University essay from KTH/Betongbyggnad

Abstract: Tunnels in hard and jointed rock are normally excavated in an arch shape to enable the rock mass to support its weight. Since the beginning of the 1980's, fibre reinforced shotcrete (FRS) in combination with rock bolts have been the dominating support method for hard rock tunnels. This type of rock support is a complex composite structure in which the structural behaviour depends on interaction between shotcrete, rock and bolts. The design is commonly based on a rock mass classification system in combination with analytical solutions or finite element (FE) modelling. However, the in-situ variations of important properties of the shotcrete are normally neglected.The aim of this thesis was to increase the understanding regarding the environmental impact of different fibre types used as reinforcement in shotcrete. First, a brief introduction to rock support and the role of shotcrete is presented. Along with this the technical performance and a short review regarding the production process involved in producing steel, synthetic and basalt fibres. To understand the environmental impact with respect to the production of different fibre types, environmental product declaration (EPD) from various producers were studied. Here, the environmental performance was studied from cradle to gate for the different fibres. The goal of this thesis was to study the global warming potential of fibres during the production stages and EPDs were used to compare the environmental performance for different fibres of different types and materials. For each fibre type different producers are also compared.To study the environmental impact, a case study in which the shotcrete should fulfil a specified residual flexural strength, or a minimum energy absorption was used. Within this thesis, any potential effects of deterioration of fibres or the need of technical improvement during the technical lifespan was not included. Fibre dosages to fulfil the structural performance were selected based on the experimental testing from the literature. Finally, a detailed discussion regarding the optimum dosages of the different fibre types and their environmental impact is presented.

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