Authors: Neugebauer, E

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Neugebauer, E 2009, 'Roofex™ — a new flexible rockbolting concept', in PM Dight (ed.), SRDM 2009: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Safe and Rapid Development Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 49-60,

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Rock excavation in deep mines and unstable rock conditions presents special challenges for planners and engineers looking to meet strict safety demands. A new innovation, the Roofex™ rockbolt, offers a significant step forward. Wherever rock movements are unpredictable, geomechanical designers find themselves faced with the difficult task of selecting a rock support system that will meet, and preferably exceed, today’s stringent requirements. Whatever system is chosen, it is imperative that potential rock movement is controlled and that tunnels and drifts are prevented from caving in. The world markets persistent demand on raw materials as well the continuous need for infrastructure expansion forces the industry to develop into more sensitive and violent underground environments. All this has intensified the development of safety systems and new, unique solutions which can enable mining and construction companies to go both further and deeper, without jeopardising safety. The Swellex rockbolt has been providing stability in mining operations with great success since 1977. Now it is time for rock support to move to the next level of safety, Roofex bolts. Many mines wrestle with the fact that they are coming close to the end of the life of the mine, and that driving a new level will involve unacceptable risks — and no one is prepared to gamble on safety. Against this background, the new Roofex bolt can provide the solution. It is a unique rockbolt that can absorb rock movements with excellent performance, as well as predictability. Roofex bolts are designed to address two issues — either to dissipate the energy released during slow rock movement (static conditions) in weak or broken rock under high stress, or to cope with larger, sudden rock movements during rockburst or seismic activities. The Roofex bolt provides support for forces up to 80 kN before the sliding effect of the ingenious frictional system comes into effect. At the load of 80 kN the bolt starts to slide along with the rock deformation, slowly dissipating the energy of the rock along the preset sliding path.

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