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**Supporting action of anchors/bolts
**

Anchors or rockbolts are reinforcements (usually made of steel) which are

inserted into the ground to increase its stiﬀness and strength. There are var-

ious sorts of reinforcement actions and the corresponding terminology is not

uniform.

1

The following terminology is used in soil mechanics:

1. If the reinforcement bar is ﬁxed only at its both ends, then it is called an

’anchor’. Anchors can be pre-stressed or not, in the latter case they assume

force only after some extension (e.g. due to convergence of the tunnel).

2. If the reinforcement bar is connected to the surrounding ground over its

entire length, then it is called a ’nail’ or ’bolt’. The connection can be

achieved with cement mortar (Fig. 15.1).

Fig. 15.1. Nail

In jointed rock, reinforcement bars are placed ad hoc to prevent collapse of

individual blocks (Fig. 15.2). Anchoring or bolting in a regular array is called

’pattern bolting’.

1

see also C.R. Windsor, A.G. Thompson: Rock Reinforcement - Technology, Test-

ing, Design and Evaluation. In: Comprehensive Rock Engineering, Vol. 4, Pergamon

Press 1993, 451-484

308 15 Supporting action of anchors/bolts

Fig. 15.2. Individual application of anchors to prevent downfall of blocks

15.1 Impact of pattern bolting

It is generally believed that reinforcing improves the mechanical behaviour of

ground. Despite several attempts however, the reinforcing action of stiﬀ inlets

is not yet satisfactorily understood and their application is still empirical. In

some approaches, reinforced ground is considered as a two-phase continuum

in the sense that both constituents are assumed to be smeared and present

everywhere in the considered body. Thus, their mechanical properties prevail

everywhere, provided that they are appropriately weighed (Appendix F). The

stiﬀening action of inlets can be demonstrated if we consider a conventional

triaxial test on a soil sample containing a thin pin of, say, steel (Fig. 15.3).

Fig. 15.3. Steel inlet in triaxial sample, distribution of vertical displacements and

stress trajectories for two diﬀerent orientations of the inlet.

The stiﬀ inlet is here assumed as non-extendable (i.e. rigid). Therefore, its

vertical displacement is constant as shown in Fig. 15.3. This implies a relative

slip of the adjacent soil, which is oriented downwards in the upper half and

upwards in the lower half. Being stiﬀer, the pin ’attracts’ force and, thus,

the adjacent soil is partly relieved from compressive stresses. As a result, the

triaxial sample, viewed as a whole, is now stiﬀer. This eﬀect is closely related

to ’tension stiﬀening’ known in concrete engineering.

15.1 Impact of pattern bolting 309

Another way to increase the stiﬀness of reinforced soil is given by increasing

the pressure level. As known, the stiﬀness of granular materials increases al-

most linearly with stress level. The latter can be increased by pre-stressing

an array of anchors, i.e. of reinforcing inlets that transmit the force to the

surrounding ground only at their ends ad not over their entire length. An

analysis of this mechanism is presented in the next section.

15.1.1 Ground stiﬀening by pre-stressed anchors

The strengthening eﬀect of pre-stressed pattern bolting will be considered

for the case of a tunnel with circular cross section within a hydrostatically

stressed elastoplastic ground. The primary hydrostatic stress is σ

∞

. If the

spacing of the anchors is suﬃciently small, their action upon the ground can

be approximated with a uniform radial stress σ

A

(Fig. 15.4).

Fig. 15.4. Idealised pattern bolting

The radial stress σ

A

is obtained by dividing the anchor force with the pertain-

ing surface. Let n be the number of anchors per one meter of tunnel length.

We then obtain

σ

A0

=

nA

2πr

0

, σ

Ae

=

nA

2πr

e

or

σ

Ae

= σ

A0

·

r

0

r

e

.

It is, thus, reasonable to assume the following distribution of σ

A

within the

range r

0

< r < r

e

σ

A

= σ

A0

·

r

0

r

. (15.1)

We consider the entire stress in the range r

0

< r < r

e

. Pre-stressing of the

anchors increases the radial stress from σ

r

to σ

r

+ σ

A

(Fig. 15.5).

310 15 Supporting action of anchors/bolts

We now assume that in the range r

0

< r < r

e

the shear strength of the ground

is fully mobilised. For this case we will determine the support pressure p. For

simplicity, we consider a cohesionless ground (c = 0) and obtain

σ

θ

= K

p

(σ

r

+ σ

A

) (15.2)

with K

p

=

1 + sinϕ

1 −sinϕ

.

Fig. 15.5. Limit stress in pre-stressed region

Equilibrium in radial direction reads

d(σ

r

+ σ

A

)

dr

+

σ

r

+ σ

A

−K

p

(σ

r

+ σ

A

)

r

= 0 . (15.3)

Introducing (15.1) into (15.3) yields

dσ

r

dr

+

1

r

σ

r

(1 −K

p

) −K

p

σ

A0

r

0

r

= 0 . (15.4)

The solution of the diﬀerential equation (15.4) is obtained as

σ

r

= const · r

K

p

−1

−σ

A0

r

0

r

.

The integration constant is obtained from the boundary condition σ

r

(r

0

)

!

= p

where p is the pressure exerted by the ground upon the lining. We ﬁnally

obtain

σ

r

= (p + σ

A0

) ·

r

r

0

K

p

−1

−σ

A0

r

0

r

. (15.5)

At the boundary of the elastic region (at r = r

e

) it must be σ

r

= σ

e

, where

σ

e

is obtained from equation 14.21:

15.1 Impact of pattern bolting 311

(p + σ

A0

)

r

e

r

0

K

p

−1

−σ

A0

·

r

0

r

e

=

2

K

p

+ 1

· σ

∞

(15.6)

We meet the simplifying assumption that the plastiﬁed zone coincides with the

anchored ring, i.e. we introduce r

e

= r

0

+ l, where l is the theoretical anchor

length, into Equ. 15.6 and eliminate p. We thus obtain the support pressure

in dependence of the pre-stressing force A of the anchors, their number n

per tunnel meter, the theoretical anchor length l, the tunnel radius r

0

, the

primary stress σ

∞

and the friction angle ϕ:

p =

2σ

∞

K

p

+ 1

+

nA

2πr

0

·

r

0

r

0

+ l

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

−

nA

2πr

0

(15.7)

The real anchor length L should be greater than the theoretical one, in such

a way that the anchor force can be distributed along the boundary r = r

e

(Fig. 15.6). In practice, the anchor lengths are taken as 1.5 to 2 times the

thickness of the plastiﬁed zone.

Fig. 15.6. Theoretical (l) and real (L) anchor lengths

15.1.2 Pre-stressed anchors in cohesive soils

To consider cohesion, equation 15.2 is replaced by

σ

θ

= K

p

(σ

r

+ σ

A

) + 2c

cos ϕ

1 −sin ϕ

.

Thus, equilibrium in radial direction reads

312 15 Supporting action of anchors/bolts

dσ

r

dr

+

1

r

·

¸

σ

r

(1 −K

p

) −2c

cos ϕ

1 −sin ϕ

−K

p

σ

A0

r

0

r

= 0 .

The solution of this diﬀerential equation reads:

σ

r

= const · r

K

p

−1

−σ

A0

r

0

r

−c

2 cos ϕ

(K

p

−1)(1 −sin ϕ)

.

With the boundary condition σ

r

(r

0

)

!

= p and with

2 cos ϕ

(K

p

−1)(1−sin ϕ)

= cot ϕ one

ﬁnally obtains

σ

r

= (p + σ

A0

+ c · cot ϕ)

r

r

0

K

p

−1

+ σ

A0

r

0

r

−c · cot ϕ .

From the requirement σ

r

(r

e

) = σ

e

with σ

e

according to equation 14.25 it is

obtained:

(p + σ

A0

+ c · cot ϕ)

r

e

r

0

K

p

−1

−σ

A0

r

0

r

e

−c · cot ϕ

= σ

∞

(1 −sin ϕ) −c · cos ϕ ,

With r

e

= r

0

+ l it ﬁnally follows:

p = σ

∞

(1 −sin ϕ)

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

−

nA

2πr

0

¸

1 −

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

¸

−c · cot ϕ

¸

1 −

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

¸

−c · cos ϕ

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

.

(15.8)

If the ground pressure is to be taken solely by the anchors (i.e. p = 0), then:

nA ≥

2πr

0

1 −

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

·

σ

∞

(1 −sin ϕ)

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

−c · cot ϕ

¸

1 −

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

¸

−c · cos ϕ

r

0

r

0

+ l

K

p

−1

¸

.

In case of large convergences, support by anchors is preferable to shotcrete

which is not suﬃciently ductile and may fracture. However, adjustable anchors

should be used.

15.1 Impact of pattern bolting 313

15.1.3 Stiﬀening eﬀect of pattern bolting

In this section we consider the stiﬀening eﬀect of arrays of bolts, i.e. reinforcing

elements that are not pre-stressed and transmit shear forces to the surrounding

ground over their entire length. Considering equilibrium of the normal force

N and the shear stress τ applying upon the periphery of a bolt element of the

length dx (Fig. 15.7) we obtain dN = τπddx. With N = σπd

2

/4, σ = Eε and

ε = du

s

/dx we obtain

d

2

u

s

dx

2

=

4τ

Ed

,

with u

s

being the displacement of the bolt. Obviously, the shear stress τ

acting between bolt and surrounding ground is mobilised with the relative

displacement, τ = τ(s), s = u

s

− u, where u is the displacement of the

ground.

2

Fig. 15.7. Forces upon a bolt element

Of course, u depends on τ: In a ﬁrst step of simpliﬁed (uncoupled) analysis

we assume that u does not depend on τ and is given by the elastic solution

(cf. Equ. 14.16):

u =

σ

∞

−p

2G

r

0

2

r

.

Herein, r is the radius with respect to the tunnel axis. Furthermore, we assume

a rigid-idealplastic relation τ(s), i.e. τ achieves immediately its maximum

value τ

0

. Thus, the total force transmitted by shear upon a bolt of the length

l is lτ

0

πd. This force is applied via the top platen upon the tunnel wall.

Assuming n bolts per m

2

tunnel wall we obtain thus the equivalent support

pressure p

bolt

= nlτ

0

πd. If the arrangement of bolts is given by the spacings

a and b (Fig. 15.8), then n = 1/(ab). Thus,

2

Consider e.g. the relations used in concrete engineering: K. Zilch and A. Rogge,

Grundlagen der Bemessung von Beton-, Stahlbeton- und Spannbetonbauteilen nach

DIN 1045-1. In: Betonkalender 2000, BK1, 171-312, Ernst & Sohn Berlin, 2000

314 15 Supporting action of anchors/bolts

p

bolt

=

1

ab

τ

o

πdl (15.9)

modiﬁes the support line as shown in Fig. 15.9.

Fig. 15.8. Array of bolts

Fig. 15.9. Ground reaction line and support line aﬀected by idealised bolts (As-

sumptions: rigid bolts, rigid-idealplastic shear stress transmission to the ground,

ground displacement not inﬂuenced by the bolts, installation of bolts is instanta-

neous).

An alternative approach based on the multiphase model of reinforced ground

is given in Appendix F.

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