CHRYSO Southern Africa Addresses Mining Safety Challenges with Innovative Fibre-Reinforced Shotcrete Solutions

In recent years, the mining industry in South Africa has witnessed a significant uptick in the utilization of fibre-reinforced shotcrete for underground support.

Growing Demand for CHRYSO® CSF 6000 Macro-Synthetic Fibres Reflects Industry Shift towards Enhanced Safety Measures

Fibre-Reinforced Shotcrete

In recent years, the mining industry in South Africa has witnessed a significant uptick in the utilization of fibre-reinforced shotcrete for underground support. This trend underscores the sector’s commitment to enhancing safety standards and mitigating risks associated with fall of ground (FOG) incidents, which remain a leading cause of injuries and fatalities in underground mines. CHRYSO Southern Africa, a leading provider of construction chemicals and solutions, reports a surge in demand for its market-leading CHRYSO® CSF 6000 high performance macro-synthetic fibres, reflecting the industry’s evolving safety priorities and the growing recognition of the benefits of fibre reinforcement technology.

Addressing Safety Challenges in Underground Mining

The fight to eliminate FOG incidents has emerged as a top priority for the mining industry in South Africa, as it strives towards achieving Zero Harm. Fall of ground accidents pose significant risks to miners’ safety and well-being, making effective underground support systems imperative. Willie Nel, Technical Sales Consultant at CHRYSO Southern Africa, emphasizes the crucial role of fibre reinforcement in enhancing the stability and integrity of shotcrete applications in underground environments. He notes that while the industry has traditionally relied on reinforced shotcrete with wire mesh or welded mesh, there has been a notable shift towards the adoption of fibre reinforcement solutions in recent years.

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The Evolution of Fibre-Reinforced Shotcrete

Over the past decade, there has been a marked transition from steel fibres and rigid polypropylene ‘broombrissel’ fibres to softer polypropylene homo-polymer fibres, commonly known as soft tape fibres. Nel explains that the shift towards softer fibres gained momentum around 2012, driven primarily by the increasing demand for modern shotcrete reinforcement technology in new mining projects. The CHRYSO® CSF 6000 high performance macro-synthetic fibres have emerged as a preferred choice among mining operators due to their superior tensile strength, impact resistance, and durability.

Advantages of CHRYSO® CSF 6000 Macro-Synthetic Fibres

One of the key advantages of the CHRYSO® CSF 6000 fibres is their flat, flexible nature, which enhances tensile strength and resilience compared to rigid counterparts. These fibres effectively combat the formation of plastic shrinkage and settlement cracking while providing superior impact, abrasion, and shatter resistance. Moreover, the technology offers greater ductility, enabling deformation under tensile stress and enhanced energy absorption capabilities. Nel highlights a successful case study at a prominent copper mine in South Africa, where the CHRYSO® CSF 6000 fibres facilitated the achievement of stringent shotcrete mix design requirements, surpassing energy absorption targets.

Enhancing Productivity and Cost Efficiency

In addition to enhancing safety and performance, fibre-reinforced shotcrete solutions offer significant productivity and cost benefits compared to traditional reinforcement practices. Unlike wire mesh or welded mesh installations, macro-synthetic fibre-reinforced shotcrete systems enable rapid application and semi-automation, resulting in enhanced productivity and reduced labor costs. Nel emphasizes that these advantages make fibre-reinforced shotcrete an attractive solution for mining operations seeking to optimize efficiency and mitigate risks effectively.

CHRYSO Southern Africa’s innovative fibre-reinforced shotcrete solutions represent a significant advancement in underground mining safety and performance. The growing demand for CHRYSO® CSF 6000 macro-synthetic fibres reflects the industry’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technologies and best practices to ensure the well-being of miners and the sustainability of operations. As the mining sector continues to prioritize safety and efficiency, fibre-reinforced shotcrete solutions are poised to play a pivotal role in driving progress and innovation in underground support systems.

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