Authors: Chambers, AJ; Sunderman, CB; Clark, CC; Powers, MJ

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Chambers, AJ, Sunderman, CB, Clark, CC & Powers, MJ 2019, 'Analysis of in situ and laboratory corrosion coupons', in J Hadjigeorgiou & M Hudyma (eds), Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Ground Support in Mining and Underground Construction, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 415-422.

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The corrosion of steel support components in the underground mine environment is a significant problem for the industry and has broad safety implications for mineworkers. The Spokane Mining Research Division (SMRD) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, located in Spokane, Washington, USA, is investigating the corrosion of ground support in underground metal mining. The goal of this research is to reduce risk to miner safety by preventing falls of ground caused by damaged ground support. This research paper presents the findings of field studies at collaborating mines and includes installation of corrosion coupons, mineralogical analysis, Internet-of-Things atmospheric monitoring, and rock mass resistivity measurements. Data collected from these studies inform understanding of corrosion rate, the environmental aggressors and inhibitors affecting corrosion, and the development of proactive mitigation tactics. Laboratory studies at SMRD complement the field studies through further investigation of the effects of corrosion on ground support integrity. Representative samples of ground support members exposed to real and simulated mine environments were evaluated for pitting, stress corrosion cracking, and mass loss. The outcomes of this research are advancements in real-time monitoring of the status of ground support systems, enhanced knowledge that can help engineers to plan and design safer work environments, and improved ground support systems that will better resist challenging environmental conditions in mines.

Keywords: corrosion, coupons, resistivity

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