Underground » Roadway Development
There are several self-drill roof bolt concepts and prototypes that have been trialled in the industry. This technology allows for a chemically anchored pre-tensioned, fully encapsulated installed bolt. The technology also allows for the self-drill rock bolt installation to be fully automated.
In both stages of this project underground trials highlighted the capabilities and limitations of the proto-type technology. Stage 2 also highlighted many features required when adapted to a continuous miner.
- Stage 1: A series of roof support system technical evaluations was validated within a performance trial in an underground environment.
- Stage 2: Demonstrated automated, simultaneous drilling and installation of multiple bolts limited by control system CAN communication faults and software errors. It highlighted the opportunity for further refinements and improvements that would be necessary for a commercial design.
The main finding of this project is that the technology has demonstrated its capability of automatically installing multiple self-drilling bolts simultaneously in the roof and rib.
To further the project, funding and resources are required to conduct research and development on two aspects of the technology. These two aspects being a profiled rather than a smooth self-drilling roof bolt and reduction in the size of the chemical delivery module.
Then design and build a commercial model, test it in the field, and complete commercialisation of the technology.
The industry can then take advantage of a safer, more productive and efficient roadway support installation system.