Fully encapsulated tendons and rockbolts provide safe and effective reinforcement for the relatively deep coal mines in weak strata generally worked in Europe. However, once a fully grouted tendon/rockbolt has been installed, there is no way of determining whether it remains intact. Reinforced roadways also suffer the risk of deterioration over time and gate roadway stability can be jeopardised in the area of enhanced stress ahead of the retreating/advancing face. If rockbolting is going to fulfil its potential for transforming European coal mining, appropriate instrumentation and strategies need to be developed to overcome these problems.
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