The Carbolt technology aims to tackle the need for a support system that allows fast installation of a non-corroding, variable-length roof support system.
In general, there is a variety of different rock bolts and roof support systems available on the market for mines to choose from. The most common type is the rock bolt, which consists of a metal rod with an anchoring component and a face plate. Some bolts are manufactured out of glass fibre-reinforced polymer, which is more expensive than the traditional metal bolt and therefore used in special cases only. One example of these special case applications is the installation of coal mine longwall panel sides to protect the shearer from getting damaged when reclaiming the longwall. In addition to these fixed-length rockbolts, cable-bolts are available for deeper anchorage and other challenging conditions. The disadvantage of cable-bolts is that they are typically installed with a slow-setting grout and therefore are usually only installed as a secondary support. Further, all metal rock bolts and steel cable bolts are subject to corrosion.
The Mining3 Carbolt development program is currently researching the next generation of advanced rock support in the form of a carbon fibre rope that can either be manufactured in pieces of pre-determined length, or in bulk and be rolled onto a drum for deployment into a drill hole by a to-be designed machine before being cut to length as needed during the installation. The manufacturing technique of the proposed rope include a novel design (Mining3 patent pending) which introduces a ductile phase to the Carbolt under tension prior to ultimate failure.
- Non-corrosive strata support
- Flexible in length
- Fast installation
- Flexible tunnel design
Phase 1 of the project achieved the following objectives in terms of feasibility:
- Coil-able carbon fibre based rockbolt for underground roof support
- A novel design (Mining3 patent pending) introducing a ductile phase to the Carbolt under tension prior to ultimate failure.
- Achieving comparable specific tensile performance to a steel rebar roof bolt
- Commercialization pathway established for Carbolt technology
Phase 2 will focus on fabricating the first pre-commercial prototype of the Carbolt technology roadmap: A fixed-length roof support solution to provide tensile and shear strata support. The Fixed Length Carbolt will be designed to be installed in a manner similar to a standard rebar rock bolt.