Quantifying the Impact of Bolting Patterns on the Performance of Welded Wire Mesh


Ground support in underground excavations is typically comprised of surface support and rock reinforcement elements. The performance of a ground control system is controlled to a large degree by the interaction between reinforcement and surface support elements. There is significantly less information on the behaviour of surface support compared to rock reinforcement under load. The main source of technical information is through laboratory testing. These investigations however are not standardised and only provide information for limited testing configurations. In this respect, numerical modelling can be used as a complementary and in many cases more robust approach to look at mesh performance under different loading conditions. A prerequisite for this approach is to demonstrate the ability to successfully emulate the mechanical behaviour of bolted wire mesh using numerical models. This paper reports on numerical experiments aiming to reproduce the observed behaviour of bolted welded wire mesh in well documented laboratory tests. The distinct element method was used to construct a series of 3D numerical models to investigate the influence of bolting pattern on the performance of mesh. The developed models successfully captured the load, displacement, and failure of welded wire mesh of multiple wire diameters and demonstrated the impact of the bolting pattern on the loading characteristics and deformation of welded wire mesh. This provides confidence in using the developed numerical tools to further investigate the impact of bolting patterns on the mechanical behaviour of mesh. This would result in valuable information for the optimization of ground support strategies in underground excavations.

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The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The technical input of Jim Hazzard of Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. is greatly acknowledged.

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Correspondence to John Hadjigeorgiou.

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Karampinos, E., Hadjigeorgiou, J. Quantifying the Impact of Bolting Patterns on the Performance of Welded Wire Mesh. Geotech Geol Eng (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-020-01497-x

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  • Welded wire mesh
  • Surface support
  • Ground support
  • Discrete element method