The recent advances in ground anchor technology and the related techniques of cable bolting and rock bolting are reviewed. Collectively the technology associated with the three techniques enable design engineers to address stability problems over a range of scales and in a range of geomechanical environments. The techniques have similar aims but have developed into separate disciplines with unique attributes. The procedures for designing and creating ground anchors that meet the stringent requirements associated with modern civil infrastructure are discussed. This contrasts the very different design approaches being developed in rock bolting and cable bolting where standards are less exacting but the design problems can sometimes be more complex.
Excavations and other engineering constructions in the ground are central to many civil and mining projects. For both economic and safety reasons ground reinforcement is often a key component in the successful completion of these projects. Ground reinforcement includes, amongst other methods, the techniques of ground anchoring, cable bolting and rock bolting. Basically, all of these techniques seek to assure the stability of an artificial structure constructed within or on a soil or rock mass by the installation of structural elements within the ground. The differences between the three techniques are predominantly associated with scale and the standards of design and installation. Ground anchors tend to be longer with the highest capacity, rock bolts tend to be shorter with the lowest capacities and cable bolts have evolved to address stability problems that lie between the two. Ground anchors are usually associated with civil infrastructure projects which demand exacting standards of design and installation. This will be followed by a discussion on some of the unique attributes that characterise and differentiate the less developed disciplines of rock bolting and cable bolting.