Journal of Mountain Science

Cyclic load testing of pre-stressed rock anchors for slope stabilization

Abstract The objective of this research was to assess the characteristics of seismic induced damage and the deformation patterns of pre-stressed cement-grouted cables that are used for rock slope stabilization projects subjected to quasi-static cyclic loading. The experimental configuration includes the installation of 15 pre-stressed cables in a slope model made of concrete blocks (theoretically rigid rock mass) on top of a pre-existing sliding surface. The study showed that: (i) The pre-stressed cables exhibited great seismic performance. Rapid displacement of the model blocks was observed after the complete loss of the initial pre-stress load under continued applied cyclic loads and exceedance of the state of equilibrium, which implies the higher the initial pre-stress load, the better the seismic performance of the rock anchor; (ii) The failure of the pre-stressed cables was due to fracture at the connection of the tendons and cable heads under cyclic loading. The sequence of failure had a distinct pattern. Failure was first observed at the upper row of cables, which experienced the most severe damage, including the ejection of cable heads. No evidence of de-bonding was observed during the cyclic loading; (iii) The stress distribution of the bond length for pre-stressed cables was highly non-uniform. High stress concentrations were observed at both the fixed end and the free end of the bond length both before and immediately after the state of equilibrium is exceeded. The results obtained can be used to evaluate the overall performance of pre-stressed rock anchors subject to seismic loading and their potential as rockfall prevention and stabilization measures.

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