Concrete testing device could help improve mine safety

A concrete-testing instrument developed in Leicester (UK) is to be trialled in Australia by researchers working to improve the safety of drift walls in underground mines. The Controlled Two Point and Vane Test (CTPVT) device has been created by Celsum Technologies, one of a number of pioneering businesses based at De Montfort University’s Innovation Centre. It aims to help reduce wastage and improve safety in industries such as mining and construction by more accurately predicting how concrete will perform.

In December, the CTPVT was shipped to researchers at the Western Australia School of Mines, Curtin University of Technology, in the heart of Australia’s mining industry. It will test samples of shotcrete used to spray-line tunnel walls in the gold mines of Western Australia.  It is essential that materials such as shotcrete are mixed to exact specifications in order that they spray well, set quickly and sustain force.

The CTPVT works by rotating computer-controlled telescopic probes in wet concrete pastes to identify the yield stress of the material and help predict its performance.
Roy Carter, Director of Celsum Technologies, has been developing the machine over the last four years based on the conventional two-point workability test devised in the 1970s by the late Dr Geoff Tattersall. He said: “The CTPVT generates engineering data on otherwise difficult to measure materials with more precision than traditional tests, potentially helping to prevent problems and save wastage by predicting how concrete mixes will perform.”