Design and Construction of Deep Shaft Concrete Linings in the UK


Frederick Auld, Golder Associates

During the period 1958-1980 seven deep shafts were sunk from the surface in the UK. From 1977 until 1989 sixteen deep shafts were sunk in the UK, all concrete lined. Subsequently from 1989 up to the present day no deep shafts have been sunk in the UK, a period of 30 years. Developments in the design and construction of deep shafts in the UK therefore were predominantly carried out throughout the period 1977-1989. This knowledge is recorded in several published papers by the author over that period which will be referred to in the paper.     

The paper includes a review of the past precedent for the design of deep shaft concrete linings in the UK and sets out the principles for future designs, including the design load to be adopted and Factors of Safety to be used in the design.

Hydrostatic pressure increases with depth from the surface and therefore the concrete lining must increase in thickness and strength throughout its depth to resist the pressure. High strength concrete mixes were developed to enable economic linings to reach greater depths and these will be detailed.

The ground conditions to sink through in the UK consist of predominantly competent (self-standing when excavated) rock, which can be water bearing, and hence a hydrostatic pressure resisting lining is required. The paper describes the measures needed to install such a lining to produce a dry shaft by way of pour length, joint detail, backwall grouting and joint sealing details.
Keywords: Shafts, Lining, Concrete, Design, Installation