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A Review of Rock Bolt Monitoring Using Smart Sensors

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004, USA
Key Laboratory of Transportation Tunnel Engineering, Ministry of Education, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 776;
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
PDF [11780 KB, uploaded 6 April 2017]


Rock bolts have been widely used as rock reinforcing members in underground coal mine roadways and tunnels. Failures of rock bolts occur as a result of overloading, corrosion, seismic burst and bad grouting, leading to catastrophic economic and personnel losses. Monitoring the health condition of the rock bolts plays an important role in ensuring the safe operation of underground mines. This work presents a brief introduction on the types of rock bolts followed by a comprehensive review of rock bolt monitoring using smart sensors. Smart sensors that are used to assess rock bolt integrity are reviewed to provide a firm perception of the application of smart sensors for enhanced performance and reliability of rock bolts. The most widely used smart sensors for rock bolt monitoring are the piezoelectric sensors and the fiber optic sensors. The methodologies and principles of these smart sensors are reviewed from the point of view of rock bolt integrity monitoring. The applications of smart sensors in monitoring the critical status of rock bolts, such as the axial force, corrosion occurrence, grout quality and resin delamination, are highlighted. In addition, several prototypes or commercially available smart rock bolt devices are also introduced. View Full-Text
Keywords: rock bolts; smart sensors; piezoelectric sensors; fiber optic sensors; non-destructive testing rock bolts; smart sensors; piezoelectric sensors; fiber optic sensors; non-destructive testing

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Song, G.; Li, W.; Wang, B.; Ho, S.C.M. A Review of Rock Bolt Monitoring Using Smart Sensors. Sensors 2017, 17, 776.

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