Strength development in underground high-sulphate paste backfill operation
A laboratory investigation was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of different binding agents in a paste backfilling operation suitable to be used in a sulphide-rich environment. Different combinations of Portland cement and fly ash type C as well as ferrous slag were used as the binding agents. The unconfined compressive strength of the samples was measured for extended curing periods. The results indicate that the addition of 3% slag in the binding agent mix could produce strengths up to 0.5 MPa in the samples under investigation. For higher binding contents, the addition of Portland cement will lead to higher availability of calcium hydroxide and calcium aluminate, which are susceptible to deterioration from the phenomenon known as sulphate attack. Using slag, on the other hand, will reduce the permeability, availability of calcium hydroxide, and dilute the calcium aluminate ions reducing the susceptibility of the samples to sulphate attack. However, gypsum will form which could have the same detrimental effect on the strength of the treated matrix. Therefore, special attention must be
Paste backfill, Portland cement, Binding agents, Sulphate, Slag.