Stress Corrosion Cracking for Rock Reinforcements

Premature failure of rock and cable bolts due to stress corrosion cracking (SCC) is now being reported in several mines across Australia and world-wide. Evidence suggests that microbial activity is a contributing factor.

This research aims to identify the factors responsible for microbiologically induced stress corrosion cracking (MISCC) of bolts in underground mines and to implement strategies for preventing such failures.

Our research aims to improve understanding of the role played by microbiological species in SCC of steels and identify the features that are important for inhibiting such activity. This will lead to improved safety and increased productivity in underground mines resulting in better viability. This also assists Australia to maintain its leading role in operating best practice mines and applying state of the art technologies.

Our Competitive Advantage

  • The world-leading research group in the failure of underground mine rock reinforcement
  • A unique multidisciplinary research team comprising mining and civil engineering, geology, microbiology, material science and chemistry
  • Analysis of rock and cable bolts in both laboratory and in-situ environments
  • Enhancing the safety of underground mines and economic viability of operations
  • Development of prevention technologies for avoiding failure of underground mine support tools

Recent Research Projects

  • The Australian Coal Industry’s Research Program (ACARP), starting in 2020, on development of prevention technique for failure of rock and cable bolts
  • An Australian Research Centre Linkage Projects starting in 2020 to study microbiologically induced stress corrosion cracking (MISCC) of rock and cable bolts and development of prevention technique for MISCC specific to the mining industry.

Capabilities & Facilities

  • Controlled mining environment laboratory that simulates the underground mine environment
  • Rock bolt and cable bolt laboratory and in-situ full-scale experimentation units
  • Helical X-ray computed tomography instrument for high-resolution 3D non-destructive imaging

Our Partners

  • Australian Research Council
  • The Australian Coal Industry’s Research Program
  • Jennmar Australia Pty Ltd
  • Glencore Coal Pty Ltd
  • Illawarra Coal Holdings Pty Ltd
  • Springvale Coal Pty Ltd
  • Anglo American Pty Ltd

Our People