To spell things out, here are the reasons we should instrument our civil engineering and mining projects:
Benefits During Design
Definition of Initial Site Conditions
Instrumentation may be used to assist in assessing the in situ geotechnical conditions during the design phase. A simple example is the installation of piezometers to monitor groundwater levels and hydraulic head. More complex examples include assessments of in situ stress and deformability conditions for the design of tunnel linings or large underground excavations. By understanding the geotechnical conditions, a more focussed and optimal design can be arrived at.
All designs have inherent uncertainties and to a large extent these are circumvented by using conservative design parameters and that fantastic fudge factor called the Factor of Safety. However the advantages of reducing the degree of uncertainty in a design by carrying out a proof test, need not be spelled out. A proof test will include observations on behaviour, and may well include instrumentation. A proof test allows the designer to choose an economical design over an ultra-conservative one when ground conditions are not fully understood or construction methods are uncertain.
Fact Finding in a Crisis Situation
Should a crisis arise, the nature of the problem needs to be defined so that remedial measures can be implemented, and instrumentation, if correctly installed, can play a crucial role in this.
Benefits During Construction
- Improvements in safety for the construction workers and the public
- Reduce construction costs
- Control construction procedures
- Provide legal protection
- Provide data for measurement of quantities
- Enhance public relations
- Advance the state of the art, and finally
- We get to sleep well at night.
Safety, of course, is paramount and instrumentation can provide the needed safeguards. In addition, there is a need to monitor the effects of construction on neighbouring structures. Use of instrumentation for safety monitoring is routine during excavations for builds, tunnels and highways.
GeoZone can supply, install and monitor the following instruments:
- Pressure Transducers
- Settlement Gauges
- Pressure and Load Cells
- Extensometers & Joint Meters
- Pendulums & Readouts
- Strain Gauges & Thermometers
- Readouts, Dataloggers & Accessories
For more information on how geotechnical instrumentation can make your mine safer, more efficient and reduce your risk profile, please contact GeoZone GeoServices on firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.geozone.co.za or call on 033 343 3915 or 082 9260626