Numerical modelling of shaft lining stability

Jia, Yudan (2011) Numerical modelling of shaft lining stability. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This research project focuses on the application of numerical modelling methods to rock mechanics problems, combining theoretical, experimental and numerical modelling work. Specifically, practical finite difference modelling approach for analysing shaft lining stability through the Marl and Potash strata at Boulby mine UK has been developed using the commercially available software FLAC2D/FLAC3D (ITASCA 2008).

A soft rock Marl occurs close to the bottom of the two deep shafts at the mine. Both shafts concrete linings through this stratum have suffered considerable pressure, which has caused gradual failure of the shaft lining. So far, both shaft linings through the Marl stratum have been restored twice after sunk in 1970s and a further third relining is now required and being planned. The in situ observations, the rock engineers's experience, and the available in situ measurements at the mine have been significantly helpful in the validation of the numerical modelling. Many factors at the mine site have, however, made this numerical modelling research challenging, including complicated lining structures, complex lining failure conditions and the scarcity of laboratory test data for the weakest rock material - the Marl, which easily weathers on exposure.

Based on a comprehensive literature review, a database of materials properties relevant to this research has been produced. The methodology of obtaining appropriate rock mass input material properties to use in numerical modelling based on laboratory test data has been studied. In three-dimensional models in this research, two modelling methods have been developed to simulate each stage in the shaft linings: the continuous model for all shaft linings and independent models for each shaft lining. The numerical modelling results imply that:

Firstly, in the independent three-dimensional models, the modelling results were difficult to understand due to the complexity of the structures representing the shaft relining systems and difficulty in defining appropriate properties for the interface elements. Therefore, the continuous three-dimensional model that gives the analysable modelling results is recommended by the author for this research. By this method, the effect of the historic changes in the stress field on each shaft lining's stability can be investigated from initial shaft construction to subsequent relining phases.

Secondly, the weak rock Marl should not be the only reason for the shaft linings' failure through this stratum. The roadway approximately 10 m beneath the Marl stratum was also a key factor for the stability of the shaft linings. The weak Marl cannot carry the stress redistribution around the shaft caused by the roadway excavation, which was an uneven loading acting on the circular shaft linings. This uneven loading introduced high shear and tensile stresses which threatened the stability of the circular concrete structures.

Thirdly, the interface materials between high strength concrete blocks in shaft relinings improved the flexibility of the lining systems successfully, but decreased the strength of the whole lining systems as weak "joints". In addition, the single ring concrete blocks (the first and third relinings) are a more effective lining than the double rings (the second relining), and the third relining would perform better than the previous ones.

As a recommendation for the further simulation, it is worth attempting to simulate the longer term deformation and stress conditions of the shaft concrete lining systems using the Creep model built in FLAC2D/FLAC3D codes. Additionally, deeper research work combined with in situ investigation can be done to decrease the uncertainty of the input material properties to make the numerical models as close to the real engineering situation as possible.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Reddish, D.J.
Yu, H.S.
Stace, L.R.
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
Item ID: 11924
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2011 12:12
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 00:53

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