maximum head of 338 m. Swellex rockbolts were used exclusively
Atlas Copco helped train the drillrig for rock reinforcement, complemented
operators and maintenance personnel, and where necessary by shotcreting, wire mesh
provided a manned workshop container for and steel arches. The combination of Torno
hydraulic service operations at site. skills with Atlas Copco service succeeded
The five Boomer rigs employed drilled in completion of what had previously been
mainly in hard granite with a compressive a very troublesome project, and Alto
strength of between 1,800 and 2,000 bar. Lindoso is now contributing power to the
Around the tailrace tunnel exits, the Portuguese national grid.

View of dam site at Alto Lindoso.


RR3/RC8 23/6/05 11:16 Page 94


six turbines installed. By the early 1990s,

Project: 40 m-deep open pit at Ybbs-Persenbeug power station.
more capacity was required, and it was
Location: River Danube, Austria.
decided to install an additional 48 MW
Excavation method: Hydraulic breakers and excavators.
Contractor: JV of Mayreder-Kraus, Porr, Universale, Hofmann
The project involved the excavation of a
Maculan, Stuag, Ilbau, Strabag.
180 m-long x 40 m-deep x 20 m-wide
Rock: Faulted bedrock.
open pit alongside the existing station,
Rock reinforcement required: To secure vertical faces of open
without interrupting its operation. Trials
with drill/blast indicated an unacceptable
Rockbolt selected: Super Swellex up to 12 m-long.
high level of vibration which, combined
with faulting in the bedrock in the vicinity
Super Bolts on the Danube of the station, threatened the existing tur-
bine installations.
The River Danube drives turbines in no It was decided to use hydraulic breakers
less than nine power stations as it wends and excavators, together with additional
its way through Austria. The oldest, at rock reinforcement of the vertical walls of
Ybbs-Persenbeug, was built in 1959 with the pit. The design consultants advised the
client that cement-grouted rockbolts,
General view of open pit at Ybbs-
which take up to a week to set, would
Persenbeug power station.
cause excessive delays to the project.
Accordingly, it was decided to use Atlas
Copco Super Swellex bolts which, even in
the long lengths required in this unusual
installation, take only 15-20 minutes to
install, including the time spent drilling.
Bolts of lengths 8 m, 10 m, and 12 m
were guided into the 48 mm-diameter drill-
holes by hand, and then pushed home by one
of the two Atlas Copco drillrigs employed at
site. Some 2,000 Super Swellex bolts were
used, 900 of which were 12 m-long.
The bolts gave instant support to the
walls of the pit, helping keep the project on
time and within budget. The chief engineer
of the joint venture constructing the power
station observed that it would have been
impossible to stick to the construction sched-
ule without the rapid and secure installation
offered by the Swellex bolting system.

Inserting 12 m-long Swellex rockbolt

to support the cut beside the Danube.


RR3/RC8 23/6/05 11:16 Page 95


Rock Mass Stabilization at Project: Tala Hydro on Wangchu river, 1,020 MW.
Tala Hydro Client: Tala Hydro Power Authority (THPA).
Location: Wangka, Kingdom of Bhutan.
Tala Hydro scheme has been constructed Excavation method: Drill/blast.
in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Contractors: Jaiprakash; Hindustan Construction; Larsen &
Bhutan, using more than 40 items of capi- Toubro.
tal equipment supplied by Atlas Copco. Rock: Gneiss with quartzite bands and biotite schists.
The dam site is about 85 km by road from Rock reinforcement requirement: Roof support.
the border with India, and is located near Rockbolt selected: MAI SDA.
the village of Wangkha, on the Wangchu
river, some 3km downstream of the exist-
ing Chukha tailrace outfall. achieved up to 30% longer life than
Hindustan Construction found MAI expected.
anchors were crucial for stabilization of Hindustan Construction used MAI self
the walls of the desilting chambers at Tala, drilling anchors (SDA) for stabilizing the
and as primary support during excavation reinforced concrete wall of desilting
of the Head Race Tunnel (HRT). The same Chamber No 3. The wall of the chamber
anchors have also been found to be very was anchored to the deeper competent rock
useful in reducing pore water pressure using one row of 114 MAI SDA with 20 m
behind the support system. length and 38 mm-diameter at 3 m centres,
Major features of Tala are: three desilting and another row of 36 MAI SDA with 24
chambers sized at 250 m x 13.9 m x 18.5 m; m length and 51 mm-diameter at 3 m cen-
a 22.97 km-long, 6.8 m finished diameter, tres. 32 t pull out tests conducted on the 38
50 sq m modified horseshoeshaped, con- mm-diameter and 20 m-long MAI SDA
crete-lined headrace tunnel (HRT); and an resulted in displacements of 11 mm and 17
underground powerhouse 206 m-long by 19 mm respectively, well within specification.
m-wide and 45.5 mhigh, with transformer Hindustan Construction used the
cavern 191 m-long by 16 m-wide and 27 m- Drainage, Reinforcement, Excavation,
high. The HRT, which has been excavated Support Solution (DRESS) in the 330m-
at 7.5 m-diameter with rock cover of 60 m long section of HRT affected by adverse
to 1 km, utilized five construction adits. In geology in Package C4. Here, MAI SDAs
the tunnels, Atlas Copco Boomer 352s were were used both as radial bolts and as
used in rock classes 1, 2 and 3, where the drainage elements, in combination with
average advance was 120 m/month, and in Odex Piperoofs. For anchoring steel arches,
class 4 rock up to 70 m/month. Class 5 SDA of 8-12 m lengths were installed in a
rock, which had to be fully ribbed at 60-75 systematic pattern. If no water seepage
cm intervals, strutted, bolted, meshed and resulted, they were grouted. Two 38 t pull
shotcreted, slowed advances to 30 m/month. out tests were conducted on 38 mm-diame-
The Atlas Copco Secoroc button bits were ter, 8 m-long MAI anchors to check the
reported by the contractors to have efficacy of grouted anchors in the poor
strata in the HRT. These passed, with dis- Atlas Copco Boltec 435H at work in
placements of 16 mm and 22.8 mm.■ Tala headrace tunnel.
S.D. Jeur, Project manager, Hindustan Construction
Company, C4 Package used Atlas Copco Odex for
piperoofing, in combination with MAI SDAs, to make
tunnelling possible through soil.


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RR3/RC9.qxd 23/6/05 11:19 Page 97


Top Combinations in Japan

Speed with Safety Project: High Speed Railway, Daini Shibishan.
Location: Kyushu Island, Southern Japan.
Tunnelling operations in Japan are to Excavation method: Drill/blast.
the highest standards of quality and Contractor: Kajima-Zenitaka-Shita joint venture.
safety, and Swellex was originally
introduced as a problem solver in spe- Project Owner: JR – Japan Railways.
cific rock conditions such as high Rock: Weak formation of shale, sandstone and clay strata.
water inflow and squeezing ground. Rock reinforcement requirement: Versatility to cope with
Since then, Swellex has been used to geology, immediate rock support, non sensitive to water inflow.
replace steel arches on a number of Rockbolts selected: Super Swellex, Midi Swellex.
projects, to good effect. Experience
obtained on the more difficult projects
has led to Swellex being specified as a
pattern bolt in current projects,
mainly where grouted rebars are con-
sidered too slow to install and take
load. Wherever there is rapid defor-
mation of the strata, Swellex is the
bolt of first choice because of its fast
installation and immediate load bear-
ing characteristics. In Japan, it is a
popular combination of speed with
safety, controllability and reliability.

Bullet Train Secured on

Daini Shibisan is a twin-track railway
tunnel, part of the high-speed railway system
under construction between Kagoshima and
Kumamoto on the large island of Kyushu, business of having to re-excavate rock Portal at the Daini Shibisan high speed
south of the Japanese mainland. when it had been deformed by less- railway tunnel.
The 3,394 m-long tunnel, one of thir- effective reinforcement methods.
teen in the section, was excavated by the The site manager described the Swellex
Kajima-Zenitaka-Shita joint venture, who contribution to the operation as highly
had to overcome major problems with the valuable, and an extremely efficient and
amount of groundwater present in the reliable method of dealing with the porous Installing Swellex rockbolts at the
sandstone, shale and clay strata. and highly-fractured rock formation. Daini Shibisan face.
Drilling and reinforcement was compli-
cated, with some holes collapsing as soon
as they were drilled, making it virtually
impossible to inject the cement required to
grout rockbolts. The solution was Atlas
Copco Swellex rockbolts, which expand to
fill the hole, need no cement, and have the
advantage of providing immediate rein-
forcement to the surrounding rock. Atlas
Copco Boomer drifting rigs installed the
bolts, which were expanded using an ESP-
A51 electric Swellex pump.
In this type of environment, Swellex
bolts are known to perform much better
than conventional bolts, and are also more
cost-effective. Their introduction into
Daini Shibisan tunnel ended the expensive


RR3/RC9.qxd 23/6/05 11:19 Page 98


Easily Through Difficulties on rates of 2.5 m/min in the tuff-brecchia, and

Project: Chou Highway,
3.0 m/min in the harder andesite.
Shin-Iwatono tunnel. Honshu Swellex rockbolts were selected because
Location: Honshu
The Chuo Highway connects Tokyo and of their versatility and effectiveness in the
Island, Central Japan.
Nagoya in central Japan, and work is under varying ground conditions, and the speed
Designers: JH, Japan
way to widen the road from two to three with which they could be installed. These
lanes. Shin-Iwatono is one of the tunnels properties were particularly important in the
Excavation method:
excavated along the alignment, and is softer strata mined by the roadheader.
Roadheader, drill/blast.
Contractor: located 100 km north west of the capital.
Tobishima/Aisawa Work on the 1,591 m-long tunnel, with its
joint venture. cross-section of 130 sq m, was carried out
Rock: Variable by the Tobishima/Aisawa joint venture for
volcanic formation Japan’s Public Highway Corporation.
including andesite, Rock at the site is andesite lava and tuff-
tuff and breccias. breccia. The first 126 m of tunnel excavation
Rock reinforcement was by roadheader in soft tuff-breccia. Drill-
requirement: Safety, and-blast operations then commenced in
versatility to cope with andesite lava using an Atlas Copco Rocket
geology, even in soft Boomer 352-2B, the first in Japan, and
layers. leased by local distributor Drill Machine.
Rockbolt selected: The Rocket Boomer 352-2B is equipped
Super Swellex, Midi with two BUT 35 booms, with COP 1838
Rocket Boomer 352-2B rockbolting at Shin-Iwatono
Swellex. rock drills mounted on BMH 6812 feeds. Ad-
highway tunnel.
vance per round was 1.2 m, with penetration

Solving a Geological Puzzle Swellex bolts have been employed in pat-

Project: Sobu road
tern bolting on a number of projects in
tunnel. with Swellex heavy and fast deforming ground, where
Location: Honshu
At the 3,692 m-long Sobu tunnel located in grouted rebars are considered too slow to
Island, Central Japan.
mountainous terrain on the road between take load. There is also increasing accep-
Excavation method:
Kyoto and Yonago Tottori prefecture, top tance of Atlas Copco MAI SDA self
performance was achieved by COP 1838 drilling rockbolts. ■
Rock: Mixture of rock drills fitted to a Rocket Boomer H
sedimentary and 195. The cross-section at Sobu is between
volcanic rock 90 and 100 sq m, and excavation was by
formations. micro-benching, a common method in
Rock reinforcement Japan.
requirement: Safety, The rock is sandstone, shale, tuff and
versatility to cope with porphyrite, with a compressive strength
geology, even in soft of 400-500 bar. The drillrig achieved 100
layers. holes in 40-50 minutes, with a penetration
Rockbolt selected: rate of 3 m/min, and total advance was
Super Swellex, Midi 6 m/day.
Swellex. Site management reported low con-
sumption of shank adapters and other
Japanese tunnels require the highest
standards in safety and support, and the
quality of rockbolts, and their standard of
installation, are paramount.
Initially, in Japan, Swellex bolts were
employed as a problem solver for specific
rock conditions, such as squeezing ground
and high water inflow. They have also
Rocket Boomer H 195 micro-benching at Sobu road
been used in difficult situations to replace tunnel.
steel arches. Lately, large quantities of


RR3/RC10.qxd 23/6/05 11:20 Page 99


Front Stabilization Using MAI

Improving Rock Project: Mineral conveyor tunnel 9.36 km-long with
4.5 m-diameter.
Quality Location: Pontida Valley, Italy.
Excavation method: Open gripper TBM.
Drilling ahead of the tunnel face and
Contractor: Strabag Del Favero.
installing bolts or grout is a com-
mon way of improving rock quality Rock: Flysch and micaceous sandstones with silts and clay
before actual excavation takes place. layers.
Atlas Copco has, as a supplier, Rock reinforcement required: Umbrella of 24 x 9 m-long bolts.
been involved in a number of such Rockbolt selected: Atlas Copco MAI Self Drilling Anchors.
projects, both in mining and
Pre-reinforcement is a different
way of approaching ground control.
Instead of relying on supporting the
ground following excavation, pre-
reinforcement increases rock
strength prior to excavation. There
are several benefits to this. First, a
pre-reinforced rock mass will be less
damaged by blasting, and less dis-
turbed by elastic and non-elastic
stress redistribution around the exca-
vation. Second, the rock mass is
never without support, even at the
split second following blasting of the
round. Third, the support can be
more active when installed early,
rather than passive when installed
later. Fourth, pre-reinforced ground
will not deteriorate or collapse as
rapidly as a totally unsupported exca-
vation, allowing a safe working
period for installation of regular
In tunnelling, the umbrella grout- Umbrella System at Umbrella of 24 MAI SDA type R51L at
ing method of pre-reinforcement is Montegiglio
frequently used. This method pre-
supports the planned roof area with Montegiglio tunnel, in Italy, is a 9.36 km-
steel rods. Large holes are drilled in long, 4.5 m-diameter connection intended
the future roof perimeter, and grout-
to support the mineral extraction activity
ed at high pressure with high
strength, fine grained cement grout. of Colle Pedrino and Montegiglio quarries.
Through each cemented hole, a A conveyor belt for the movement of min-
smaller hole is then drilled, in which eral to the Calusco d’Adda cement plant is
a high-strength reinforcement bar is installed in the tunnel.
grouted. Although highly effective for From the south entrance of Montegiglio
shallow tunnels driven in very quarry, a cableway to Pontida valley links
adverse ground conditions, it is easy the two quarries. The tunnel was driven by
to see that such a work-intensive TBM on a different alignment, westward
operation would be deemed neither
and more northerly. For the first 800 m, the
practical nor economic for mining
applications, although the underlying tunnel proceeded straight on a SW-NE
concept could definitely be useful. heading beneath Carvico village at a
downward slope of 11.4%. The TBM was


RR3/RC10.qxd 23/6/05 11:20 Page 100


investigation along the axis of the tunnel.

The results showed that further advance
with the TBM would achieve only limited
results. In fact, at that point, the excavation
met micaceous sandstones, with silts and
clay layers with the consistency of damp
sand. These exhibited very low cohesion,
or no cohesion at all, due to the weak grain
bond. In these conditions, excavation
became difficult, with some collapse of
material from the crown. The support
design for this particular type of section
specified an umbrella of steel pipes with
diameter 104 mm, with a length of
12 m and 3 m overlap. Due to the small
tunnel diameter of 4.5 m, only limited
space was available for positioning and
BSH 110-SDA for handling MAI operated 5 days/week in three 8 h working the drilling equipment, so an
anchor. shifts/day, with maintenance carried out alternative solution was needed.
during the morning shift. Atlas Copco proposed the use of a
Every 200 m of advance, the TBM had to Boomer H145 equipped with two booms
be stopped for a shift to extend the conveyor and COP 1440 rock drills. The feed length
belt. The conveyor belt storage was located was adapted to 4.4 m to suit the tunnel
in the area in front of the south entrance. diameter, to enable Strabag Del Favero to
The stabilization and support interven- install radial anchors. More importantly, an
tions for the Montegiglio tunnel depended umbrella could be installed consisting of
upon the observed geological and geotech- 24 Atlas Copco MAI SDA of type R51L,
nical conditions of the rock. Six types were with a length of 9 m and a overlap of 3 m.
defined, ranging from non-systematic This allowed the contractor to excavate a
intervention, to bolts with increasing thick- total of 6 m, in steps of 1 m, before placing
ness of shotcrete, up to bolts with net, ribs the next umbrella.
and reinforced shotcrete. After some initial mechanical adjust-
During the initial excavation in the ments on the Boomer, it was found that the
Flysch di Bergamo geology, contractor umbrella could be installed within a period
Strabag Del Favero suspected weak ground of 15 h, facilitating faster excavation of the
conditions ahead, and performed a horizontal tunnel.

The Pakuashan ridge is an anticlinal

Project: Twin-tube 5 km-long highway tunnel.
structure of rocks, which may be subdivided
Location: Hanbau-Tsaotwen Expressway, Taiwan.
into two main geological groups. Firstly,
Excavation method: NATM with top heading, bench and invert.
1 m-thick alternations of mudstone or
Consultant: China Engineering Consultants Inc.
clay of hard to very hard consistency
Rock: Gravel with mudstone and clay alternations.
and low degree of cementation, and sand-
Rock reinforcement required: Presupport around arch and
stone, appearing as loose to medium dense
sidewalls, roof support.
sand. Secondly, silty-sandy gravel with
Rockbolt selected: Atlas Copco cement grouted SDA.
cobbles and occasional boulders of maxi-
mum diameter 50 cm. The matrix is
Presupport at Pakuashan frequently slightly weathered, and cemen-
tation generally poor. Groundwater is a key
The 5 km-long Pakuashan tunnel is being factor governing rock mass behaviour.
constructed over a seven-year period in Twin tubes with 120 sq m section are
Central Taiwan, as part of the Hanbau- being excavated from all four portals, in
Tsaotwen Expressway, one of 12 planned loose to heavily compacted gravels. The
east-west connections. NATM is being 65 sq m top headings are maintained
used, despite the poor geological condi- 60-70 m ahead of the benches, and invert
tions, which do not fit any of the com- closure follows 6-10 m behind each bench.
monly used rock classifications. 20 m-long x 4 in-diameter drainage holes


RR3/RC10.qxd 23/6/05 11:20 Page 101


are drilled ahead of the face, using casing. Installing 6 m-long SDA at Pakuashan.
Excavation is by backhoe, with a ripper for
Presupport consists of 3 m-long fore-
poling using SDA around the arch and
sidewalls at 0.5 m spacing. Lattice arches
are then set at 1 m centres, and 4 m and
6 m SDA cement grouted rockbolts
installed, along with two layers of wire
mesh and 300 mm of shotcrete. A layer of
wire mesh and 200 mm of shotcrete are
laid on the floor of the top heading as
temporary support.
This is the first use of SDA in Taiwan.
One in 50 of the installed bolts is subjected
to a 17.6 t pullout test.
Maximum advance on a top heading has
been 3.3 m/day of 24 h, and the site works
7 days/week. Around 800 m from the por-
tals, the faces moved from compacted
gravel into sand with very little cohesion, in the centre of the alignment using NATM
slowing advance rates considerably. techniques, allowing four more faces to be
Effectiveness of the support regime is opened, and facilitating dewatering.
measured using arrays of convergence A 400 mm-thick cast concrete lining
bolts installed at 20 m intervals. There is with waterproofing membrane and drainage
also a cross section of extensometers at system will be installed as final support.
200 m intervals which measure at depths The mechanical behaviour and engi-
of 3 m, 6 m, and 9 m into the profile rock. neering characteristics of the gravel forma-
Every 500 m, radial pressure cells and tion are related to the degree of
strain gauges are installed in the shotcrete, cementation of the matrix and the percent-
together with measuring anchors to record age gravel content.
stress and strain in the ground. Results Based on the monitoring data, maximum
from all three sets of stations are analyzed crown settlements of about 400 mm have
and compared to theoretical behaviour. been observed in areas of fine sediments
In addition to the main tunnels, there with ground water, while in sections with
are nine pedestrian cross passages, three dense gravel, 50 mm is typical. Maximum
vehicle cross passages, and ten emergency shotcrete stresses of 150-200 kg/sq cm
parking bays. A 240 m-deep x 10 m-diam- have been measured, within the design
eter ventilation shaft has been constructed shotcrete strength of 210 kg/sq cm.

Reinforcing Feuerletten Clay Project: Nuremberg-Ingolstadt high speed railway.

Location: Ingolstadt, Germany.
In Autumn 1998, work started on a new
Excavation method: Mechanical excavator.
high speed railway line between the cities
Contractor: Bilfinger Berger and Max Bögl joint venture.
of Nuremberg and Ingolstadt, forming the
Rock: Hard, solid Feuerletten clay.
northern part of the proposed high speed
Rock reinforcement requirement: Forward face support,
connection between the two major
systematic roof support.
Bavarian cities, Munich and Nuremberg.
Rockbolts selected: Atlas Copco MAI SDA, SN anchors.
The Göggelsbuch tunnel, which has a
total length of 2,287 m and an excavated
cross-section of 150 sq m, is the only nat- section of the railway, the Göggelsbuch is
ural tunnel in the north section of this unique, as its alignment runs through a
alignment. It is equipped with an emer- layer of Feuerletten, a hard, solid clay
gency shaft that is connected to the surface which is subject to shrinkage cracking
by two 150 m-long galleries. when dry. Once in contact with water,
Although smaller than the two 7 km- Feuerletten softens and becomes imperme-
long tunnelling projects in the middle able due to a swelling of its clay minerals.


RR3/RC10.qxd 23/6/05 11:20 Page 102


Aerial view of Göggelsbuch tunnel. length achieved by coupling sections

together, and the quick and economical
installation method.

Swelling Clay
The Göggelsbuch tunnel runs exclusively
in the Feuerletten layer, with between 4
and 20 m of Feuerletten overhead. The
clay comprises a clay stone with fine to
medium sand, which is locally interrupted
by up to 5 m-thick sequences of pure sand-
stone, and by up to 10 m-thick sequences
with alternating sandstone and clay stone.
The layers of Feuerletten are usually
orientated horizontally.
The swelling of the clay, and the pres-
sure exerted, have been examined and ana-
The 35 km-long northern section of the lyzed precisely. All the tests demonstrated
railway line, including the Göggelsbuch that the pressure due to swelling, in con-
tunnel, is under construction by a joint nection with the hydrostatic load, was not
venture of Bilfinger Berger and Max Bögl. decisive in calculating the internal lining.
It has a reinforced concrete lining vary- Groundwater-filled layers of sandstone,
ing between 75 and 125 cm in thickness at and impermeable layers of clay with
the invert, and which is a constant 35 cm- groundwater flowing on them, were pre-
thick in the arch. A single 3 mm layer of sent during the complete advance works.
polyethylene membrane helps to seal the After the whole tunnel had been excavated,
tunnel lining against a water head of 30 m. an underground water flow of 5 l/s was
The anchorage systems used in the con- measured.
struction of the tunnel comprised 4 m-long Construction was from May, 1999 until
SN anchors and Hollow Bolt Type MAI September, 2000, advancing simultaneous-
anchors with varying lengths. Dywidag ly from both north and south portals. The
Systems International (DSI) supplied both top heading forming the crown was holed
systems. The DSI hollow bolt anchor type through before the bench and invert were
MAI is optimally used wherever geologi- started.
cal conditions would normally require Concrete lining, from south to north,
cased drilling to place anchoring or nailing took some five months from December,
elements. Its advantage lies in the simplic- 2000 with one wagon for the invert form-
Supporting the face at Göggelsbuch. ity of the system, the flexibility in its work, carrying two forms. Two separately
running forms were used for the crown
lining, which took another 4-5 months.

Supporting Production
The rock was excavated using a tunnel
excavator along its entire length, with a
hydraulic breaker in sections with thick
layers of sandstone. The advance per sec-
tion was limited to 1.3 m. The tunnel was
secured with a 20-35 cm-thick layer of
site-mixed shotcrete, and 4 m-long x
25 mm-diameter SN anchors were installed
for systematic rockbolting.
The crown invert was supported with a
temporary shotcrete layer to minimize
movement. Trials without the temporary
support showed unpredictable results, and
the roof above the crown had to be


RR3/RC10.qxd 23/6/05 11:20 Page 103


strengthened over a length of 50 m, due to The excavation of the bench and the
excessive movement. invert of the tunnel were subsequently
While advance from the south pro- completed in about the half the scheduled
gressed with hardly any problems, the time, catching up on the contract.
north drive suffered poor face stability.
Despite continuously increasing the dens- Acknowledgements
ity of support, a face collapse occurred in
July, 1999. The supports that were Thanks are due to Thomas Müller of
installed at that time were: 30 cm of shot- Bilfinger Berger, and Frank Schmidt of
crete in the arch; 20 cm of shotcrete on the DSI, for describing the construction
arch invert; system anchorage with 4 m- process. Excavating the bench at Göggelsbuch.
long SN anchors, at 7 units/m; 10 cm of
reinforced shotcrete on the working face;
8 m-long MAI R32 face anchors, at 9 units
per section; and 6 m-long MAI R32 rods,
at 35 units/m.
It was decided to keep the same types of
support, but those guaranteeing the stability
of the working face were intensified. The
length of the MAI face anchors was
increased to 12 m, and the number doubled
to 18 per round. The length of the MAI
R32 steel rods was also increased from
6 m to a maximum 8 m. This intensified
system of face support was installed over a
length of 500 m, once the collapsed face
had been cleared. No further collapses
occurred on the remaining crown drive,
which was completed without further delay.

Self Drilling Anchors at North Project: High speed railway tunnel.

Downs Location: North Downs, Kent, England.
Excavation method: NATM.
The Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) is Contractor: Eurolink jv of Beton & Monierbau, Miller, and
the link between King’s Cross Station in Dumez/GTM.
North London and the tunnel terminal on Rock: Chalk with possible flint bands.
the coast. This link is being built in two Rock reinforcement required: Secure portal area for NATM
phases. The first comprises the 3.2 km- advance.
long North Downs tunnel along with three Rockbolt selected: Atlas Copco MAI SDA.
other major civil engineering contracts,
and was begun in 1998/99. The second
phase will comprise four separate contracts stresses where the tunnel barrel is discon-
and utilize a total of eight TBMs. Phase tinued at the portal.
Two started in 2001. At the London portal, some form of
The contract to construct the North additional ground support was required
Downs tunnel was awarded to Eurolink, a to allow NATM tunnelling to progress. It
joint venture between Beton und was decided to drill a total of 24 holes at
Monierbau of Austria, Miller of the UK 0.5 m centres around the crown of the
and Dumez/GTM of France. The tunnel tunnel. These were installed 15 m deep at
was constructed through chalk strata 115 mm diameter, using the Atlas Copco
common to the region, using NATM Boodex system. The holes were lined with
techniques. easy-to-handle 1.5 m lengths of attached
The likelihood of poor ground condi- casing.
tions is increased at the tunnel portal, A false portal was built at the entrance,
where the weaker rock has been exposed to and the spacing of the steel arches was
weathering. Also, geotechnical engineering continued at 1.5 m as the tunnel advanced
calculations show that there are increased under the crown umbrella. ■


RR3/RC12 19/7/05 10:14 Page 104


Rock Reinforcement at Kemi

Chrome Mine
Intelligent Mining
The large chromite deposit being
mined by Outokumpu at Kemi,
Finland has a lower than average
Cr2O3 content of about 26%, so
chromite and ferrochrome production
technology has had to be continuous-
ly upgraded to remain competitive.
The Intelligent Mine Implementation
Technology Programme of 14 projects
achieved real time control of mine
production in precise coordination
with the needs of the mineral pro-
cessing plant and the ferrochrome
smelter. The system utilizes a fast, Ore reserves at Kemi chrome mine are Aerial view of Kemi mine, located
mine-wide information system that abundant, and the efficiency of the Tornio close to Finland’s border with Sweden.
can help optimize financial results for smelter is enhanced by its proximity to both
the whole operation. Computerized
the mine and harbour facilities. Mining pro-
drilling with Atlas Copco Rocket
duction has been progressively switched
Boomers and Simbas, accurate coring
with Craelius rigs, reliable rock rein- from surface to underground, where inten-
forcement with Cabletec and Boltec sive use is being made of information tech-
rigs with Swellex bolts and pumps, nology to optimize the overall mining and
and the dependability and longevity processing operation. Underground mining
of Secoroc drilling consumables sup- started in 2003 at 150,000 t/y, and produc-
port this unique mine strategy. The tion will increase to the planned level of 1.2
result is cost-efficient, integrated pro- million t/y by 2007. Open pit mining will
duction, on a model which may form cease in 2006.
the basis of the next generation of
mining techniques.
The Kemi deposit is hosted by a 2.4 billion
Introduction year old mafic-ultramafic layered intrusion Kemi underground mine simplified
extending for some 15 km north-east of the long section.
Outokumpu is one of the world’s largest
stainless steel producers, accounting for
about 8% of global stainless slab output, and
a similar share of cold rolled production.
140 m3/s Backfilling station 70 m3/s
These are hugely significant proportions of a 190 m3/s

market that has risen by an average of 5.5% EAR4 115 Repair shop FAR2

per annum over the last 20 years, and is cur-

Final pit bottom
rently enjoying 7% growth. Backfill raise

Trial Stoping area

Mainstay of the Outokumpu strategy is 277 Backfill raise 275

its highly cost-efficient fully integrated 350 Pump station

350 Repair shop

mine-to-mill production chain in the Kemi- 450 Expl.

Tornio area of northern Finland. An ongoing 450
investment programme of EUR1.1 billion 500 Pump station
550 and Repair shop
will expand total slab capacity from 1.75
600 Crusher
million t to 2.75 million t, and coil rolling 580 Pump station

capacity from 1.2 million t to 1.9 million t.


RR3/RC12 19/7/05 10:14 Page 105


town itself. The chromite-rich horizon

appears 50-200 m above the bottom of the
intrusion, and has an average dip of 70
degrees northwest. The main immediate
host rock is weak talc-carbonate, in which
the hanging wall contact is clearly defined.
At the footwall, the chromite and host rock
are inter-layered, and must be mined selec-
tively. However, there is strong granite
some 80 m below the footwall.
The Kemi chrome deposit comprises 11
mineralisations within a 4.5 km-long zone
varying from 5-105 m in width, with aver-
age thickness of 40 m, a mineral resource
of 150 million t of 28.6% Cr2O3. Of this
there are 50 million t proven reserves
underground between the 500-m level and
the bottom of the open pit. The ore body
continues at depth, probably to 1,000 m,
with 750 m having been reached by the
deepest exploratory hole. The 1.5 km-long concentrate contains about 45% Cr2O3 of Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer L2 C is
x 500 m-wide main pit has a final planned 0.2 mm grain size, while upgraded lumpy used for sublevel development.
depth of 220 m. ore is about 35% Cr2O3 with 12-100 mm
A two shift/day, five day/week pattern is size. The former is pelletized at Tornio, and
worked in the mine, from which about 1.2 then mixed with upgraded lumpy ore before
million t/y of ore grading 24-26% Cr2O3 is smelting to produce ferrochrome.
processed continuously by the concentrator. Concentrator operation is optimized by
The yield is 220,000 t/y of 12-100 mm accurate calibration of the feed slurry ana-
lumpy concentrate with 35% Cr2O3, and lyzers, and control of product quality from
420,000 t/y metallurgical grade concentrate each unit process, both by compensating
at 45% Cr2O3. Over the years, some 30 for changes in feed type, and measuring
million t of ore have been produced from product quality on-line. Manual input can
open pits, resulting in 130 million t in be used, as well as on-line information.
waste heaps. A Craelius Diamec 264 APC drill rig car-
ries out 10 km of coring each year. Drill sec-
Ore Grade Control tions are established every 10 m and
downhole survey is standard procedure, using
Ore grade control in both the open pit and a Maxibore system. Based on the drill hole
the underground mine involves intensive data, a 3D model of the orebody is created Atlas Copco Simba M6 C at work in
wire line diamond core drilling, to deter- and used as a basis for production planning. the sublevels at Kemi mine.
mine boundaries and qualities of specific
ore types. In addition, all blast holes in the
open pit are sampled. Technical innova-
tions for ore characterization and quantifi-
cation include OMS-logg down hole
logging, and automated image analysis for
establishing grain size distribution.
Basic production data about mineralogi-
cal and process histories are logged for each
ore stope on a daily basis, and this is merged
and compared with daily and blast-specific
production histories from the database.
Each ore blast is treated selectively at
the concentrator, in order to minimize feed
variation and maximize process stability.
In the concentrator, total chromite recov-
ery is around 80%, depending on the pro-
portion of lumpy ore. Metallurgical grade


RR3/RC12 19/7/05 10:14 Page 106


equipped with a 10 t travelling gantry and

16 m-long inspection pit. The washing bay
is equipped with two Wallman hydraulical-
ly controlled washing cages, so there is no
need for operatives to climb onto the
mobile equipment.
The main pumping station is located at the
350 m level, and has pumping capacity of 2 x
250 cu m/h. The slurry-type pumps, with
mechanical seals, pump the unsettled mine
water to the surface with a total head of 360
m. Two other dewatering pumping stations
are located at the 500 m and 580 m levels.
The crusher station at the 560 m level is
Atlas Copco Craelius Diamec 264 APC Tying all these streams of collected data equipped with a 1,000 t/h Metso gyratory
at work underground. and planning outputs together requires an crusher. This is fed from two sides by
extremely fast communications network, vibrating feeders from separate 8 m-diame-
interfacing with a single master database. ter main ore passes from the 500 m level,
and from one side by a plate feeder, to
Underground Infrastructure which the ore can be dumped from the 550
m level. A 40 t travelling gantry crane ser-
The main decline starts at a portal in the vices the entire crusher house. Crushed ore
footwall side of the pit, at about 100 m gravitates onto a conveyor in a tunnel
below the rim. The decline is mostly 8 m below the crusher for transport to the shaft
wide x 5.5 m high, to accommodate pass- loading pockets 500 m away.
ing vehicles. It descends at 1:7 to a depth
of 600 m at the base of the hoisting shaft, Underground Production
and connects with several intermediate
sublevels. The decline is asphalted Trial stopes in three areas accessed from
throughout most of its length. the 275 m and 300 m levels were mined to
There is also a 5,000 cu m repair shop determine the parameters of the bench cut-
for open pit equipment at the 115 m level, and-fill technique to be used. These had a
and a larger 14,000 cu m workshop at the width of 15 m, and were 30-40 m-long,
350 m level for the underground mobile with 25,000-30,000 t of ore apiece. Both
equipment fleet. The final 23,000 cu m uphole and downhole drilling methods
main workshop is under construction at the were tested, and 51 mm-diameter down-
500-m level. The 350-m level workshops holes selected as being the safest.
are enclosed by megadoors, which keep in For production purposes, 25 m-high
the heat so that an ambient 18 degrees C transverse stopes are laid out, with cable
Atlas Copco Boltec LC installing
can be maintained. The service bay is bolt and mesh support to minimize dilu-
Swellex Mn12 rockbolts.
tion. Primary stopes are 15 m wide, and
secondary stopes 20 m wide. Cemented
fill, using cement, furnace slag from an
iron ore smelter and fly ash from local
power stations, is placed in the primary
stopes, while the secondary stopes will be
backfilled with mine waste rock. The pri-
mary stopes are being extracted one or two
levels above the secondary stopes.
Mining sublevels with 5 m x 5 m cross
sections are being established at 25 m ver-
tical intervals, using one Atlas Copco
Rocket Boomer L2 C drillrig equipped
with 1838 ME rock drills and 5 m-long
Secoroc steel and bits. Rounds of 60-80
holes take about 2 hours to drill, charge
and prime. An emulsion charging truck
with elevating platform and Atlas Copco


RR3/RC12 19/7/05 10:14 Page 107


GA15 compressor provides fast and effi-

cient explosives delivery. The footwall
granite is very competent, but lots of rock
reinforcement is required in the weaker
host rock, where all drives are systemati-
cally rock bolted and secured with steel
fibre reinforced shotcrete.
The planned nominal capacity is 2.7 mil-
lion t/y of ore, which allows for increased
ferro-chrome production at Tornio when
Outokumpu decides to expand the smelting
operation. The total cost for mine develop-
ment is EUR70 million.

Rock Reinforcement
Swellex Mn12 2.4 m-long bolts are used for
support in ore contact formations. These are
being installed at a rate of 80-120 bolts/shift
using an Atlas Copco Boltec LC rig, which risk of cement entering the rock drill, thereby Atlas Copco Cabletec L installing cable
is returning drilling penetration rates of 3.2 reducing service and maintenance costs. bolts at Kemi.
to 4 m/min. The CAN-bus controlled LC rig Kemi tested the prototype Cabletec L
mounts the latest Swellex HC1 pump, for and eventually purchased the unit after
bolt inflation at 300 bar pressure, and minor modification proposals. During the
reports progress on the operator’s screen. testing period, where most holes were in
The HC1 hydraulic pump is robust, the 6 to 11 m range, the rig grouted and
simple, and with low maintenance cost. installed cables at rates of more than 40
Coupled to an intelligent system, it reaches m/hour. The capacity of the unit, which is
the 300 bar pressure level quickly, and governed by the rate of drilling, provided
maintains it for the minimum time for per- around 50 per cent extra productivity com-
fect installation. Combined with the rig’s pared with alternative support methods.
CAN-bus system, the pump can confirm The Cabletec L is equipped with a COP
the number of bolts successfully installed 1838 ME hydraulic rock drill using
and warn of any problems with inflation. reduced impact pressure with the R32 drill
Over 50,000 bolts have been installed to string system for 51 mm hole diameter.
date without problems. The machine’s cable cassette has a capac-
A series of slip-pull tests carried out ity of 1,700 kg and is easy to refill, thanks
throughout the mine proved the strong to the fold-out cassette arm. It features
anchorage capacity of Swellex Mn12, both automatic cement mixing and a silo with a
in the orebody and for the softer talc- capacity of 1,200 kg of dry cement, which
carbonate and mylonite zone. is mixed according to a pre-programmed
formula, resulting in unique quality assur-
Cable Bolting ance for the grouting process.

Kemi installs some 80 km of cable bolt each Bench Cut and Fill
year using its Atlas Copco Cabletec L unit,
which is based on the longhole production The current mining method is bench cut and
drilling rig Simba M7, with an added second fill, a type of sub-level stoping with down-
boom for grouting and cable insertion. The hole production drilling, in which primary
Rig Control System (RCS), enables the oper- stopes are 25 m high, 15 m wide and
ator to pay full attention to grouting and between 30 and 40 m long. Using a Rocket
cable insertion, while drilling of the next hole Boomer L2 C rig, the drifts for the primary
after collaring is performed automatically, stopes are developed laterally from the
including pulling the rods out of the hole. footwall through the ore zone. Then a Simba
The main benefit of the two-boom concept is M6 C production rig drills down 51 mm
to drastically reduce the entire drilling and diameter blastholes in fans 2 m apart. Each
bolting cycle time. Also, separating the stope yields between 25,000 and 35,000 t of
drilling and bolting functions prevents the ore.


RR3/RC12 19/7/05 10:14 Page 108


work that eventually will cover the whole

mine. Currently, this 1 GB network,
which is based on commercially available
equipment, covers the declines, the work-
shops and parts of the production area.
This network infrastructure not only
allows effective underground commu-
nication but also means that all the
Atlas Copco drill rigs equipped with
the Rig Remote Access (RRA) option
are logically integrated into the informa-
tion systems in Outokumpu’s administra-
tive organization. The RRA is installed
on the Rocket Boomer and Simba rigs.
The RRA, which consists of a communi-
cation server on-board the rig and a net-
work adapter, integrates with the mine’s
Inside the 350 m level workshop at Tests showed that drilling upwards network to allow data transfer and remote
Kemi. would be about 30 per cent more efficient, monitoring and troubleshooting. It works as
but because of safety issues related to the a two-way communication system, since
poor rock conditions, it was decided to data can be sent and received in real-time
start with downhole drilling while getting between Atlas Copco and the mine. For
experience with the rock and the mining instance, should one of the drillrigs
method. Meantime, Kemi has ordered a encounter a problem, the warning seen by
Simba L7 C rig with a long boom to be the operator will also be shown in the mine
delivered in August, 2005. With the M6 C office, which can then contact Atlas Copco
and L7 C, operators will be able to cover immediately, enabling them to enter the
all kinds of drilling patterns. rig’s electronic system and diagnose the
Mining of the 20 m wide secondary fault.
stopes will start in 2005, while sub-level The RRA’s main benefits are: the
caving with uphole drilling will be tested administrative system can be updated
at one end of the main pit in 2006. automatically with the latest information
Secoroc rock drilling tools are used for with no manual handling; the rig operator
production drilling. The previous 64 mm always has access to the latest production
holes over-fragmented the ore, but a switch planning; no need to write work reports
to 51 mm resulted in lower specific after each shift, since all log files are
charges and better fragmentation, while automatically saved to the planning
retaining the same number of holes. When department; instead of forcing work
developing the secondary stopes, the mine orders to be written before each shift,
may well go back to 64 mm drilling if they can be issued during the shift and
there are problems keeping the holes open directed onto the specific drillrig; and
due to the stresses and rock movements. fault diagnostics can be conducted
Kemi is carrying out slot hole drilling remotely, which allows the service tech-
with a Simba M4 C rig mounted on a nician to diagnose the problem and
Scania truck. The front part of the rig has choose the correct spare parts before
been redesigned to accommodate the travelling to the drillrig.■
Secoroc COP 84L low volume DTH
slothammer, which is used to drill the 305
mm-diameter opening hole for the longhole Acknowledgements
raises. The blasting holes are drilled off
using a COP 54 with 165 mm bit with the Atlas Copco is grateful to Juha Riikonen,
same tubes. The 20-m raises are blasted in manager of the underground mine for his
two 10-m lifts. assistance in arranging the site visit and
reading draft. Contributions by Esa
Rig Remote Access Lindeman, open pit manager, Heikki
Pekkarinen, concentrator manager, and
The drill rigs at Kemi are integrated into Jukka Pitkajarvi, chief geologist (all
the Ethernet WLAN communications net-


RR3/RC11 26/6/05 11:06 Page 109


Repairing Squeezing Ground

at Mitholz
Flexibility of Purpose
The Satco joint venture, under techni-
cal sponsorship of Strabag, installed
a complete purpose-designed excava-
tion system at their Mitholz contract
on the Lotschberg base tunnel in
Speed and efficiency were the key
elements of a successful project, for
which Satco chose Atlas Copco
Rocket Boomer XL3 C drillrigs with
ABC Regular semi-automatic boom
control for production drilling, and
Rocket Boomer L2 C twin-boom
machines for the smaller-section
work. The rigs were equipped with
Secoroc rock drilling tools, and
Swellex rockbolts were used for
immediate support. This combination
of job-matched Atlas Copco equip-
ment, together with first-class on-site
maintenance support, helped Satco main running tunnels are contracted to Satco reached Frutigen portal
to get six months ahead of contract Satco, a joint venture led by Strabag with 8 months ahead of schedule.
schedule over a period of three years. Vinci, Skanska, Rothpletz & Lienhard, and
However, close to the boundary of Walo Bertschinger.
the contracted distance south, the The east and west tubes have been
faces unexpectedly hit soft carbonif- driven by drill/blast some 8.7 km south-
erous banded deposits, some 1,400 m wards, to meet faces coming north from
beneath the Lotschen summit. Huge
Ferden. At the same time, the east tube has
ground pressure was transmitted to
the tunnel lining, causing compres-
been advanced some 7.5 km northwards to
sion and distortion of the steel arch- break out at the Frutigen portal. The west
es. Satco used its Rocket Boomer XL3 tube from Frutigen portal has also been
Cs to install 16 m-long MAI SDA self driven 800 m to junction with the east tube.
drilling anchors to stabilize the strata The nominal cross-section of excavation
for replacement of the steel arches, of the main running tunnel faces is approx-
overcoming a difficult support prob- imately 65 sq m, depending upon the Wolfgang Lehner, project manager for
lem. required support, with a maximum of 280 Satco at Mitholz.
sq m at junction caverns.
These have been advanced using
sophisticated three-boom and basket Atlas
Lotschberg Alignment Copco Rocket Boomer XL3 C drillrigs
equipped with ABC Regular semi-auto-
The 34.6 km-long Lotschberg base tunnel, matic boom control with two control sys-
which has been developed from a number tems, operated by two drillers working
of access points, is in an advanced stage of from separate panels. Drillplan data is
construction, and will be ready for use in transferred from the planning office to the
2007. machines on PC cards.
From the base of the 1.5 km-long, 67 sq The big Rocket Boomer XL3 Cs were
m Mitholz access adit, located about 8 km backed up by a pair of twin-boom Atlas
from the north portal site at Frutigen, three Copco L2 C drillrigs, which handled work


RR3/RC11 26/6/05 11:06 Page 110


This arrangement afforded maximum

manoeuvring room for the large numbers
of mobile equipment in operation.
When in good rock, each full, 8 m-wide
x 8.5 m-high arched face was drilled out
by a Rocket Boomer XL3 C to 4.5 m depth
using Secoroc model–37 48 mm, 9-button
ballistic bits with R35 thread.
Between 105 and 120 holes were nor-
mally required, together with two 102 mm
breaker holes in the centre. Average
drilling rate was 3 m/min, and face and
rockbolt drilling took around 3 hours in
normal ground. The rock generally com-
prised good, hard limestone, which could
be screened and crushed for aggregate.
Total volume of excavated rock was
around 1.8 million cu m, of which some
700,000 cu m is being reused.

Excavation and Mucking

All blasting at Mitholz utilized site sensi-
tized emulsion (SSE) explosives supplied
by Dyno Nobel Sweden. The profile holes
were charged at 50% density to control
overbreak, and the blasted faces were
Atlas Copco Boomer XL3 C drilling MAI such as bolting, cross passage develop- safened using an excavator-mounted rock
SDA to repair squeezing at Mitholz. ment, and extraneous excavation. scaler. Overexcavation of 45 cm width on
Standard Swellex rockbolts, in 3 m and horseshoe section and 60 cm width on cir-
4 m lengths, were installed as immediate cular section was required to accommodate
support, normally at 1.5 m spacing in the squeezing under normal circumstances. An
roof and shoulders of each drive. All of the LHD equipped with 5.4 cu m side-tipping
ancillary face equipment such as trans- bucket carried the spoil back to a 1,000 t/h
formers, ventilation extensions, and cable mobile crusher located some 50-100 m
reels were carried on backup platforms behind each face. From here, the crushed
suspended on rails slung from the roof. rock was delivered by a 330 m overlap
stage conveyor to a 300 t/h trunk convey-
Torqueing up a 16 m-long grouted MAI SDA. ing system, and thence to a handling plant
close to the adit bottom where the rock
was further crushed to –200 mm, with
oversize scalped by a grizzly. Vertical
pocket elevators carried the spoil 20 m up
to the adit conveyor loading points, from
where two 400 t/h tubed belt systems took
it to the surface for transport to the nomi-
nated stockpiles.
The south section is serviced by two
2,700 kW air conditioning units which are
cooled by 150 lit/sec of recycled ground-
water, and fresh air is supplied by a pair of
2.4 m ventilation ducts. The air is con-
tained by automatic roller shutter doors,
and driven around the faces by auxiliary
fans. The Frutigen TBM tunnel is the main
fresh air intake and, by the time that the air
reaches the south faces, most of it has trav-
elled more than 15 km. All told, there are


RR3/RC11 26/6/05 11:07 Page 111


in excess of 120 km of pipelines installed

underground for various purposes.

Support and Lining

The roof and sides of each excavated
round were shotcreted and 20-30 Swellex
rockbolts installed, using a Rocket Boomer
XL3 C to drill the 38 mm holes. Rock
cover varies from 1,000 m to a maximum
of 2,000 m beneath the Mitholz peaks. In
squeezing ground, wire mesh and steel
fibre reinforced shotcrete were used.
Rockbursting was a hazard at the far south
end of the alignment, especially where
crystalline rock was encountered.
Permanent lining comprises 250 mm-
thick cast in-situ concrete formed over a
drainage membrane, with the crown of the
tunnel positioned 7.2 m above the top of profile, they introduced R32 MAI SDA in MAI SDA under installation alongside
the rail track. The main tunnels are being 8 m and 12 m lengths at a density of ten replacement steel arch.
finished to a standard 62 sq m cross-sec- per metre of advance to replace the grouted
tion. rebar. By the end of June, 2004 the ground
The site worked a 7 day/3 shift opera- conditions had deteriorated to the extent
tion, with four crews of 9 or 10 men rotat- that fifteen 8 m-long R32 MAI SDA, eight
ing on each face. Tunnelling progress was 12 m-long MAI SDA, and seven 4.5 m-
well ahead of schedule when the south long Swellex were necessary for each
faces reached the predicted water-bearing metre of advance.
karstic limestone, the drillrigs having Stronger rock reinforcement was
advanced 250-300 m/month on each face, required, and it was decided to upgrade
with a maximum achieved of 343 m/month. from R32 to R38 MAI SDA, in a mix of 8
A complex probe drilling system using m and 12 m lengths. This unprecedented
250-300 m-long cored holes was employed density of support sometimes reached 350
to investigate conditions ahead of the face, m of rockbolting for each metre advance.
and average water inflows up to nearly 100 Nevertheless, squeezing caused defor-
lit/sec were experienced, with a maximum mation over a 100 m-long section close to
pressure of 54 bar. Hydraulic testing and the face of each drive, causing a pause in
ground probing radar were also used, and a advance while the situation was assessed.
grouting regime established. Each face was secured using 12-15 off 4
m-long fibreglass bolts, and a 470 m-long
Carboniferous Encounter cored exploratory hole drilled to probe Shotcreting a repaired section in the
the ground ahead. This indicated that the south drives.
In April, 2004, some 1.5 km before the
south faces reached the boundary of the
Satco contract, a section of softer rock was
encountered. This was accompanied by
water over a 400 m length, following
which the faces progressed through first
granite, then limestone, sandstone and
shale, before entering an unexpected 600
m-long carboniferous section, in which
thin seams of anthracite appeared in the
shale. At this point, Satco modified the
excavated section from arched profile to
circular profile.
They had been setting six 6 m-long
grouted rebars and four or five 4 m-long
Swellex bolts for each metre of advance
using the arched profile. For the circular


RR3/RC11 26/6/05 11:07 Page 112


circular steel compression arches at 1 m

intervals. For each arch, 16 off 16 m-long
grouted R38 MAI SDA were installed
radially in 4 m-long coupled lengths in 76
mm holes, both to stabilize the strata
around the tunnel and to pin the arches in
place. These were grouted in place at 20-
40 bar pressure.
Once the relining was completed, tun-
nelling operations resumed, and were
soon into good rock. Satco is carrying on
beyond the original contract southern
boundary for more than an extra 1 linear
km of drive awarded as a bonus for early

North Completion
In the north, probeholes were maintained
40 m ahead of the face, drilled in the
crown by one of the Rocket Boomer XL3
Cs equipped with a RAS rod adding
system. Detection of methane would trig-
ger a warning system on the drillrigs, and
the monitoring system on the suspended
Buckled arch with emergency backup would switch off HT electrics if a
retaining bolts. dangerous concentration were encoun-
Tunnelling at the north face was com-
pleted in May 2003, some 8 months ahead
of programme, as a result of which Satco
was awarded a further contract to excavate
some 800 m of the west tube from the
Frutigen portal. All cross passage excava-
tion between the east tube and the TBM
tunnel is now complete.
The main concrete lining operation
went well in the north drive, where pair of
12.5 m formworks returned 25 m/day of
completed lining. Concrete lining is pro-
ceeding apace in the south drives.■
Tungsten carbide bit used along with EYY type with
MAI SDA at Mitholz. Acknowledgements
carboniferous section would run out after Atlas Copco is indebted to Satco and
another 50 m in the west face and 10 m in Alptransit Lotschberg for permission to
Section of Lotschberg tunnel from the east face, following which there would be publish this article and, in particular, to
Frutigen to Raron. The unexpected a transition to comparatively good sandstone. Wolfgang Lehner of Strabag, project man-
area of soft sedimentary rock is It was decided to reline the deformed ager at Mitholz, for his assistance with
delineated by red dotted lines. tunnel in sections 50 m-long, installing interviews and site visit.

North Mithollz Ferden Steg South

Frutigen portal lateral adit lateral adit lateral adit Raron portal
m.s.l. m.s.l.
1000 1000
500 500
0 0


RR3/RC13.qxd 23/6/05 11:27 Page 113


Mechanized Bolting at
Partners in Production
Zinkgruvan Mining AB, Sweden’s
third largest mining company, is a
part of Lundin Mining Corporation.
Zinkgruvan Mining produces zinc and
lead concentrates for shipment to
smelters in northern Europe.
The mine has been continuously in
production since 1857, and ore output
now stands at about 835,000 t/year,
together with 185,000 t of waste
from development.
Production is obtained from open
stopes where, following difficulties
with seepage from hydraulic fill
when rock quality diminished, the
mine now uses paste fill. Rather than on a 2 x 7 h shift basis. The mine has an Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer L2 C
deepen the main hoisting shaft, the option to purchase a second twin-boom developing the sublevels.
main ramp access was developed Rocket Boomer, this time an M2 C, which
below the 800 m level, and will
bottom out at 1,100 m under present
is the mining version of their existing L2 C.
plans. Key to Zinkgruvan production
efforts is equipment supplied by Rock Reinforcement
Atlas Copco, which includes four
Simba production drillrigs, three The mine installs up to 20,000 resin
Rocket Boomers and two Boltec rigs,
together with maintenance and con-
anchored rockbolts each year, and, having
sumable supply contracts. upgraded its production process, found that
bolting became the new bottleneck. After
prolonged testing of the latest Atlas Copco
Lower Development Boltec LC, they ordered two units.
Using these machines, the working
In order to mine below the 800 m level, the environment for the bolting operatives has
mine uses three Kiruna Electric trucks for improved immeasurably, since the continu-
ore and waste haulage to the main crusher. ous manual handling of resin cartridges
A Simba M4 C longhole drilling rig is has been eliminated. The Boltec LC is a
used on production, drilling up to 40 m- fully mechanized rockbolting rig with
long x 76 mm or 89 mm-diameter blast- computer-based control system for high
holes. The machine produces some 50,000 productivity and precision. The Zinkgruvan
drillmetres/year, while an older Simba models feature a new type of magazine
1357 drills a similar number of metres in holding 80 resin cartridges, sufficient for
the 51-64 mm range. The mine is so installation of 16 rockbolts before refill. It
impressed with the stability of the Simba is equipped with a stinger, which applies
M4 C rotation unit that it has had an old constant pressure to keep it stable at the
Simba 1354 rebuilt to incorporate the same hole during the entire installation process.
unit. A Simba M7 C is being delivered for The operator can select the number of resin
cable bolt drilling. The drilling consum- cartridges to be shot into the hole, for
ables are supplied by Atlas Copco Secoroc which the rig air capacity is excellent.
under contract. The ramp will be driven
from the current 980 m to the 1,100 m level. Vital Combination
An Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer L2 C is
used on ramp and sublevel development, The Rig Control System (RCS) features an
where the requirement is for 18 rounds/week interactive operator control panel with


RR3/RC13.qxd 23/6/05 11:27 Page 114


hydraulic system with fewer and shorter

hoses for increased availability. Data trans-
fer is by PC-card, which also allows service
engineers to store optimal drill settings.
The MBU bolting unit on the Boltec LC
features a single feed system, utilizing a
cradle indexer at the rear end, and a robust
drill steel support, plus indexer for grout-
ing, at the top end. It is equipped with a
low-mounted magazine for 10 bolts,
designed for maximum flexibility during
drilling and bolting.
The COP 1532 rock drill is the shortest
in its class, with modern hydraulic reflex
dampening for high-speed drilling and
excellent drill steel economy. It has sepa-
rately variable frequency and impact
power, which can be adapted to certain
drill steel/rock combinations.
The BUT 35HBE heavy-duty bolting
boom is perfect for direct, fast and accu-
rate positioning between holes. Large
capacity working lights, and a joystick-
operated spotlight, ensure that the operator
has outstanding visibility from his working
Atlas Copco Boltec LC installing full-colour display of the computer-based
rockbolts in a development drive. drilling system. Automatic functions in the Profitable Collaboration
drilling process, such as auto-collaring and
anti-jamming protection, as well as The Rig Control System (RCS), originally
improved regulation of the rock drill, pro- developed for Boomer rigs, is now also
vide high performance and outstanding drill installed on Simba and Boltec rigs, so the
Grinding Secoroc bits on a Grind Matic steel economy. There is integrated diagnos- mine benefits from the common concept.
BQ2 machine. tic and fault location, and a distributed Atlas Copco has total responsibility for
all service and maintenance operations on
its equipment at Zinkgruvan, and has three
service engineers stationed permanently at
site. The company is also under contract
for the supply, maintenance and grinding
of Secoroc rock drilling tools, overseen by
a Secoroc specialist.
From the mine point of view, they
believe they have profited by their collabo-
ration with Atlas Copco, particularly in the
field testing of the new generation rigs.
Early exposure to the capabilities of these
machines has allowed them to adapt their
mining and rockbolting methods to the
new technology, giving them a head start
on the savings to be achieved. ■

This article is based on a paper written by
Gunnar Nystrom. The editor also grate-
fully acknowledges the inputs of Jonas
Sodergren, Hans Sjoberg and Conny
Ohman, all of Zinkgruvan Mining.


RR3/RC14.qxd 23/6/05 11:28 Page 115


Seismic Tunnelling at Bolu

Overcoming Natural
The attempt in the mid-nineties at
tunnelling through the Bakacak Fault
near the Turkish town of Bolu was
aborted following the massive earth-
quake in November, 1999. This
caused the collapse of a section of
mined tunnel, which had been exca-
vated with preliminary primary sup-
port of soil nails and shotcrete.
The overall design has been
rethought, and the tunnel is now
again under construction. Seismic
principles have been applied to this
project, which is crucial to comple-
tion of the Gumusova-Gerede section
of the important North Anatolian
Motorway linking Ankara and Istan-
bul. The design criteria have defined
the fault crossing strategy, and the
practical solutions involve the exten-
sive use of Atlas Copco MAI Self
damage was done to the lining and invert Atlas Copco Boomer drilling over the
Drilling Anchors (SDA) as primary
of both tunnels. Consultants Lombardi SA face for forepoling.
were brought in to analyze the seismic
loads induced by the earthquake, which
History originated at the North Anatolian Fault.
These analyses examined the depth, direc-
The Bolu Mountain Crossing is midway tional effects, soil amplifications and dis-
between Ankara and Istanbul, and repre- tance from the seismic source, and a panel
sents the most challenging section of the of experts was set up to study the results.
motorway construction. Along this 20 km-
long stretch, four important viaducts and a Active Faults
long tunnel are under construction.
The Bolu tunnel is a twin-tube motor- Two active faults were recognized
way tunnel of about 3 km length, accom- along the tunnel alignment: the Zekidagi
modating three lanes per tube, linking the and Bakacak faults (Barka-W Lettis &
western Asarsuyu valley to the eastern Associates).
Elmalik village, on the Ankara side. The The Zekidagi fault dips at almost 90
original design featured five support class- degrees, is approximately 6 to 8 km-long,
es in the tunnel, and two at the portals, and possibly intersects with the tunnel
with an excavation area ranging between alignment at nearly right angles, around Plan of Astaldi section of the Istanbul-
190 sq m and 260 sq m. The original static chainage 62+430 in the left tube and Ankara highway.
design was by Geoconsult GmbH of
Saltzburg, Austria, and, for the worst rock
condition, involved preliminary excavation
and backfill of bench pilot tunnels, a three-
layer lining, and a deep monolithic invert.
Excavation of the tunnel started in
1993, and, almost immediately, problems
were encountered with clays. When the
Duzce earthquake occurred in 1999, a
stretch of about 350 m of tunnel collapsed
behind the eastern faces, and major


RR3/RC14.qxd 23/6/05 11:28 Page 116


Two likely traces of the Bakacak fault,

which dips at 40 degrees, were identified
crossing the Bolu Tunnel between
chainage 62+800 and 62+900 at the left
tube, and 52+730 to 52+800 at the right
tube, over a distance of about 100 m. This
is precisely the zone where excavation was
proceeding at the time of the earthquake.

Crossing Active Faults

Basically, two strategies are feasible to
mitigate the seismic risk induced to tunnels
by ruptures of active faults across the
alignment. These are commonly referred to
as over-excavation, and articulated design.
In the first case, the tunnel is driven
through the fault with an enlarged cross
section. A double lining is installed, and
Standard cross-section of Bolu tunnel 52+350 in the right tube, over a length of filled by a porous material, such as foam
showing massive support. 25 m to 30 m. It has a potential for small concrete. If there is a fault rupture, the
future displacement in the range of 0.15- clearance profile is guaranteed by the gap
0.25 in an earthquake of magnitude 6 to between the outer and inner linings. This
6.25. This section of tunnel was lined manner of protection, commonly used for
according to the original design, and no metro projects, is limited by the width of
particular problems were experienced the cross section that must be excavated,
crossing the fault, although high deforma- and will be most effective when a fault
tions were recorded. rupture is concentrated within a few
The Bakacak Fault has been identified metres.
as a secondary fault in the step-over region The articulated design strategy, on the
between the two major North Anatolian other hand, reduces the width of the lining
Fault (NAF) branches in the Bolu region. segments, leaving independent sections
This clay fault exhibits low potential for across the fault, and for a distance
right lateral strike-slip displacements. It is beside the fault. In a fault rupture, the
some 10-45 km-long, composed of several movement is concentrated at the joints
segments ranging from 3 to 5 km-long, and linking the segments, containing any
rupture displacements of up to 50 cm can damage in a few elements, without uncon-
Shotcrete operations underway in the be expected in an earthquake of magnitude trolled propagation.
top heading. 6.25 to 6.5. The maximum length of any single ele-
ment depends on several factors, such as
width of the cross section, expected move-
ment of the fault, compressibility of the
surrounding soil, and element kinematics.
Articulated design was selected as the
most appropriate for the large cross section
of the Bolu tunnel, and for the excavation
geometry that had already been defined.

Design Philosophy
When the Bakacak fault was recognized as
active, almost one year after the Duzce
event, the restoration of the original tunnel
was almost complete, and the shape and
type of the cross section adopted was
already defined. The bench pilot tunnels of
the original excavation had already been


RR3/RC14.qxd 23/6/05 11:28 Page 117


The segments geometry was defined by

considering a ratio between length and
width of the tunnel segment equal to one
third, resulting in an element length of
about 5 m. This geometry kept the load on
the single crown segment below an accept-
able threshold value.
For practical reasons, the length of the
segments was reduced to 4.4 m, with a
50 cm joint gap at invert. This facilitated
retention of the original modular reinforce-
ment cage.
Following a fault rupture, the tunnel
will act longitudinally as an embedded
beam, whose extremities are displaced by
the lateral offset of the fault. The assump-
tion made, justified by the geologists, is
that a rupture will be uniformly distributed
across the fault boundaries, with horizontal
displacement. Therefore the shear strain in
the fault soil can be reasonably assumed as keeping the spacing below 30 cm, and also Installing prefabricated concrete slab
the ratio between expected offset and by introducing a light dosage of steel fibres intermediate lining.
width of the fault at tunnel level. in the concrete mix, or applying an equiva-
Up to rupture of the joints, the tunnel lent double mesh layer. These measures
will be sheared and bent by the soil as an were installed within the fault, and up to a
embedded beam. Once the joint’s shear distance of 30-40 m from the fault borders.
resistance is attained, each segment will be The joints, at 4.2 m spacing, have been
free to move independently, according to detailed to prevent soil squeezing between
external loads. the segments, and to bridge the static soil
The maximum acceptable shear resis- pressure to the surrounding elements, but
tance of the joint has been defined on an opposing a sufficiently low shear resis-
equivalent elastic model, with soil mod- tance in the event of fault rupture.
elled as springs acting in compression. A To provide ring closure of the joint at
displacement is gradually applied to the the invert, a 0.4 m-thick fibre reinforced
extremities, and the shear stiffness of the shotcrete beam is applied to bridge the
joints is designed so as to reach the shear gap. At the crown, the regular 40 cm-thick
failure of the joint before lateral overload shotcrete preliminary lining has been
of the element cross section, or bending assessed as sufficient.
failure at extremities. The 50 cm-wide joint is filled by two
layers of concrete blocks, with a 10 cm
Reinforcement and Joints low density PS layer in between. A water-
proofing membrane is installed below the
Across the fault zone, different support concrete block slabs and the invert.
measures have been adopted. Of these, the In general, at the crown, three levels of
most important is an 80 cm-thick concrete linings are installed: a shotcrete lining, an
40 N/sq mm prefabricated concrete slab intermediary lining of poured concrete,
intermediate lining to be installed between and a reinforced final lining. The water-
the primary lining and the inner lining. The proofing membrane bridges the seismic
reinforcement bars have been placed only joint gap between intermediary and final
in the inner (final) lining and at invert, lining. The joint opening in the final lining
while the shotcrete and intermediate lin- has been enlarged to 70 cm, and the gap
ings have been fibre-reinforced. will be covered by a steel plate, for the
The primary aim of the reinforcement purposes of ventilation and fire resistance.
design is to provide a high ductility to the The backfilled bench pilot tunnels were
lining. The allowable rotation has been heavily reinforced to provide sufficient
estimated, and compared to the estimated abutment to the crown loads during the
rotation for the load conditions. This was excavation. These beams cannot be inter-
achieved by introducing stirrups at shear, rupted while excavating, so the cutting of


RR3/RC14.qxd 23/6/05 11:28 Page 118


5-piece steel arches are set at 1.1 m

intervals. Then 20 off, 12 m-long anchors,
each comprising 3 x 4 m lengths of Atlas
Copco MAI SDA, are drilled in and grouted
using an Atlas Copco Boomer drillrig. The
roof and sides are given a 40 cm-thick
application of steel fibre reinforced shot-
crete, and a 50 cm-thick steel bar reinforced
shotcrete temporary invert is installed.
The bench is then advanced 2.2 m at
each side, and the legs of the steel arches
are installed, together with bolts and shot-
crete. Two incremental advances of 4.4 m
allow the invert to be excavated 5 m-deep
over the full width of the heading, and this
is filled with mass concrete with two pre-
fabricated steel reinforcement cages. A pur-
General view of the Bolu tunnel face the joint in the section can only be executed pose-built, self-propelled stage conveyor is
with invert pouring underway. once the invert is in place. used to transfer the concrete from the fleet
of 8 cu m mixer trucks. The invert concret-
Excavation and Support ing is maintained within 25 m of the face.
The total excavated area of the tunnel is
The Bolu tunnel has been advanced on a 160-200 sq m. Where the rock is particu-
new alignment, which diverts around the larly poor, a 60 cm-thick concrete slab
collapsed section. It is being driven from intermediate lining is installed, and the
newly established faces within the aban- annulus backfilled with concrete. This is
doned tunnel on the Istanbul side. A followed by a mass concrete in-situ lining,
150 m-long cut-and-cover section was using 150 sq m x 13.5 m-long self pro-
completed at the Ankara portals before pelled formworks. The final lining opera-
excavation work could commence from tion is kept within 75-85 m of the face, to
this end. ensure permanent support as early as pos-
The weathered, faulted amphibolite sible. Concrete is supplied from two plants
rock, with up to 140 m cover, is broken up on site with 80 cu m/h output capacity,
by a Krupp hydraulic hammer mounted on backed by a 350 t cement storage silo.
a Cat 235 excavator, then loaded into road Where necessary, very-heavy lattice
tipper trucks. The 7 m-high top heading is girders are placed as temporary support,
opened using 30 x 6 m-long forepoles over and these are cut away as soon as suffi-
the crown, under which three pieces of the cient permanent support is in place.
The first tube breakthrough is scheduled
Heavy steel reinforcement of the 5 m-deep concrete for August, 2005, with the second follow-
invert. ing before the end of the year.
The finished twin-tube tunnel will
accommodate three lanes of traffic in each
direction, with vehicle cross passages at
500 m intervals. ■

Atlas Copco is grateful to the management
of the Bolu project for permission to visit
the site, and to Olivio Angelini, Gaetano
Germani and Aziz Õzdemir of Astaldi for
their help and assistance in preparation of
this article. Reference is made to Design
and Construction of Large Tunnel Through
Active Faults: a Recent Application by
M Russo and W Amberg (Lombardi
Engineering), and G Germani (Astaldi).


RR3/RC15 24/6/05 14:02 Page 119


Stabilizing Foundations
in Baltic Cities
Ancient and Modern
The Baltic States of Northern Europe
have done well to preserve most of
their historic buildings, some dating
from the Middle Ages. However, subsi-
dence is now the main enemy in Riga,
Latvia and Tartu, Estonia, where the
race is on to underpin the buildings
most affected. This is being accom-
plished with minimum intrusion using
micropiling techniques, in which MAI
SDA and grout pumps are the key ele-
ments. Similar techniques are also
being used to great effect in Riga coal
docks, where the sheet piling of the
dock wall is being secured using long
grouted SDA while the harbour is
deepened. The diversity of these jobs
highlights the flexibility of MAI SDA as
an essential construction tool.
concrete cladding and the steel sheet Barge-mounted drillrig installing
pile. Then 47 m-long, 130 mm-diameter 48 m-long MAI SDA anchors at
Riga docks.
Riga Coal Dock holes were drilled 40 degrees below hor-
izontal through the surface sand to pene-
Riga coal dock handles a million t/y of trate the sandstone bedrock below. Each
coal from the Kuzbas region of Russia, and drillstring comprised a cross bit with 16
is looking to expand its business by using x 3 m-long threaded MAI T76 bars and
larger ships, for which the harbour has to 15 couplings. Continuous grout injection
be deepened. was carried out at 40-60 bar pressure in
It was necessary to anchor the existing the 4 h-long drilling operation, during
dock walls to solid ground prior to the which retarders were used to keep the
dredging operation, following which a cement workable.
new, deeper wall is being installed. Atlas A week later, a plate and nut were
Copco MAI anchors are being used as both screwed onto the protruding end of each
temporary and permanent support for the anchor, and stressed up to 60 t. Some 120
sheet piling operation. anchors were required for the first stage,
Their installation is being carried out by and these were installed in a horizontal line
the marine construction division of BMGS, above the high water mark at 3 m intervals.
a Latvian specialist contractor. This allowed dredging of the dock from its
The first stage involved anchoring the previous depth of 10 m to 13.5 m. Each
upper section of the existing steel sheet anchor was pull tested at 90 t.
piles by drilling from a purpose-built barge Sheet piling operations then took place
floating in the dock, an operation which during the winter 2004/2005, along the line
carried on 24 h/day, 7 days/week whenever of the new dock wall, which is around a
the dock was free. The barge had to be metre seawards from the previous position.
towed out of the way every time a coal The annulus between the two walls is
ship tied up. being concreted.
At each anchor position, a 150 mm- The second stage of anchoring is being
diameter cored hole was drilled 1.5-2.0 undertaken in 2005, using the same princi-
m into the dock wall to penetrate the ples as for the first stage. In this case, the


RR3/RC15 24/6/05 14:02 Page 120


15 m. The anchors have been designed for

a 40-year life expectancy.
Inlet grouting

Micropiling For Support

Anchored rod
T76, 3 m - long The Old City of Riga, much of which
was constructed in the Middle Ages, is
Adapter Sheet pile built upon riverine deposits of the
H55-MAI T76 Coupling T76 Daugava flood plain, using wooden piles
as foundations. When installed in a water-
saturated environment, wooden piles will
last indefinitely because oxidation is
Pre drilled at ø 150 mm
For six hundred years, the water table in
Riga Old City was stable. Then, in the
1960s, a hydro dam was built across the
Daugava River some 20 km upstream of
The 47 metre-long Atlas Copco MAI Self-Drilling Riga. Since then, the water table has fluctu-
Anchors are drilled through concrete, sheet piles ated, revealing the tops of the wooden
and into the bedrock, strengthening the dock
piles, and allowing oxidation. The oxida-
walls prior to deepening the harbour.
tion has promoted rot, and the affected
Drillbit ø 130 mm
buildings have started to sink. The sinking
Schematic of drillrig mounted on new row of anchors will be drilled between has not been uniform, resulting in tilting
floating platform to drill downward into the earlier anchors on the same line, accompanied by severe structural cracking,
the harbour wall. spaced at 3 m apart. This will result in 240 and differential subsidence along the
permanent 47 m-long ground anchors at facades.
1.5 m intervals along the dock wall. Halting subsidence of old buildings is
Dredging work can then be carried out not easy, because access is usually diffi-
without fear of the dock wall moving, and cult, streets are narrow, and working places
the dock will be deepened from 13.5 m to restricted. This is the precise scenario for
which micropiles were developed, and a
MAI 400 grout pump at work in Riga basement. situation in which MAI anchors and grout
pumps prove their value.
The theory behind micropiling for sup-
port is very simple, seeking to create a
higher friction in the existing foundations
of the building. This is accomplished by
drilling and high pressure grouting
through, or in the vicinity, of the base of
the structure, to produce crosspiles to sup-
port the base of the building.
The micropiles are formed by the intro-
duction of grout during the drilling opera-
tion. The grout pressure is designed to
create piles of the required diameter,
while the grout itself stabilizes the hole
during the drilling process. Addition of
accelerators or retarders allows the
installer to vary the set of the grout
according to the specific ground condi-
tions, and to ensure that the penetration is
sufficient to produce a good pile without
The micropiles are generally drilled
tight to the building and as vertical as pos-
sible, with a lookout angle of 15 degrees
or less. A small crawler rig is generally
used, and the grout pump can be remotely


RR3/RC15 24/6/05 14:02 Page 121


disposable bit are simply left in the hole,

reinforcing the finished pile.
Grout is mixed in an MAI M400 pump
on which the pressure and quantity can be
varied to suit the job. The machine’s gal-
vanized frame and stainless steel charging
hopper guarantee corrosion protection and
withstand the toughest treatment, and the
pump itself is easy to dismantle for clean-
ing and maintenance. The self drilling
aspects of the MAI SDA system allow
drilling in unconsolidated or non-cohesive
soil which would otherwise require
casing, and the hollow rod permits simul-
taneous drilling and grouting through an
adapter, speeding up pile installation. The
left-handed standard rope thread accepts
standard drill tooling, and can be supplied
in a variety of diameters and threads.
Generally, if the designer has done his
job correctly, and the right diameter of
anchor and drillbit are used, the grouting
effectiveness can be gauged visually by the
appearance of grout at the collar of the

Saving Riga
FORE, a leading Baltic micropiling con-
Installing MAI SDA using a handheld pneumatic tractor, has underpinned a number of
jackhammer. ancient buildings and office blocks in Riga
Old City.
situated, possibly conveniently close to the To support the new Hotel Man-Tess,
cement storage. FORE installed 200 micropiles to 8-9 m
The pullout force for a micropile is less using MAI R38. The 200 year-old adjacent Atlas Copco ROC 712HC used by FORE
than its load bearing capacity, so a building was supported by 114 mm steel to install MAI SDA.
hydraulic testing jack can be used to check
that any pile has achieved its design
capacity, without influencing its function.
Overall, micropiling offers a dependable,
fast, low-technology, and low intrusion
method of underpinning buildings, and
the drilling techniques used penetrate
both wood and masonry without prob-

MAI Self Drilling Anchors

The MAI SDA self drilling anchor,
although designed primarily to operate in
tension, is ideally suited to the require-
ments of micropiling.
For drilling purposes, MAI fully-thread-
ed pipe can be cut into any suitable length,
using couplings for extension. This allows
the system to be installed in even the tight-
est situations. Once a hole has reached the
required depth, the pipe, couplings and


RR3/RC15 24/6/05 14:02 Page 122


L above: Ancient warehouse in Old Riga pipes installed to 8 m depth at half-metre block, which is being converted to offices
was saved by underpinning. spacing using an Atlas Copco 712HC drill- and flats. The piles are 15 m deep and 15
R above: Subsidence was arrested on rig, and filled with concrete. These were degrees from vertical, and designed to pass
the six-storey Pikadilja Cafe. then secured using 15 m-long MAI through the mud layer and penetrate 1 m
anchors drilled at 7 degrees from horizon- into the sand layer beneath. MAI R38 SDA
tal, each providing 30 t of anchoring force. grouted by an MAI M400 grout pump pro-
At Pikadilija Café on Valnu Iela, close duced high friction piles.
to the Opera House, the six-storey struc- A 14th Century grain warehouse in
ture has been subsiding into the very soft Aldaru Iela was underpinned by FORE in
deltaic riverine deposit, and needed stabi- 2002 using MAI R38 SDA to produce
lization before refurbishment. The crosspiles. The subsidence was arrested,
ground is non-supporting, and the and the building, situated close to
micropiles are designed to take the whole Parliament House, was refurbished.
weight of the building at around 20-25 In a totally different application, FORE
t/unit. is installing MAI R38 8 m-depth grouted
Located on the same street as Pikadilija anchors to provide stable foundations for
Café, the Terranova building has been new high-voltage electricity pylons cross-
underpinned by FORE using 350 ing Riga docklands.
micropiles formed from MAI R38 self
drilling anchors to 9 m depth grouted using Preserving Tartu
an MAI M400 grout pump at 25 bar pres-
sure. Work was undertaken from both the Tartu City Hall has been successfully
street and basement of the building to pro- underpinned using micropiling techniques
duce crosspile support. developed by local contractor Mikrovai,
In Valnu Street, FORE installed 350 and installed using Atlas Copco MAI SDA
micropiles in the basement of the existing self drilling anchors.


RR3/RC15 24/6/05 14:02 Page 123


Mikrovai commonly installs 10-12 m-

long piles using a 210 mm conical bit and
square section pipe, and uses MAI SDA
T76 hollow threaded bar for longer
micropiles up to 18 m, with bit diameter up
to 130 mm.
The City Hall was underpinned in 10
weeks using a crew of 8 men. Some 514
holes were drilled and grouted at 20 bar
pressure, using a total of 3,100 m of R32
and R38 MAI SDA hollow threaded bar
with 76 mm bits.
Generally, the R32 micropiles were
credited with 15 t bearing weight, and
the R38 with 30 t. The subsidence at
the City Hall has been successfully
arrested, and minor refurbishment
works are now being undertaken with
Also in Tartu, an old student dormitory
block is being refurbished as a science
department for the University. Mikrovai
underpinned the basement foundations by
installing 230 off 6 m-long R32
micropiles using MAI SDA. These were
drilled at 15 degrees from vertical both
inside and outside the building. If and the sheet piles withdrawn for Imposing City Hall at Tartu was
micropiling were not available as a reuse. underpinned in 10 weeks using 3.1 km
proven foundation underpinning tech- Mikrovai has found that the drillbit of MAI SDA.
nique, this building would probably have is critical to a good job, and poor
been knocked down rather than refur- choice can adversely affect the cost
bished. equation. A too-small diameter drillbit
At the crossroads in Tartu city centre, a will result in a smaller grout column
large shopping mall is being constructed than required, and a too-large diameter
by the local Skanska company, for which may cause the hole to collapse. Also,
temporary works include a steel sheet piled they find that the drilling operation
retaining wall to the high side of the slop- must not be carried out too quickly,
ing site. because the grout column has to form
Here Mikrovai has installed 42 off, properly, and this takes a certain time
14-18 m-long R32 MAI SDA and 20 according to the ground characteristics
off, 16-18 m-long R38 MAI SDA to of each job. A rule of thumb when
anchor the wall to the sandstone sub- installing 15 m-long anchors is 15-25
strata. By drilling at 10 degrees below holes/day/rig, if access is not a prob-
horizontal, the anchors, spaced hori- lem. MAI produces a full range of dis-
zontally at 4 m intervals along the posable bits in diameters for every
upper wall section, can penetrate 4 m condition. ■
into the sandstone. The MAI hollow
threaded bar has been used in 4 m Acknowledgements
lengths, with 76 mm EX bits. The R32
anchors have been tested at 20 t and Atlas Copco is grateful to Valery Zagulin,
the R38 at 40 t. chief of BMGS geotechnical department in
Because the more traditional wire Riga, Dainis Musins, managing director of
rope anchors require a casing system of FORE, and Urjo Eskel of Mikrovai for
drilling, they take longer to install and their help and assistance in the formula-
are more expensive for this type of job. tion of this article. Thanks also to Nils
Once the permanent retaining wall is Hellgren, managing director of Geomek,
built, the temporary wall will become representative agent for MAI products in
redundant and the anchors will be cut the Baltic States.


RR3/RC19B 18/8/05 13:52 Page 124


MAI SDAs Increase Land Use

for English Housing
Support for New
In the UK soil nailing represents the
vast majority of the market for self-
drilling anchors and housing develop-
ment forms a large part of market
At the Admirals Way housing devel-
opment in the English Midlands town
of Daventry, Atlas Copco’s UK MAI
distributor, Dywidag Systems
International, has been supplying
geotechnical specialist contractor
Keller Ground Engineering with hol-
low-bar MAI anchors for clay sub-soil
Keller also recently carried out sim-
ilar work at Snodland, Kent to stabi-
lize chalk and clay

covered up to form the gardens of some of Setting out the embankments in the
central part of the housing
Daventry Development the new properties.
development. In the background soil
Most UK inland soil nailing applica-
tions are classified by geotechnical engi- nailing is progressing on the section
The main development contractor at
already marked out.
Daventry is a joint venture of Thomas neers as low-risk, lightly loaded, passive
Vale Construction (Site Manager Dave installations with a design life of 60 or
Casey) and Westpoint Construction, 120 years. Exceptions are coastal areas
tasked with building 26 houses, five pairs where the effect of saline water is signifi- Installing soil nails in one of the
of flats and two bungalows on the site. cant, or in other aggressive ground condi- development service road
The housing development is on a wedge- tions. embankments.
shaped, sloping site comprising a relative-
ly soft clay mix which, if developed by
conventional means, would probably
necessitate the excavation and construc-
tion of expensive deep foundations for the
houses and service roads. As facilitated by
the MAI Anchor soil nailing method, the
site has been terraced with embankments
supporting the service roads at the end of
the gardens of adjacent new properties.
The soil nails are installed by drilling into
these embankments at 15-20 degrees. A
substantial development cost saving will
At the lower end of the site local condi-
tions over a short length did not permit the
creation of an embankment, so here the
MAI SDAs were inserted directly into a
level surface which would eventually be


RR3/RC19B 26/6/05 10:44 Page 125


The self-drilling anchors used by Keller at
Daventry were of the R32N hollow rope-
threaded bar design with 100 mm-diame-
ter, open-face, retroflush sacrificial drill
bits suitable for clay. The left-hand thread
allows connection to standard drill tooling.
The bar, measuring 32 mm diameter over
the threads or effectively 29.1 mm has an
ultimate strength in this size of bar of 280
kN and yield strength 230 kN.
MAI SDAs can be installed in unstable
ground without the need for temporary hole
casing by simultaneous drilling and grout-
ing. Depending on the type of bit used, they
are suitable for a wide range of ground
materials including soft clay (as at inclined 15-20 deg and at right angles to the Keller Ground Engineering’s Site
Daventry), sand, gravel, inconsistent fill, tracks, permitting the rig to be driven along Agent, John MacGregor Jr., views the
boulders, rubble, and weathered and frac- the row of soil-nails to be installed. The installation of some of the last soil
tured rock. drill bit and rotation speed are chosen to nails to be installed in the lower part
of the site.
ensure that the borehole is cut rather than
At Daventry, the consulting engineer’s
ground reinforcement pattern called for
soil-nail lengths of 5-13m depending on
their position on the site. This is achieved
by using coupling sleeves to connect the
standard lengths of threaded bar. In all
750-760 soil nails are being installed at
Admirals Way.
A surveyor first lays out each portion of
the site to be reinforced using red-painted
markers to indicate the planned entry
point for each soil nail according to the
design of the consulting geotechnical
Keller used two of their own crawler-
track, hydraulic, rotary drilling rigs to
install the SDAs, generally with the boom
Reinforcement is complete with a
layer of geomat secured by SDA nuts
and plates holding fine wire mesh.

Building from foundations commences

with the completed embankment
reinforcement in the background.


RR3/RC19B 26/6/05 10:44 Page 126


injection adaptor and thence through the

hollow bar of the SDA. The use of large,
100-mm bits enables a sufficiently large
grout column to be created to meet the
Once the soil-nails are inserted correct-
ly into the ground, sheets of welded
heavy wire mesh are attached to the pro-
truding SDAs, followed by a layer of
geomat, non-woven, geosynthetic materi-
al incorporating a layer of lighter wire
mesh. The facing components are held in
place by the galvanized plates and
threaded nuts of the SDAs. This all acts
mainly as erosion control of the stabi-
lized surface, but also aids the stability of
the whole installation.
Keller’s John MacGregor reported that,
on the Admirals Way site, the geotechnical
design called for ten ‘test’ soil nails across
Installing the top row of soil nails at displacing the soil through percussive the site to which tension was applied once
Woodlands Farm, Snodland, prior to action or a high feed pressure. This ensures the grout had cured. Dywidag’s own
excavating the low part of the slope. better permeation of the grout and thus a Stressing and Testing Services Department
better bond. carried out all the testing work. A tempo-
Each rod section of the soil nail, three or rary bearing platform is installed since the
four metres long, takes only about four test load would otherwise be pulling
minutes to insert using rotary percussive against a soft (clay) face, albeit overlain
drill action and a 3-man crew. There is a with geogrid etc. The test establishes the
drill-rig operator, another to act as ‘spotter’ true capacity of the soil nail bond in the sta-
and to insert the MAI SDAs and extensions ble zone rather than including the effect of
as drilling progresses, and a grout mixer the wedge zone.
The completed slope stabilization and pump operator. Simultaneous with
showing the heads of the soil nails drilling a cementitious grout is pumped at Prestige Housing
and the geogrid later 2.1-4.1 bar (30-60 lbf/ through a special
Keller Ground Engineering carried out
work on another housing development in
2004. The Woodlands Farm luxury hous-
ing development at Snodland in Kent,
south-east England, represents an impor-
tant application for embankment soil nail-
ing to make the best use of landscaping.
Keller Ground Engineering, working for
Berkeley Homes, used 473 R32N MAI
SDAs to create an embankment between
the building area and a lake in an old chalk
pit. The soil nails were 10 or 12 metres
total length.
Keller employed a drill boom and feed
mounted on the long backhoe boom of a
hydraulic excavator to install five rows of
soil nails in chalk and clay from the top of
the embankment. This allowed free access
for a bulldozer to shape the bottom of the
slope. After installing the soil nails the
head plates and nuts were used to retain a
geogrid layer of mesh and geosynthetic
material to allow restoration with


RR3/RC19A 23/6/05 11:39 Page 127


Soil Nailing Infrastructure along

England’s Routes
A Major Force in
Transport Slope
The UK distributor for MAI
International, Dywidag-Systems
International, has been leading the
way in slope stabilization using MAI
self-drilling anchors, in conjunction
with Atlas Copco Construction &
Mining (UK). Some of the most pres-
tigious recent transport construction
and renovation projects in the UK
have benefited from the use of the
MAI SRN hollow-bar anchor system
(Self-Drilling Anchors - SDAs), chiefly
for soil nailing, whether for stabiliza-
tion of cuttings walls or embank-
Since this cutting construction was Cutting during construction of the M6
ments. Birmingham Northern Relief Road
made in February 2003, the M6 Toll now
forms a valuable and busy alternative to showing the (right) wall stabilized by
the previous congested routes of the old MAI SDA soil nails compared with
(left) a more conventional low-angle
First Toll Motorway M6 and A5 linking the south-west
cutting slope requiring more surface
Midlands of England to the North West,
area and volume of excavation.
One of the leading projects is the UK’s by-passing the Birmingham/Black Country
first toll motorway, the Birmingham conurbation.
Northern Relief Road; now known as the
M6 Toll. The engineer working for the Stabilizing Freight Route
Client, Midland Expressway (M6),
designed a steep wall in a cutting, protect- Britain’s transport infrastructure also
ing some existing trees. The use of slope includes many kilometres of rail routes, the
stabilization with soil nails allowed the structures of which often require attention,
‘footprint’ of the cutting to be reduced (see since many are over a century old. One
picture), hence reducing the necessary land recent rail project involving MAI SDAs,
‘take’ from the neighbouring landowner, 678 in all, was the stabilization of a failing
saving project expenditure. On behalf of embankment on the Crewe-Salop
the main contractor consortium CAMBBA Independent Line in the centre of the
(made up of Carillion, Alfred McAlpine, Midlands town of Crewe in October 2004.
Balfour Beatty and Amec), a specialist Network Rail (North West) and its
sub-contractor installed 1000 soil nails Engineer considered the more convention-
using MAI SDAs in a grid pattern across al solution of sheet-piling the lower part of
the face of the cutting wall. the embankment, but this may have
The ground drilled is sandy clay with required lengthy closures of a busy rail
occasional boulders, necessitating the use route, a deeper structure requiring more
of sacrificial drop-centre button bits with site investigation, and some other environ-
tungsten carbide peripheral blades to form mental disturbance such as from noise.
a clean hole. The fully galvanized, R32N Using the alternative of soil nailing only
hollow-bar, MAI SDAs varied in total limited access from the top of the embank-
length from 7 to 12m with couplers. ment was required.


RR3/RC19A 23/6/05 11:39 Page 128


TSV Line near Henley-in-Arden had been

suffering gradual subsidence due to both the
type of fill material used and the activities of
badgers burrowing in the embankments. The
effects of this on the track necessitated the
imposition of a 20-mile/h (32-km/h) speed
restriction on train movements.
Using a series of one-way gates, the
badger population was ‘rehoused’ nearby
before other rectification work began. Trial
soil nails were first tested by Dywidag’s
Stressing and Testing Department to establish
the bond stress of the nail within the stable
zone of the slope, behind the slip plane.
Following successful trials a specialist
contractor installed the SDAs in both
embankments. The method, including
simultaneous drilling and grouting,
enabled the reinforcement to be installed in
On the Crewe embankment slope The soil-nail reinforcement was designed the unconsolidated sand and gravel without
installing soil nails with excavator- in accordance with the new European soil- resort to hole casing, whilst also reducing
mounted drills. Note protruding heads nailing Standard EN 14490, and employed overall installation time. Following com-
of installed SDAs R32N MAI hollow-bar of 16-m length. Only pletion of the soil-nail grid, the slope sur-
the top-bar (down to the coupler) needed to face was reprofiled, and rail speed
be galvanized against atmospheric corrosion restrictions could be lifted.
in order to preserve the structural integrity Also in the Midlands, there was a major
for the design life of the installation. slip in the Beehive Embankment on the
Two drill booms were used, mounted on West Coast Main Line in Leicestershire
hydraulic excavators with long-reach (22- that needed to be rectified in February
m) ‘sticks’. This enabled the soil nails to be 2004. The slip had been caused by the
installed in the embankment in an ‘under- presence of a perched water table. The
arm’ action, leaving the rail lines below to solution involved drainage of the perched
be operated as normal and without distur- water table and the installation of three
bance to neighbouring structures. The rows, with 100 soil nails in each, using
drilling equipment included a shank inte- R32S galvanized MAI SDA hollow bar.
grated into the injection adaptor enabling The head plates of the SDAs also serve to
simultaneous drilling and grouting. hold a layer of geosynthetic material in
place to deter surface erosion.
Badger Bother
The restored embankment on the Nailed Gabions
London-Brighton line at Earlswood Other Midlands rail projects have been car-
showing the soil-nailed gabions just ried out in Railtrack’s (now Network Rail) In March 2003 the Earlswood Embankment,
below the rail level Midland Zone. Two embankments on the on the main London-to-Brighton railway
line, required major stabilization work for
the Southern Zone of Network Rail. The
Client’s engineers chose a solution combin-
ing a layer of gabions immediately under the
track with embankment slope soil nailing.
Gabions are cuboid steel-wire-mesh baskets
filled with rocks to form, with neighbouring
units, a self-draining wall.
The contractors used MAI SDAs to fix
the gabions in position to form a platform
under the track, and also inserted the series
of soil nails in the underlying embankment.
The embankment works were extensive,
requiring a total of 1500 soil nails formed
by R32N MAI hollow bar. ■


RR3/RC17 23/6/05 11:40 Page 129


Portal Stabilization Using

Olympic Deadline
Improvements are being made to the
state road EN23 near the town of
Porte, Turin in Italy ahead of the 2006
Winter Olympic Games. The project is
designed to relieve traffic congestion
in the town centre.
Tunnel alignment is in gneiss-
greenstone, mica-schist and glacial-
lake loose ground, so rock
reinforcement is critical to the suc-
cess of the project, particularly at the
portals. Based on its proven quality
and consistent performance, Atlas
Copco Swellex Mn 16 was selected as
the rockbolt for use in stabilizing the
rock around the portal.

Mixed Ground in rock comprising gneiss-greenstone and Reinforcement of the slope by the
gneiss mica-schist belonging to the meta- eastern portal of the La Turina tunnel
The project designer for the underground morphic substratum of the Cristallino with 4 m-long Swellex Mn 16
work is Geodata SpA of Turin, for the Massif of the Dora Maira. rockbolts.
client, a consortium known as Agency of Swellex rockbolts were used both
XX Winter Olympic Games of Turin 2006. underground for primary support, and to
The contractor, Baldassini and Tognozzi reinforce the rock walls above the eastern
SpA Costruzioni Generali of Firenze, Italy, portals of the tunnels.
is using drill/blast techniques in the rock
sections of the alignment, and a hydraulic Slope Stabilization Reinforcement of the slope at the
hammer in the loose ground. eastern entrance of the Craviale tunnel
Rock reinforcement is required to improve The geo-structural survey carried out on the using 6 m-long Swellex Mn16
the quality of the rock, for which Swellex Mn slopes housing the portals showed that the rockbolts.
16 rockbolts in lengths of 4 m and 6 m have
been used for supporting the portal area.

Project Description
The project for the diversion of the Colle
del Sestriere state road N23 is taking place
near the town of Porte, approximately 40
km from Turin, in the upper Chisone
Valley of the Piedmont Region.
In addition to embankments and dry
bridges along the river Chisone, two
single-tube, bi-directional natural tunnels
are being built, La Turina with a length of
601 m, and Craviale with length of 991 m.
La Turina tunnel is being driven partly
in rock and partly in softer ground, where-
as the Craviale tunnel was driven entirely


RR3/RC17 23/6/05 11:40 Page 130


bolts based on the number of joints (Jv)

per cubic metre of rock.
The bolt requirements indicated by this
method were: length 3-6 m; distance between
bolts 1-3 m; bolt strength 120-150kN; and
resulting force applied a 120-150 kN/sq m.
To support the walls around the portals,
Atlas Copco Swellex Mn16/Mn24 were
installed, being the rockbolts with the
specified features. Some 450 bolts of 6 m
length were used to stabilize the slope at
the eastern entrance of the Craviale tunnel,
and around 200 bolts of lengths 4 m and 6
m were installed to support the eastern
portal of Turina tunnel.
Since the sides were reinforced in this fash-
ion, no blocks have moved and the entrances
Swellex rockbolts stocked by the rock was very altered and fractured. These have been stabilized and safely supported.■
eastern entrance of the Craviale slopes, analyzed using the empirical
tunnel. approach of Romana (1991), were classified References:
as partially stable, and assessed as class III-
SMR-Slope Mass Rating. They required Palmstron, A., 1982. The volumetric joint
immediate support using rockbolts and count – a useful and simple measure of the
mesh with shotcrete to avoid the potential degree of rock jointing. Proc. 4th Cong.
slide generated by a combined influence of Int. Assn Engng Geol., Delhi.
the joints and inclination of the slope. Romana, M., 1991. SMR classification.
The formula of Palmstrom (1982) was Proc. 7th Congr. On rock mech SRM,
used to calculate the required number of Aachen, Germany.


RR3/RC20 23/6/05 11:46 Page 131


Driving From Budapest to

Saving the Best Until
Completion of missing links in the
European Motorway system is rapid-
ly producing fast connections
between the most unlikely places.
Key elements of the D2/D5 (E65/E50)
motorway from Hungary to Germany
are the 1.4 km-long twin-tube Sitina
tunnel in Bratislava, Slovakia and the
380 m-long Valik tunnel at Plzen in
the Czech Republic. These are difficult
tunnels, which is perhaps why they
have been left until nearly last to be
completed. Both are using advanced
rock reinforcement techniques to
drive through incompetent rock with
low overburden. Swellex, Symmetrix,
Boodex and MAI SDA are all
employed to keep these jobs moving bench, and is carried out using drill/blast. Grouting rockbolts from the basket of
in the right direction, together with In classes 4 and 5 an invert arch is added, the Rocket Boomer 352.
Atlas Copco drillrigs and Secoroc and excavation is by mechanical means.
drillsteel and bits. Often, a combination of drill/blast and
mechanical excavation is employed.
Mucking out is by wheel loader into 25 t
Sitina, Bratislava dumpers.
The crystalline rock at Sitina is inten-
Contractor Banske Stavby is tunnelling sively tectonically disrupted, with systems Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer L2 C face
under low overburden in heavy, broken of 1 mm-3 cm cracks and breaks which drilling at Sitina south.
granitoid rock using two Atlas Copco
Rocket Boomers equipped with Secoroc
T32 Speedrods and 45 – 51 mm bits.
Injection grouting is carried out using an
MAI m400NT grout pump.
The client for the construction is
Slovenska sprava ciest, and the designer is
Dopravoprojekt a.s, Bratislava.
Sitina tunnel comprises east and west
tubes, each requiring 251 m of cut and
cover at each end and 1,189 m of natural
tunnel in between. The natural tunnel is
being driven at an excavated section of 79-
98 sq m in crystalline rock comprising
biotite and double-mica granodiorites with
sporadic granites, often with veins or peg-
matites up to 1.5 m-thick.
NATM techniques are used, with five
basic rock classes. In classes 1-3, the exca-
vation is divided into a top heading and


RR3/RC20 23/6/05 11:46 Page 132


radially, using one of the Rocket Boomer

drillrigs. The bench is advanced to produce
a full excavated section of 105 sq m. The
lattice girders comprise three pieces in the
top heading, to which legs are bolted as the
bench advances.
The ground conditions may demand any-
thing from 80 x 1.5 m-deep blastholes using
plastic explosives with millisecond delay
detonation in the harder sections, to excava-
tor-mounted hydraulic hammer or scaling
bucket in the softer sections. There is a seri-
ous blasting vibration restriction, due to the
proximity of the Slovak Academic Institute
with its sensitive technical laboratory equip-
ment. Therefore continuous monitoring is
necessary, and parameters are modified to
counter undesirable effects.
North portals of Sitina with east false can be up to several metres wide, and filled
tunnel nearing completion. with clay material or breccia or mylonite. Symmetrix Complements
Locally, coarse blocks of schist-biotite Boodex
paragneiss of several tens of metres in
thickness occur, locked tectonically into Umbrella drilling has been needed
the granitodiorites. These discontinuities throughout the alignment to date, due to
result in rock splitting to produce large the shallow overburden and soft, blocky
blocks which can fall from the roof and mylonite. Initially, 12 m-long pipes, com-
sides of the excavation. prising 4 x 3 m lengths of perforated
The primary lining uses wet shotcrete Boodex, were drilled in with a pilot bit and
with a non-alkaline accelerator, lattice disposable crown. These were grouted for
girders, mesh and 4-6 m-long grouted 10 minutes at 20 bar pressure to produce a
rebar rockbolts. concrete column around each pipe. With
The main faces are advanced as top 25-33 pipes in each top heading, the grout-
headings, with benches trailing at 50-120 ed columns formed complete umbrellas
m behind. The 51.7 sq m top heading is beneath which it was possible to excavate
micropiled through lattice girders to pre- in 0.8 m increments. Usually eight incre-
Symmetrix system umbrella drilling at vent falling ground, and shotcreted prior to ments were advanced, and eight arches set
Sitina portal. installation of 4 m-long grouted rebar bolts and shotcreted, beneath each umbrella,
leaving a 5.4 m overlap beneath which the
next umbrella could be safely drilled.
Lately, Symmetrix has proved cheaper,
more reliable, and faster than Boodex
where rock conditions have been particu-
larly poor, and some 20 Symmetrix 12 m-
long umbrellas have been installed, each
comprising 15–20 boreholes.
Whereas Boodex employs a pilot bit
with a following reamer, which enlarges
the hole to allow the casing to be pushed
in, the Symmetrix system uses a rotating
casing with rock cutting crown behind the
pilot bit. Hence Symmetrix provides
immediate support for the hole, making it
better in very poor ground conditions.
Forepoling with up to 40 x 4 m-long, 25
mm-diameter rebar rods is used in the
worst ground conditions.
In the areas of the main tunnels where
the five crosspassages are being excavated


RR3/RC20 23/6/05 11:47 Page 133


between the tubes, the invert is concreted

to a depth of 1.5 m, and for 10 m on either
side. A similar depth of concrete has also
been laid at the ends of each of the tubes.

Valik, Plzen
Valik tunnel is situated about 30 km from
the German border on the Czech Republic
section of the Prague-Nürnberg motorway.
Overall length of the tunnel is 380 m, com-
prising 330 m of natural tunnel, with 20 m
of cut-and-cover at the west end and 30 m of
cut-and-cover at the east end. There is also a
900 m-long surface cutting at the east end to
connect with the advancing motorway.
The natural tunnel is complicated by
shallow cover and a very narrow corridor with reinforced concrete before the main Atlas Copco Rocket Boomer L2 C
of surface rights beneath which it has to be tunnel drives could commence. starting south tube at Valik tunnel.
excavated. The twin tubes have to be The central pilot tunnel, within which the
extremely close together, requiring buttress reinforced concrete buttress for the main
to be excavated and replaced in entirety tunnel was constructed, was excavated from
the west end within a 4.5-month timespan.
It was driven as a 4 m-high top heading and
Symmetrix or Odex?
2 m bench, using an Atlas Copco Rocket
Boomer L2 C, one of two at site. Main con-
Both Symmetrix and Odex can be used
tractor Metrostav also has one Atlas Copco
for drilling holes up to 273 mm diameter,
Rocket Boomer 352 at Valik, together with
when the choice of bit will depend upon
four GIA DC16 service platforms based on
the specific ground conditions, the pres-
Atlas Copco carriers.
ence of rock and boulders, and the rig to
Excavation was in increments of 0.8 m,
be used.
1.0 m, and 1.2 m, depending upon the spe-
For shallow holes in soft ground, Odex cific ground conditions, and lattice girders
is cheaper to use, a little slower, will were set at similar intervals. In very soft
require more torque, and may deviate if ground, an excavator with scaling bucket
hard boulders are encountered. or hydraulic hammer was used instead of Valik tunnel west end showing south,
However, a skilled driller will overcome the drillrig. pilot and north tube excavations.
these conditions.

Symmetrix is generally used with DTH

hammers, but can also be used with top
hammers such as the COP 1838 for
small diameter holes for applications
such as umbrella drilling where the
lower torque requirement can be crucial.

Both Symmetrix and Odex can be used

with all standard casings, and also with
HPDE, PVC and fibreglass casings.
Drilled casings are becoming increasing-
ly popular in underground construction,
especially in urban areas, where they are
tending to replace pile driving and pipe
jacking in ground containing boulders.
In these conditions, Symmetrix is often
the only method that can penetrate suc-
cessfully, and is sometimes called upon
to drill down to 100 m.


RR3/RC20 23/6/05 11:47 Page 134


holes in the floor of the pilot tunnel, and

installed two heavy rebars into each hole
before pouring concrete to complete the
piles in-situ. The revealed ends of the
rebars were hooked, in order to provide a
secure connection for the main buttress
concrete reinforcement.
Likewise, the crown of the pilot drive
was reinforced by installation of 4 x 6 m-
long grouted rebars per metre of advance
to key into the buttress reinforcement.
In order to establish the east portals, an
18 m-deep pipe umbrella was installed,
together with 6 m-long face anchors. A
beam support was also necessary immedi-
ately above the east portals, secured by 17
x 20 m-long grouted cable anchors.

Main Tunnels
Main tunnel excavations are being under-
taken sequentially using NATM tech-
niques. This involves top heading and
Buttress formworks inside Valik pilot Immediate support was provided by 4 bench excavation of the outside shoulders
tunnel. m-long Atlas Copco Swellex Mn12 rock- of each tube using lattice girders, MAI self
bolts, with shorter 3 m versions being used drilling anchors SDA R 25 150kN in 3 m
in the stronger rock sections. Some 3,000 and 4 m lengths, and shotcrete.
of the longer units were installed, along The north tube is being developed in
with some 2,000 of the 3 m version. Up to advance of the south tube. Depending on
25 Swellex bolts were installed for each the geology, up to 27 SDA are being
metre of advance, with shotcrete being installed into each fan or profile, with a 1
applied systematically to roof and side- m distance between fans.
walls, and to the face when necessary. This is followed by two-phase excava-
tion of the upper sections of each tube to
Concrete Buttress form the main tunnel roofs, and then the
remaining bench can be removed to con-
The construction of the concrete support struct a curved invert. During the process,
buttress between the two tubes of the main the area above the concrete buttress is
tunnel required foundation works through being grouted for consolidation, to promote
four separate soft ground sections, com- transfer of the ground pressure away from
prising a total of 90 linear metres. To the main tunnel lining. The remaining ele-
improve the footing in these areas, 6 m- ments of the pilot tunnel lining are being
deep micropiles were installed in rows of removed on advance. The final lining of the
four and three at 1 m spacing. tunnel will comprise reinforced concrete of
Section of Valik tunnel showing This work was undertaken by a specialist varying thickness from 0.3 m to 0.5 m.
concrete buttress between main
subcontractor, who drilled 123 mm vertical Sitina tunnel is on schedule to open for
traffic in August, 2006.■

Atlas Copco is grateful to Banske Stavby
engineers Vladimir Kotrik, Anton Sumerak
jr and Anton Petko for permission to
extract from their paper Technological
Procedure of Construction for the Sitina
Tunnel, and to Metrostav engineer
Miloslav Zelenka, manager at Valik tunnel,
for his assistance at site.


RR3/RC23 24/6/05 13:33 Page 135


Systematic Grouting at
Oslo Subway
Half Century Progress
The T-Baneringen project is the
biggest enlargement of the Oslo
Subway since the system got under-
way in the 1960s. It comprises sever-
al new subprojects, of which the first
to be undertaken is the section from
Ullevål Stadium to Storo. The align-
ment of the 1.24 km-long tunnel, with
a cross-sectional area of 65 sq m,
passes through a very difficult zone
between sections 700 and 750, which
called for an intense grouting opera-
Contractor Veidekke chose the lat-
est grouting technology from Atlas
Copco Craelius to handle this chal-
lenge, where absolute control over
the efficiency of the grouting opera-
tion was key to its success. The
Unigrout EH 400-100-90 WBC
described in this report proved to be guide the grouting operation. Leakage Ramp entrance to Oslo Subway tunnel
must be measured and recorded, and leak- development.
the right machine for the job in every
respect. age per drill hole must not exceed 10
lit/min. The grouting stop pressure is set at
35-45 bar.
Grouting Contract Leakage<100 l/min drillhole. Stop pres-
sure 40-50 bar and be standing for 5 min.
The contract differentiated between sys- There is a difference between leakage
tematic and sporadic grouting, with pay- per/min/100 m tunnel and leakage/min/
ment according to work and material drill hole.
quantities. The main components were: In Sweden, the leakage/min/100 m of
drilled metres for investigation; grouting tunnel the most important, while in
and check holes; quantities of cement; Norway leakage/min/drill hole is more
numbers of packers; and the working hours popular.
for the grouting operation. The total inflow of water in the tunnel
The systematic grouting procedure as was measured at 14.9 l/min/100 m. The
laid out in the contract included following: specification was set at 7 lit/min/100 m.
31 holes of 18 m-long; bottom of the hole Pore pressure measurements showed
has to be 5-6 m outside the tunnel contour; that, with the grouting undertaken and
and distance between two covers is set at with some infiltration, the groundwater
10 m, or two blasting rounds. level could be maintained at the same
In Scandinavian tunneling, leakage fig- level as before tunnel construction com-
ures are most important and are used to menced.

W:C ratio starts at 1.0

Leakage figures < 500 lit/min/drillhole gives a W:C ratio = 0.8
Leakage figures < 1000 lit/min/drillhole gives a W:C ratio = 0.7
Leakage figures <1500 lit/min/drillhole gives a W:C ratio = 0.6/0.5


RR3/RC23 24/6/05 13:33 Page 136


Grouting Quantities for the 50 metre

section 700-750
Drill metres: 9,081 m
Micro cement: 426,255 kg
Grout Aid: 88,609 kg
Standard cement: 81,234 kg
Grouting time: 925 h
Total cost: NOK6.5 million
Grouting cost/m: NOK125,000

silo there are also a safety grill and a pro-

tecting lid.
The electrical cable reel is located
alongside the larger silo. On the right side
of the container there are two doors, one
for entry when the unit is not operating and
there is no hydraulic power, and the larger
Atlas Copco Craelius Unigrout EH400- The grouting operation in this difficult one for installation and removal of equip-
100-90 WBC. section 700-750 was accomplished in 21 ment.
rounds compared with the 4-5 rounds
required for the rest of the tunnel.
The corresponding figures for the
cement consumption were 425,860 kg
compared with 50,000-70,000 kg for the
standard systematic method.

Craelius Unigrout EH-400

The Unigrout EH 400-100 -90 WBC used
in Oslo features two silos at the back of the
unit, the small silo for bagged cement and
the large silo for 1,000 kg big sacks, or, as Grout control station.
in this case, delivered by separate cement
silo trucks. Both onboard silos are The left side of the grouting container
equipped with vibrators, and the larger of features a wall divided into two flaps, both
the two also has an agitator level monitor, of which are operated hydraulically. The
which sends a signal to the operator when lower part acts as a walkway during the
Working platform at the front of the
the cement level is low. On the top of the grouting operation, and the upper part acts
Unigrout truck.
as a protecting roof for the operator. On the
silo section there is also a foldable walk-
way for the operator. On the forward end
there are protected connectors for the
An operative works from the elevating
basket, placing the packers and grout lines
in the grout holes in the order specified,
while the supervisor controls the results at
the face.
The grouting operator carefully follows
the different steps in the production, pump-
ing and placing of the grout. Every step is
recorded simultaneously on the Logac and
the WBP.
The grouting operator has full control of
all the equipment and recorders within an
arms reach. He has three different opera-
tion modes to choose from: grout for the


RR3/RC23 24/6/05 13:33 Page 137


standard grouting operation; GIN for per-

forming grouting according to the GIN
(Grouting Intensity Number) method; and
Lugeon for water pressure tests. A roof
over the control position protects him from
dripping water and falling rock particles.
The safety rack is folded in when the
two flaps are unfolded, and the lights in the
container roof reflect against the walls to
provide good visibility for the grouters.
Consultants set the GIN values based on
the rock parameters for the maximum pres-
sure, maximum volume/m/drillhole, and
the allowed GIN max curve.
They report that logging of the grouting
operations and feedback from the LOGAC
programs is a tremendous improvement. The
quantities of cement per time unit for every

Typical Logac screen dump.

order receipts and mixing times are con- Controlling overall grouting operation.
trolled by the formula system.
The mixer is suspended on three strain
gauge load cells.
The Pumpac hydraulic control block
has levers and knobs for the high pressure
and low pressure valves and knobs for the
flow setting valves. Beside the hydraulic

Logac displays information about worksite and hole data.

Worksite: 10 digits available
Section: 10 digits available
Hole No: 2 digits available
Hole length: 3 digits + one dot(comma) digit
Stage number: 3 digits available
Recipe No: 2 digits available
Injection round no: 1 digit
File Name: A specific number for each and every hole

single hole and for every water cement ratio

are recorded, together with the start and stop Cemix with two admixture tanks.
times of grouting. The pressure history for
every drillhole is also available.

Weight Batching
The electronic weight batching processor
Dosac SV 6804 is a compact modular-
Pumpac hydraulic control.
built, micro-controlled unit specifically
designed for use on systems utilizing strain
gauge load cells. control blocks are the hydraulic oil
It automatically weighs water, cement 1 manometers.
and cement 2 on scale 1, and admixture 1 The Cemix 403 HWB mixer container
on scale 2 and admixture 1 on scale 3. is supported by three load cells which send
All weighing can be done simultaneous- the weight information to the WBP, which
ly. All instructions for weighing, emptying, also controls the two admixture tanks


RR3/RC23 24/6/05 13:34 Page 138


can be different in each of the three agita-

At the Oslo Subway job, Veidekke
chose to have two Cemags of different
sizes in order to be better prepared for
different qualities of grout. Both Cemags
are supported by load cells, with weigh-
ing controlled by the operator from his
Three Pumpac with 110 mm grout
cylinders and standard ball valves are
installed in the container, with room for
a fourth pump above the third pump.
Pumpac No 2 is installed above Pumpac
No 1. All three installed pumps are
easily accessible for service, and each
can be supplied with a manifold with
several grout lines if required. A drip
pan under No 2 Pumpac collects any
The grouting container is driven by two
Refilling cement silos. hanging on load cells and the water inlet Power Unit Grouting PUG 45s with 45 kW
valve. electrical motors positioned to the front
outside the container, in order to minimize
Admixture Control any noise and disturbance. The compressor
which operates the air regulated valves and
The different types of admixture are sup- cylinders is located between the two PUG
plied from 1,000 lit-capacity containers 45s.
standing beside the Unigrout. Two pumps The hydraulic pumps are lowered into
send the admixture up to two separate spe- the hydraulic oil in the tank beneath the
cially-designed distribution containers sus- electric motors.■
pended on load cells for very accurate
measurements. The load cells are moni- For more info see the Atlas Copco
tored by the Dosac processor. Craelius Selection Guide on the Atlas
A High Pressure Cleaning hose reel is Copco homepage.
placed next to the cement inlet for easy
Cement input is through a separate
moisture-proof, dust-proof connection Twin Pumpac 110 B units.
offering protection from splashed water.
A special 300 lit-capacity water tank
and booster pump are used for improving
on the water filling speed.
A good grout must be mixed according
PUG 45 power unit grouting. to specification and standard of cement,
admixtures and other additives. There is a
considerable difference in mixing Ordinary
Portland Cement and microcement, and the
admixtures also alter the quality of the
grout considerably.

Agitation and Delivery

The three-way distribution valve is
hydraulically operated from the opera-
tor’s panel, and the ready mixed grout
can be directed to either of the two sepa-
rate Cemags or to dump. Grout quality


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Pages 164-65 10/8/05 9:15 Page 164


Main specifications

Recommended hole range for ROC D5

R32,T38,T45 35-89 mm 13 /8"-31/2"
Hole depth 28 m approx.92'
Recommended hole range for ROC D7
T38,T45 64-102 mm 13 /8"-4"
T51 89-115 mm 31/2"-41/2"
Hole depth 28 m approx.92'
T51 21 m 69'
Hydraulic rock drills ROC D5
COP 1238ME
Impact power,max. 12 kW 16 HP
COP 1838 LE
Impact power,max. 16 kW 22 HP
Hydraulic rock drill ROC D7
COP 1838ME/HE,COP 1840
Impact power,max. 18 kW 24.5 HP
Atlas Copco C 106 screw compressor
Working pressure,max. 8.5 bar 125 psi
FAD 85 l/s 180 cfm
Working pressure,max. 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD 105/127 l/s 215/270 cfm
Engine ROC D5/D7
Caterpillar Diesel CAT 3126B
Rating at 2200 rpm 131/149 kW 176/203 HP
-0,1 Folding boom
Fuel tank
Capacity 280 l 73 US gal.
Feed length,total 7140 mm 24'
Travel length 4240 mm 15'
Feed extension 1400 mm 4'3"
Feed force,max. 20 kN 4400 lbf
Tramming speed,max. 3.1 km/h 2.0 mph
Tractive force 110 kN 2500 lbf
Hill climbing ability 20 ° (30 ° with winch)
Track oscillation ± 12 º
Ground clearance 455 mm 171/2"
Transport dimensions ROC D5/D7
Total weight,approx. 11700/13000 kg 25700/29300 lb
Width 2370 mm 7'10"
Length 10710 mm 35'2"
Height 3100 mm 10'2"
Visit for more information


Pages 164-65 10/8/05 9:15 Page 165


Main specifications

Recommended hole range for ROC D5

R32,T38,T45 35-89 mm 13 /8"-31/2"
Hole depth, 28 m approx,92'
Recommended hole range for ROC D7
T38,T45 64-102 mm 13 /8"-4"
T51 89-115 mm 31/2"-41/2"
Hole depth 28 m approx. 92'
T51 21 m 69'
Hydraulic rock drills ROC D5
COP 1238ME
Impact power,max. 12 kW 16 HP
COP 1838 LE
Impact power,max. 16 kW 22 HP
Hydraulic rock drill ROC D7
COP 1838ME/HE,COP 1840
Impact power,max. 18 kW 24.5 HP
Atlas Copco C 106 screw compressor
Working pressure,max. 10.5 bar 152 psi
FAD at 10.5 bar 105 l/s 215 cfm
Engine ROC D5/D7
Caterpillar Diesel CAT 3126B
Rating at 2200 rpm 131 kW/149 kW 156 HP/203 HP
-11 Folding boom,cab version
Fuel tank
Capacity 280 l 73 US gal.
Feed length,total 7140 mm 24'
Travel length 4240 mm 15'
Feed extension 1400 mm 4'3"
Feed force,max. 20 kN 4400 lbf
Tramming speed,max. 3.1 km/h 2.0 mph
Traction force,max 110 kN 25000 lbf
Hill climbing ability (30 º with winch) 20 º
Track oscillation ± 12 º
Ground clearance 455 mm 171/2"
Transport dimensions
Total weight,approx. 12500-13600 kg 27500-30000 lb
Width 2370 mm 7'10"
Length 10710 mm 35'2"
Height 13100 mm 10'2"

Visit for more information


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Main specifications
Boltec 235H-DCS
Rock drill 1 x COP 1532/1132
Bolting unit 1 x MBU
Boom 1 x BUT 35HB
Drilling system DCS 12-55
Bolting system DCS
Carrier DC 15C
Length, 6192 mm
Width with bolt rack 2205 mm
Height 2300 mm
Turning radius 5800/3000 mm
Weight 16600 kg


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Main specifications
Boltec SL
Rock drill 1 x COP 1028
Bolting unit MBU 16SL
Boom 1 x BUT 32SL
Drilling system EDS
Length,tramming 10000 mm
Width 2480 mm
Height,carrier 1300 mm
roof min/max 1300/1700 mm
Turning radius 6180/3550 mm
Weight 12800 kg


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Main specifications
Boltec MC
Rock drill 1 x COP 1532/1132
Bolting unit 1 x MBU
Boom 1 x BUT 35HB
Drilling system RCS
Bolting system RCS
Carrier L-series
Length,tramming 13156 mm
Width,excl .bolt rack 2210 mm
Height,standard 3010 mm
Turning radius 6500/3600 mm
Weight 21600 kg


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Main specifications
Boltec LC
Rock drill 1 x COP 1532/1132
Bolting unit 1 x MBU
Boom 1 x BUT 35HBE
Drilling system RCS
Bolting system RCS
Carrier L-series
Length,tramming 14096 mm
Width,excl bolt rack 2510 mm
Height,standard 3100 mm
Turning radius 7650/4450 mm
Weight 26000 kg


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Main specifications
Cabletec LC
Rock drill 1 x COP 1838/1638
Boom 1 x BUT 35BB
Feed 1 x BMH 210-series
Drill steel support BSH 55
Rod handling RHS 17D
Control system RCS -Drilling
RCS -Cable installation
RCS -Cement handling
Carrier L-series
Length,tramming 14042 mm
Width,excl bolt rack 2710 mm
Height,standard 3100 mm
Turning radius 7500/4550 mm
Weight 28000 kg


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Main specifications
Scaletec LC
Hammer 1 x SB 300 Scaler
Boom 1 x BUT SC
Control system RCS
Carrier M-series
Length,tramming 13828 mm
Width 2196 mm
Height,standard 3010 mm
Turning radius 6500/4000 mm
Weight 21000 kg


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BSH 110-SDA Kit

Basic kit includes control panel,mounting kit and
bushing halves.
Bushing halves
For Anchor rod R25 3128 2021 23
For Anchor rod R32 3128 2021 22
For Anchor rod R38 3128 2021 21
For Anchor rod R51 3128 2021 20
COP Conversion kit
For COP 1238 3128 3124 80
For COP 1838 3128 3124 79
For COP 1440 3115 3129 90


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Symmetrix Overburden
Casing System
The patented Symmetrix system can drill straight holes at
any angle, including horizontal, and to depths
beyond 100 metres.


Pages 188 10/8/05 9:22 Page 188


Main specifications UNIGROUT EH400-100-135WB

Agitator 2 x CEMAG 203HWB
Agitator 4 x CEMAG 402H
Grout pump 4 x PUMPAC 110B Basic
Hydr.power unit 3 x PUG 45
Length 12 m
Width 2.8 m
Height (transport) 3.9 m
(operation) 4.7 m
Line voltage 690 V
Installed power 150 kW
Total weight 23 870 kg


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