Quantifying the effect of stress relaxation on excavation stability
Authors: Stewart, P.C.; Trueman, R.
Source: Mining Technology, Volume 113, Number 2, 2004 , pp. 107-117(11)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Stress relaxation is relevant to the design of both civil and mining excavations. While many authors refer to the adverse effect of stress relaxation on excavation stability, some present compelling empirical evidence indicating that stress relaxation does not have a significant effect. Establishing clear definitions of stress relaxation was critical to understanding and quantifying stress relaxation of the various types that have been referred to in the literature. This paper defines three types of stress relaxation – partial relaxation, full relaxation and tangential relaxation. Once clear definitions were determined, it became clear that the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence presented by various authors to support their respective cases are not contradictory; rather, the different conclusions can be attributed to different types of stress relaxation. In particular, when the minor principal stress is negative the intermediate principal stress has been identified as significantly affecting jointed rock mass behaviour. The aim of the study was to review and evaluate existing methods of quantifying the effect of stress relaxation around underground excavations and, if necessary, propose a new set of recommendations. An empirical stope stability model, that has been termed the Extended Mathews stability chart, was considered to be the most appropriate method of quantifying the effects of stress relaxation. A new set of guidelines to account for the effect of stress relaxation on excavation stability in the Extended Mathews stability chart has been proposed from a back-analysis of 55 case histories of stress relaxation.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-06-01
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