Time dependent material properties of shotcrete for hard rock tunnelling
Sammanfattning: In this thesis different mechanical properties for shotcrete (sprayed concrete) such as compression strength, bond strength, bending tensile strength, elastic modulus, free and restrained shrinkage as a function of its age was investigated. One of the main issues was to investigate the difference between ordinary cast concrete and shotcrete. Reliable material data for young and hardening shotcrete is scarce which in the past have made such comparisons difficult. Also, less accurate data representative for cast concrete has often been used in numerical modelling and design analyses. The focus of the project has particularly been on the properties bond strength and restrained shrinkage for which two new testing methods has been developed and evaluated. Microstructural studies have also been performed as a complement to the bond strength testing.The bond to rock is one of the most important properties for shotcrete used as rock reinforcement. During the very first time after spraying the physical properties and the bond to the rock depend on the set accelerator and the micro structure that is formed. The investigation of early age bond strength of shotcrete is of great importance both from a production perspective and a safety perspective. The newly developed method was tested and evaluated and proved that it can be used for bond strength testing already from a couple of hours after shotcreting. The bond, or adhesion, depends on several factors such as texture of the rock, the type of accelerator, application technique, etc. In this work the development of the microstructure in the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) and strength of the bond was investigated. The results show that the bond strength is related to the hydration process, i.e. the strength gain of the shotcrete. The early development of the ITZ was here studied using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) making it possible to observe changes over time, before and after proper cement hydration.Restrained shrinkage cracking of shotcrete, especially in the case of shotcrete sprayed on soft drains that are parts of a tunnel lining not continuously bonded to the rock, can be detrimental for the sustainability of an infrastructure tunnel system. Maintenance and repair costs can be high over time. It is shown that the developed test method realistically captures the behaviour of shotcrete drains on hard rock in situ. The method can be used in the evaluation of different technical solutions for avoiding or minimizing shrinkage cracks in shotcreted soft drains. It can also be used to assess the performance of shotcrete fully bonded to a rock surface, with respect to the ability to prevent cracking or to distribute possible shrinkage damage into several fine cracks instead of one wide.
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