Triaxial testing represents international best practise for determining the important geotechnical parameters of shear strength and cohesion of soils. These parameters are important to uncemented backfill applications, but have also in recent years become important parameters for cemented backfill applications with the increased use of computational modelling and simulation. The test apparatus also allows for one-dimensional consolidation testing.
Mine tailings vary significantly depending on the commodity being mined, the orebody and the processing method. Unlike natural soils, mine backfill usually has a high amount of milled ultrafine particles that change the behaviour of the mixture and therefore also the testing requirements. It is important to be able to adjust test campaigns and procedures as data becomes available, to ensure useful results and the optimisation of backfill mixes.
Triaxial tests campaigns take a long time to complete so having this capability in-house at P&C allows for quick adjustment of test procedures, test matrices and target mixes as results become available. This saves time and money and potentially reduces the duration of the test work as well as the number of tests required.
Paterson & Cooke conduct tests using the GDS Triaxial Automated System (shown below) which allows the following test parameters to be measured: pore water pressure, confining pressure, applied stress, strain rate etc.
For more information Contact Us in the Cape Town Office & Laboratory