Broomfield, Colorado: Mining engineering students at Montana Tech are testing bolt integrity when loaded using a Ground Support Pull Test Kit and Swellex bolts donated by Epiroc, a leading productivity partner for the mining and infrastructure industries.
The Montana Tech mining engineering program provides students with an internationally esteemed education, access to cutting-edge labs and participation in leading research. The school has the only on-campus underground mine education center in the United States and uses it to give students hands-on experience. Working with modern equipment is also an important part of preparing students for the workforce. For this, the Mining Engineering department often relies on donations from equipment manufacturers.
Students are testing how much load and deformation they are able to get from Swellex bolts without losing integrity. The project began as a challenge from a leading mining corporation. To help make the project a reality, Epiroc donated the Ground Support Pull Test Kit and Swellex bolts. An Epiroc team led by Adrian Berghorst, Segment Business Manager – Ground Support, and Eric Ball, Northwest District Sales Manager – Rock Drilling Tools, provided installation and hands-on training support.
As part of the test, sleeves will be used on bolts to qualify the critical bond length of Swellex bolts under forced displacement without loss of integrity in the bolts. The Pull Test Kit supplied will be essential to testing the bolts’ load and deformation characteristics in that particular rock mass and borehole.
In addition to benefiting the students, the research performed also allows the school to publish their findings.
Scott Rosenthal, Mining Engineering Department Head, Associate Professor, Mining Engineering at Montana Tech, has extensive experience with Epiroc equipment from his work in mines all over the world. “I have always appreciated Epiroc’s quality, performance and service,” Rosenthal said. “With access to this equipment, students can do something unique and different. We thrive thanks to the support of industry partners like Epiroc.”
In the end, students, universities, mines, mining organizations, and equipment suppliers will benefit from the research.
“Partnering with Montana Tech helps give the next generation of miners a great start, enables additional research on mining limitations and capabilities, and gives Epiroc additional insights so we can continue our ongoing quest for improvement in mining,” said Shawn Cheney, Epiroc Business Line Manager – Rock Drilling Tools.