A Laboratory Study of Shear Behaviour of Rockbolts Under Dynamic Loading Based on the Drop Test Using a Double Shear System

  • L. LiEmail author
  • P. C. Hagan
  • S. Saydam
  • B. Hebblewhite
  • C. Zhang
Original Paper


Rockbolts are widely used as an underground support element to resist the convergence and maintain the stability of excavations. However, shear failure of rockbolts is increasingly observed in jointed rock mass of underground tunnels, especially after being subjected to seismic events. At present, understanding of the mechanical response of rockbolts subjected to seismic or dynamic loading in shear is still unclear. To investigate the shear performance of rockbolts under dynamic loading condition, a series of tests were conducted using a drop mass of up to185 kg from a maximum height of 3 m based on a double shear test (DST) system. Three variables were examined in the laboratory test including rockbolt diameter (8 mm and 16 mm), installation angle (90° and 45°) and input energy (drop height). The duration of the impact was 10–12 ms from release of the drop mass to first contact. By evaluating the DST system’s displacement/velocity/acceleration–time characteristic and the amount of energy absorption, the shear performance of rockbolt was assessed. When sufficient energy is applied into the DST system, the deformation of the rockbolt is dominated by localized shear force. The transient force can rupture the rockbolt with little bending and without any obvious tensile elongation. It was found that the averaged dynamic shear load is less than the peak static shear load whether horizontally installed or installed at an angle. In conclusion, the effectiveness of rockbolts in resisting shear stress can differ significantly under static loading and dynamic loading condition; the difference is reflected in the level of shear deformation and amount of energy absorption. The shear capacity of a rockbolt under 1 s−1 strain rate can be determined by the energy absorbed and average dynamic load. This approach can be applied to the support system design in rockburst-prone condition.


Dynamic loading Strain rate Double shear test Rockbolt Shear resistance 



A drop weight mass


The mass of middle block including the rockbolt


Initial velocity


The downward move velocity of the two rigid solids (weight and reinforced block)


The average dynamic force

\(\Delta v\)

Velocity change

(M1 + M2)g

The downward force includes the weight of the tup and middle block


External dynamic force


Upward force includes bolt resistant force


Frictional force on the block surface


Time-dependent force


The combination of the system spring force


Viscous damping force


Inertial force


Contact force


Contact stiffness


The radii of the curvature of the body


Young’s modulus and


Poisson’s ratios


The static yield stress of the bar (MPa)


Dynamic increase factor

\(\dot {\varepsilon }\)

Strain rates

\({\varepsilon _{\text{p}}}\)

True strain

\({\dot {\varepsilon }_0}\)

Reference value of the strain rate




Room temperature


Melting temperature


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mining EngineeringUNSW AustraliaSydneyAustralia

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