Title:
Inserter and cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cartridge inserter adapted for use in insertion of a cartridge into a rock bolt hole drilled in rock in an underground mine, said inserter comprising a tube portion (11) having an opening (12) at one end which opens into the interior of the tube portion (11), the interior region of the tube portion being adapted to receive a cartridge, the tube portion being adapted to be insertable within a rock bolt hole. Also provided is a method for installing a cartridge by the use of the inserter (11) and a cap being receivable within the opening (12) and adapted to support the cartridge within the rock bolt hole.



Inventors:
Mclaren, Matthew David (Hillarys, AU)
Application Number:
10/475120
Publication Date:
08/26/2004
Filing Date:
04/09/2004
Assignee:
MCLAREN MATTHEW DAVID
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
405/259.1
International Classes:
E21D20/02; (IPC1-7): E21D20/00; E21D21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SAFAVI, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROTHWELL, FIGG, ERNST & MANBECK, P.C. (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

The claims defining the invention are as follows:



1. A cartridge inserter adapted for use in insertion of a cartridge into a rock bolt hole drilled in rock in an underground mine, said inserter comprising a tube portion having an opening at one end which opens into the interior of the tube portion, the interior region of the tube portion being adapted to receive a cartridge, the tube portion being adapted to be insertable within a rock bolt hole.

2. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 1 wherein the inserter further comprises a support portion disposed at the other end, the support portion being adapted to be mounted to a support.

3. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claims 2 wherein the support comprises a “shank” of a “jumbo”.

4. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the inserter is adapted for remote insertion into the hole.

5. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the cartridge is a resin anchor adhesive cartridge.

6. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the one end of the tube portion is of reduced external diameter.

7. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the internal bore of the inserter is substantially constant throughout its length.

8. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the inserter is of variable length.

9. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 8 wherein the inserter comprises a plurality of lengths which can be interconnected in an end-to-end relationship.

10. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 8 wherein the inserter is telescopically variable in length wherein the inserter can be lockingly retained at a desired length.

11. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the inserter is associated with a retention means adapted to cause the cartridge to be retained in the hole after insertion.

12. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 11 wherein said retention means is provided with a central portion adapted to be receivable over the end of the cartridge adjacent the one end of the inserter and a fixing means adapted to engage with the hole after insertion of the cartridge into the hole.

13. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 12 wherein the fixing means comprises a laterally directed formation extending radially outwardly form from the central portion.

14. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 13 wherein the formation is adapted to be displaceable in a radial direction to thereby engage the wall of the hole when a net withdrawal force is applied to the retention means.

15. A cartridge inserter as claimed in in either of claims 13 or 14 wherein the formation further comprises a plurality of elements, the elements adapted to be displaceable relative to the central portion to provide engagement with the wall of the hole when a net withdrawal force is applied to the retention means.

16. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 15 wherein the elements are displaceable between a position closely parallel to the tube portion adjacent the one end to allow insertion of the cartridge into the hole and an outwardly extending position at which the lateral portions engage the hole to prevent movement of the cartridge from the hole.

17. A cartridge inserter as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 14 wherein the retention means comprises a cap which is receivable over the outer end of the cartridge and which is also receivable in the one end of the inserter, said cap including a flexible resilient formation adapted to be deformed to allow insertion of the cartridge into the hole and to prevent movement of the cartridge from the hole.

18. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 17 wherein the cap further comprises a part-conical end adapted to lead the insertion of the inserter into the hole.

19. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 18 wherein the formation comprises an extension of the part-conical end.

20. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 19 wherein the formation comprises a substantially continuous extension of the part-conical end.

21. A cartridge inserter as claimed in claim 20 wherein the formation further comprises a rim extending radially outwardly from the periphery of the extension of the formation.

22. A cap adapted to cooperate with a cartridge inserter of the form as described in any previous claim, the cap being receivable over the outer end of the cartridge to enable the cartridge to be supported by the cap in the hole, the cap being receivable in the one end of the inserter to be supported thereby, the cap further comprising retention means adapted to restrain the cap from withdrawal from the hole.

23. The cap as claimed in claim 22 comprising an engagement member which provides support for the cartridge and which is engagable with the inserter to be supported thereby.

24. The cap as claimed in either of claims 22 or 23 wherein the engagement member comprising a tubular-like member

25. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 22 to 24 wherein the cap is provided with a substantially part-conical outer end.

26. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 22 to 25 wherein the cartridge is a resin anchor adhesive cartridge.

27. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 24 to 26 wherein the retention means comprises a laterally directed formation extending radially outwardly form from the cap.

28. A cap as claimed in claim 27 wherein the formation is adapted to be displaceable in a radial direction to thereby engage the wall of the hole when a net withdrawal force is applied to the retention means.

29. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 24 to 26 wherein the cap further comprises a formation extending radially outwardly from the part-conical outer end, the formation being adapted to be resiliently deformed during insertion of the cap into the hole and to retain the cap and cartridge within the hole after insertion.

30. A cap as claimed in claim 29 wherein the formation comprises a plurality of resilient wing-like elements extending outwardly from the part-conical outer end.

31. A cap as claimed in claim 29 wherein the formation comprises a substantially continuous extension of the part-conical outer end.

32. A cap as claimed in claim 31 wherein the formation further comprises a rim extending radially outwardly from the periphery of the extension of the formation.

33. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 24 to 32 wherein the cap further comprises a radially extending lip intermediate the length of the outer surface of the cap, the lip providing means by which the cap is supported by the inserter.

34. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 22 to 33 wherein the cap defines a cavity tapered inwardly from the inner end to the outer end to enhance retention of the cartridge to the cap.

35. A cap as claimed in claim 32 wherein a plurality of ribs are provided on the surface of the cavity to enhance retention of the cartridge to the cap.

36. A cap as claimed in any one of claims 22 to 35 wherein the cap further comprises a plurality of flaps associated with the outer end, the flaps being adapted to engage an end portion of the cartridge.

37. A method for installing a cartridge into a rock bolt hole by the use of a cartridge inserter of the form as described in any one of claims 1 to 21, the method comprising the steps of: drilling a hole; locating a cartridge in the tube portion of a cartridge inserter through the one end; inserting the inserter into the hole to cause the outer end of the cartridge to be restrained in the hole; and withdrawing the inserter from the hole whereby the cartridge is retained within the hole by retention means.

38. A method for installing a cartridge as claimed in claim 37 wherein the inserter comprises a support portion disposed at the other end, the support portion being adapted to be mounted to a support.

39. A method for installing a cartridge as claimed in either of claims 37 or 38 wherein the cartridge inserter is adapted for remote insertion into the hole.

40. A method for installing a cartridge as claimed In any one of claims 37 to 39 wherein the support comprises a “shank” of a “jumbo”.

41. A method for installing cartridge as claimed in any one of claims 37 to 40 wherein the cartridge is a resin anchor adhesive cartridge.

42. A method for installing a cartridge as claimed in any one of claims 37 to 40 wherein the retention means is fixed to the outer end of the cartridge prior to the insertion of the cartridge into the hole.

43. A method for installing a cartridge as claimed in any one of claims 37 to 42 wherein the retention means is affixed to the cartridge before the cartridge is inserted into the tube portion.

44. A method for installing a cartridge as claimed in any one of claims 37 to 43 wherein the retention means is affixed to the cartridge after the cartridge is inserted into the tube portion.

45. A method for remotely installing a cartridge as claimed in any one of claims 37 to 44 wherein the cartridge contains an epoxy resin having a plurality of grades of epoxy resin within the cartridge.

46. A cartridge inserter substantially as herein described.

47. A cartridge inserter substantially as herein described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 5 of the accompany drawings.

48. A cap substantially as herein described.

49. A cap substantially as herein described with reference to FIG. 5, FIG. 6 a to f, FIG. 7 a to f or FIG. 8 a to f of the accompany drawings.

50. A method of remotely installing a cartridge in the roof of an underground mine tunnel substantially as herein described.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the art of underground mining. More particularly, the invention relates to the art of reinforcing the roof of a mine tunnel.

[0002] The modern art of underground mining demands that many practices are undertaken to ensure safety within the mine. In particular, after a mine tunnel is extended, it is necessary to install reinforcement to the roof before mine workers are permitted to enter the portion that has been extended.

[0003] According to a method presently utilized, a mine tunnel is typically extended by the use of explosives for a length of approximately 3.5 metres. After the rock material has been dislodged by the explosive, it is removed by a machine known as a “bogger” which is a type of front-end loader having a loading arm which is of sufficient length to enable it to reach into the extended portion of the tunnel while the cabin portion of the vehicle remains in the portion of the tunnel which is protected. Once the rubble has been cleared it is then necessary to reinforce the roof of the newly extended portion of the mine tunnel by applying an appropriately sized steel mesh across the full area of roof of the extended portion of the mine. It is the method of installing this mesh to which this invention specifically relates.

BACKGROUND ART

[0004] According to one of the current methods of roof reinforcement, the mesh is finally retained to the roof by a series of spaced support plates which are fixed to the roof of the tunnel and which engage the mesh to hold it against the roof. The plates are fixed to the roof of the tunnel by rock bolts which are known as “resin anchors” or “chemical bolts” and which require a hole to be drilled into the roof in order that they can be inserted into holes formed in the rock of the roof. Resin anchors comprise steel bolts which when in position are encased in an epoxy resin within a drill hole where the epoxy resin retains the steel bolt in position and protects the bolt from the corrosive influences within the drill hole. The epoxy resin is supplied in cylindrical cartridges which comprise both of the two components separated from each other by a barrier. In use the cartridges are inserted into holes drilled in the roof and the steel bolt is then inserted into the hole and though the cartridges. The insertion of the bolt through the cartridges causes the epoxy resin components to mix and react in order that it hardens whereby the steel bolts are retained in the hole retained by the epoxy resin which also serves to protect the bolts from the corrosive effects of water which may be present in the rock. To further enhance the mixing of the components the bolt is caused to rotate in the hole after insertion. Three types of epoxy having differing strengths and setting times are used.

[0005] In order to install the resin anchors, it is necessary to first drill the hole which can typically have a diameter of the order of 32 mm and a length of the order of 2 metres. The holes are drilled by rock drills mounted on a vehicle known as a “jumbo” which comprises a vehicle the front of which supports two hydraulically driven, extendable and positionable arms each of which supports a “boom” which each accommodate a drill which is used to drill the holes for the resin anchors. The arms of the jumbo enable the holes to be drilled in the extended portion of the mine tunnel without the main part of the vehicle which incorporates the cabin in which the operator is seated, having to enter that extended portion.

[0006] Once the holes have been drilled by the “jumbo” the epoxy resin cartridges are manually inserted into hole by a mineworker accommodated within a protective cage supported from another vehicle which has a boom which can extend into the unprotected portion of the tunnel.

[0007] However, as it is necessary to insert the epoxy resin manually, this would require the presence of a mineworker in the unprotected portion of the tunnel. Therefore for safety reasons it is necessary to temporarily fix the mesh to the roof to provide some protection for the mineworker who is required to insert the epoxy resin cartridges. The temporary installation of the mesh is achieved by first installing a series of “split sets”. A split-set comprises a substantially tubular shaft of resilient metal having an enlarged one end and provided with a slit extending the length of the tubular shaft, thereby providing a shaft having a C-section. The split set is inserted remotely into a hole which has previously been drilled into the roof of the mine tunnel, by use of the boom of the “jumbo” whereby the split set is frictionally engaged in the hole by interference fit to provide suitable retention. The mesh is retained to the roof of the tunnel by metal plates, each of which is supported by the enlarged head of the split set. As a result mineworkers are able to then enter the extended portion of the tunnel to apply the resin anchors to the roof to provide permanent retention of the mesh to the roof. While the split sets provide a strong means of retaining the mesh to the roof, they are subjected to the corrosive effects of the water present in the rock and cannot be used as permanent fixings for the mesh.

[0008] Typically, mesh is provided in sheets 6 metres×2.5 meters and each sheet requires 14 split sets to support it. Therefore the drilling of the holes for the split sets, the insertion of the split sets and the fixing of the mesh to the split sets requires considerable work and expense which becomes redundant once the resin anchors are installed.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Accordingly, the present invention resides in a cartridge inserter adapted for use in insertion of a cartridge into a rock bolt hole drilled in rock in an underground mine, said inserter comprising a tube portion having an opening at one end which opens into the interior of the tube portion, the interior region of the tube portion being adapted to receive a cartridge, the tube portion being adapted to be insertable within a rock bolt hole.

[0010] According to a preferred feature of the invention the cartridge inserter further comprises a support portion disposed at the other end, the support portion being adapted to be mounted to a support. According to a preferred embodiment, the support comprises a “shank” of a “jumbo”.

[0011] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the inserter is adapted for remote insertion into the hole.

[0012] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the cartridge is a resin anchor adhesive cartridge.

[0013] According to a preferred feature of the invention the one end of the tube portion is of reduced external diameter. According to a further preferred feature of the invention the internal bore of the inserter is substantially constant throughout its length.

[0014] According to a preferred feature of the invention the inserter is of variable length. According to one embodiment the inserter comprises a plurality of lengths which can be interconnected in an end-to-end relationship. According to an alternative embodiment the inserter is telescopically variable in length wherein the inserter can be lockingly retained at a desired length.

[0015] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the inserter is associated with a retention means adapted to cause the cartridge to be retained in the hole after insertion.

[0016] According to a preferred feature of the invention, said retention means is provided with a central portion adapted to be receivable over the end of the cartridge adjacent the one end of the inserter and a fixing means adapted to engage with the hole after insertion of the cartridge into the hole.

[0017] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the fixing means comprises a laterally directed formation extending radially outwardly from the central portion.

[0018] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the formation is adapted to be displaceable in a radial direction to thereby engage the wall of the hole when a net withdrawal force is applied to the retention means.

[0019] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the formation further comprises a plurality of elements, the elements adapted to be displaceable relative to the central portion to provide engagement with the wall of the hole when a net withdrawal force is applied to the retention means.

[0020] According to a preferred embodiment, the elements are displaceable between a position closely parallel to the tube portion adjacent the one end to allow insertion of the cartridge into the hole and an outwardly extending position at which the lateral portions engage the hole to prevent movement of the cartridge from the hole.

[0021] Accordingly, the invention also resides in a cap adapted to cooperate with a cartridge inserter of the form as described previously, the cap being receivable over the outer end of the cartridge to enable the cartridge to be supported by the cap in the hole, the cap being receivable in the one end of the inserter to be supported thereby, the cap further comprising retention means adapted to restrain the cap from withdrawal from the hole.

[0022] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the cap further comprises an engagement member which provides support for the cartridge and which is engagable with the inserter to be supported thereby.

[0023] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the tubular member is provided with a substantially part-conical outer end.

[0024] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the retention means comprises a laterally directed formation extending radially outwardly from the central portion.

[0025] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the formation is adapted to be displaceable in a radial direction to thereby engage the wall of the hole when a net withdrawal force is applied to the retention means.

[0026] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the cap further comprises a formation extending outwardly from the part-conical outer end, the formation being adapted to be resiliently deformed during insertion of the cap into the hole and to retain the cap and cartridge within the hole after insertion.

[0027] According to a preferred embodiment, the formation further comprises a plurality of resilient wing-like elements extending outwardly from the part-conical outer end, the wing-like elements being adapted to be resiliently deformed during insertion of the cap into the hole and to retain the cap and cartridge within the hole after insertion.

[0028] According to a preferred embodiment, the formation comprises a substantially continuous extension of the part-conical end around the second tube portion of the cap.

[0029] According to a preferred embodiment, the formation further comprises a rim extending radially outwardly from the periphery of the extension of the formation.

[0030] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the engagement means comprises a radially extending lip intermediate the length of the outer surface of the cap.

[0031] According to a preferred feature of the invention, the cap defines a cavity tapered inwardly from the inner end to the outer end to enhance retention of the cartridge to the cap.

[0032] According to a preferred feature of the invention, a plurality of ribs are provided on the surface of the cavity to enhance retention of the cartridge to the cap.

[0033] According to a preferred feature of the invention, an aperture opens into the cavity from the end of the cap adapted to be inserted first into the hole and a plurality of flaps extend from the periphery of the aperture radially inwardly, the flaps being adapted to engage an end portion of the cartridge.

[0034] Accordingly, the invention also resides in a method for installing a cartridge in a rock hole, comprising the steps of:

[0035] drilling a hole;

[0036] locating a cartridge in the tube portion of a cartridge inserter of the form as described above through the one end;

[0037] inserting the inserter into the hole to cause the outer end of the cartridge to be fixed in the hole; and

[0038] withdrawing the inserter from the hole whereby the cartridge is retained within the hole by retention means.

[0039] According to a preferred feature of the method, the inserter comprises a support portion disposed at the other end, the support portion being adapted to be mounted to a support.

[0040] According to a preferred feature of the method, the cartridge inserter is adapted for remote insertion into the hole.

[0041] According to a one aspect of the method, the support comprises a “shank” of a “jumbo”.

[0042] According to a preferred feature of the method, the cartridge is a resin anchor adhesive cartridge.

[0043] According to a preferred feature of the invention, a retention means of the form as described above is fixed to the outer end of the cartridge prior to the insertion of the resin anchor adhesive cartridge into the hole.

[0044] According to one embodiment, the retention means is affixed to the cartridge before the cartridge is inserted into the tube portion.

[0045] According to another embodiment, the retention means is affixed to the cartridge after the cartridge is inserted into the tube portion.

[0046] In accordance with a preferred feature of the invention, the cartridge contains an epoxy resin having a plurality of grades of epoxy resin within the cartridge.

[0047] The invention will be more fully understood in the light, of the following description of several specific embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0048] The description is made with reference to the accompanying drawing of which:

[0049] FIG. 1 is a side orthogonal view of a cartridge inserter according to the first embodiment;

[0050] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a cartridge inserter according to the first embodiment showing the relationship of resin anchor adhesive cartridge and “drifter” support:

[0051] FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a cartridge inserter in accordance with the first embodiment when inserted into a hole drilled in the roof of a mine tunnel;

[0052] FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the one end of the inserter according to the second embodiment; and

[0053] FIG. 5 is a schematic isometric view of the outer end of an eighth embodiment of the invention illustrating the inserter, cartridge and retention means.

[0054] FIG. 6a is an isometric view of a cap in accordance with a ninth embodiment of the invention;

[0055] FIG. 6b is a further isometric view of the cap shown in FIG. 6a;

[0056] FIG. 6c is a side elevation of the cap shown in FIG. 6a;

[0057] FIG. 6d is a view of the outer end of the cap shown in FIG. 6a;

[0058] FIG. 6e is a view of the inner end of the cap shown in FIG. 6a;

[0059] FIG. 6f is a sectional view of the cap shown in FIG. 6a through section line A-A shown in FIG. 6d;

[0060] FIG. 7a is an isometric view of a cap in accordance with a tenth embodiment of the invention;

[0061] FIG. 7b is a further isometric view of the cap shown in FIG. 7a;

[0062] FIG. 7c is a side elevation of the cap shown in FIG. 7a;

[0063] FIG. 7d is a view of the outer end of the cap shown in FIG. 7a;

[0064] FIG. 7e is a view of the inner end of the cap shown in FIG. 7a;

[0065] FIG. 7f is a sectional view of the cap shown in FIG. 7a through section line A-A shown in FIG. 7d;

[0066] FIG. 8a is an isometric view of a cap in accordance with an eleventh embodiment of the invention;

[0067] FIG. 8b is a further isometric view of the cap shown in FIG. 8a;

[0068] FIG. 8c is a side elevation of the cap shown in FIG. 8a;

[0069] FIG. 8d is a view of the outer end of the cap shown in FIG. 8a;

[0070] FIG. 8e is a view of the inner end of the cap shown in FIG. 8a;

[0071] FIG. 8f is a sectional view of the cap shown in FIG. 8a through section line A-A shown in FIG. 8d;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

[0072] The first embodiment of the invention as shown at FIGS. 1 to 3 comprises an inserter to enable the remote insertion of a resin anchor adhesive cartridge into a drill hole. The cartridge inserter 1 comprises a cylindrical tube portion 11 having an opening at one end 12 which opens into the interior region of the tube portion, and a support portion 13 disposed at the other end and integral to the tube portion. The support portion 13 has an external thread. The interior region of the tube portion 11 is adapted to receive a resin anchor adhesive cartridge 17 of predefined length so that a short length of adhesive extends beyond the one end 12. The tube portion 11 is adapted to be insertable within a hole drilled within the roof region of an underground mine tunnel, the external diameter of the tube portion 11 being selected to be slightly smaller than the internal diameter of the hole in the roof region. The support portion 13 is intended to be supported from the boom (not shown) of a “jumbo”. The support is provided by a threaded drifter 16 which is provided with the boom and the support portion is mounted to the drifter through an internally threaded tubular adapter 15.

[0073] In use, the cartridge inserter 1 is supported by a drifter on one boom of a jumbo. A cartridge 17 is inserted into the cartridge inserter. The cartridge 17 comprises three portions of two-component epoxy resin, each portion of which has differing strength and setting time. The two components of each portion are separated by a barrier. The length of the cartridge 17 is determined such that, after insertion into the tube portion 11, a short length of the cartridge 17 extends outside the one end 12 of the tube portion 11. A retention means 18 in the form of a “spider” is secured on the short length of the cartridge which extends outside the one end 12 of the tube portion 11. A “spider” 18 is a conventional retaining means of plastic or sheet metal comprising a substantially circular central portion with a centrally located aperture adapted to be received around the cartridge, the “spider” further comprising elements or arms extending radially (in its condition prior to use) from the central portion. In use, the spider is inserted over the outer end of the cartridge and the arms bent or pressed to lie parallel with the axis of the cartridge, lying towards the Inserter. The residual resilience in the arms urges the arms radially outwardly to some extent. During insertion, the arms tend to be displaced inwardly so that they provide little hindrance to the insertion of the spider. When the inserter is withdrawn, the friction between the inserter and the cartridge, together with gravity applies a net withdrawal force to the retention means. However, due to the residual resilience in the arms, the arms are displaced outwardly to engage the wall of the hole, thereby preventing the spider and cartridge from being withdrawn from the hole with the inserter.

[0074] After a hole 21 has been drilled in the roof of the mine tunnel in the conventional manner, the jumbo operator can manoeuvre the arm of the jumbo supporting the cartridge inserter to insert the inserter into the hole to the required distance. Thereafter, the inserter is withdrawn from the hole, while the retention means 18 expands to retain the cartridge within the hole while the inserter is withdrawn. The steel bolt may then be installed by the jumbo in the normal manner.

[0075] The use of the first embodiment enables the resin anchors for the roof support of a mine tunnel to be installed remotely which eliminates the need for installation of the split sets as an interim step and which therefore, significantly reduces the amount of work and cost of providing roof support. According to the embodiment, a mine tunnel is extended and cleared in the normal manner. Thereafter, holes are drilled in the roof of the extended portion to accommodate the resin anchors. Resin anchor adhesive cartridges are then inserted into the holes by the use of the cartridge inserter in the manner previously described. The resin anchors can be installed and the mesh erected

[0076] In an alternative form of the method of using the inserter according to the first embodiment, a cartridge may be inserted immediately after the drilling of a hole, after which the jumbo is backed from the extended portion and another cartridge is inserted into the inserter, ready for installation in the next hole to be drilled.

[0077] The inserter 111 of second embodiment is similar to the inserter of the first embodiment but as shown at FIG. 4 differs in that the one end of the inserter accommodates a tubular tip 121 which is threadably engaged with the one end 112 of the inserter. The tip has a bore of the same diameter as the inserter but has a reduced outside diameter. The reduced external diameter of the tip enables the arms of a retention means of the form as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 to fold over the external face of the tip without increasing the diameter of the inserter and interfering with the insertion of the inserter into the hole.

[0078] According to a third embodiment the one end of the inserter is machined to provide a portion of reduced diameter which will accommodate the arms of the spider as is provided by the second embodiment.

[0079] According to a fourth embodiment the one end of the inserter is swaged to provide a portion of reduced diameter which will accommodate the arms of the spider as is provided by the second embodiment.

[0080] According to a fifth embodiment which can have application to each of the previous embodiments the inserter can comprise a plurality of tubular elements each of the same internal diameter which are threadably interconnected to provide an inserter with a range of lengths.

[0081] According to a sixth embodiment which can have application to each of the first, second, third and fourth embodiments the inserter can comprise a plurality of tubular elements each of the same internal diameter which are telescopically interconnected to provide an inserter with a range of lengths where the elements can be locked to a particular length before being utilised.

[0082] According to a seventh embodiment which can have application to each of the previous embodiments the outer end of the drifter to which the inserter is mounted has an aperture which opens into the interior of the inserter and is connected to a source of compressed air. When the inserter with the cartridge has been applied to the drill hole and as the inserter is withdrawn from the drill hole compressed air is introduced from the aperture into the space within the inserter between the drifter and the cartridge to assist on the expulsion of the cartridge from the inserter. As an alternative manner of retaining the cartridge within the hole, a retention means in the form of a rubber ring is inserted into the drill hole by the compressed air, thereby retaining the cartridge while permitting subsequent insertion of the rock bolt.

[0083] The eighth embodiment of the invention as illustrated at FIG. 5 relates to a variation in the form of the retention means. In the case of the eighth embodiment the retention means 218 comprises a cap member which is receivable over the outer end of the cartridge 217. The inner end of the cap is formed with a tubular portion 223 which is adapted to engage the cartridge and which is receivable In the open one end 212 of the inserter 211 while the outer axial face 225 of the cap is formed with an aperture which will allow the escape of resin from the outer end of the cartridge when it is ruptured. The outer end of the cap comprises a domed head with a formed with a plurality of resilient barb-like formations 229 which extend radially outwardly from the central cap such that the barb-like formations 229 will permit the entry of the cap into a drill hole but retain the cap and thus the cartridge from withdrawal from the drill hole. The diameter of the base of the domed head approximates the outer diameter of the inserter tube so that the cap is supported by the inserter during insertion into the drill hole.

[0084] According to a ninth embodiment and as shown in FIG. 6, parts a to f, the retention means comprises a cap 318 adapted to be used in conjunction with the inserter and which is receivable over the outer end of the cartridge, as in the case of the eighth embodiment. The cap 318 according to the ninth embodiment comprises a tubular member having a substantially part-conical outer end 327, an inner end comprising a first tubular portion 323 and a second tubular portion 326 intermediate the first tubular portion 323 and the part-conical outer end . The first tubular portion 323 is loosely receivable in the open one end 12 of the inserter, having an outer diameter slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the open one end 12 of the inserter with which it is adapted to be used. The second tubular portion 326 has an outer diameter which is greater than the outer diameter of the first tubular portion 323 and which is substantially the same as the outer diameter of the open one end 12 of the inserter. The difference in outer diameters of the second tubular portion 326 and the first tubular portion 323 thereby defines a lip 328 at the junction between the two portions, the lip 328 being adapted to be engaged by the open one end 12 of the inserter.

[0085] The inner surfaces of the first tubular portion 323 and the second tubular portion 326 are continuous to provide an almost cylindrical cavity where the surface is tapered slightly from a larger diameter at the inner end to a smaller diameter at the outer end, thereby defining a cavity surface 330. The taper is adapted to provide increased retention of the cap on the cartridge as the cap is pressed onto the cartridge. In addition, a plurality of ribs 332 are provided on the cavity surface 330, the ribs 332 extending parallel to the axis of the cap 318 substantially along the length of the cavity surface 330. Preferably, the cavity surface 330 has a degree of roughness to further assist retention.

[0086] The part-conical outer end 327 of the cap 318 is formed with an aperture 325 on its axial face, the aperture 325 being adapted to allow the escape of resin from the outer end of the cartridge when it is ruptured.

[0087] The cap is further provided with a plurality of resiliently deformable wing-like formations 329 extending outwardly from the part-conical surface. The wing-like formations 329 are adapted to permit the entry of the cap 318 into a drill hole but to restrict the removal of the cap 318 and thus the cartridge from the drill hole.

[0088] In use, the cap 318 is pressed onto the end of the cartridge, the slightly tapered cavity surface 330 and ribs 332 compressing the end of the cartridge to enable the cap 318 to reliably support the weight of the cartridge. The cartridge is inserted into the inserter, the open one end 12 of the inserter abutting the lip 328 of the cap 318. The inserter is positioned adjacent the hole in preparation for insertion. The part-conical shape of the end 327 of the cap 318 together with the rigidity of the cap 318 positively supported by the inserter enables the cap 318 to be reliably forced into the hole by the inserter. This is so even on the occasions where the wall of the drill hole is rough or where rock debris is held adjacent the hole by the roof reinforcement mesh, as such debris is usually able to be dislodged sufficiently by the cap guided by the inserter to ensure proper alignment of the inserter with the hole. The cap 318 thus provides an important improvement in the invention over the previously described embodiments and conventional practice such as the “spider” which leave the end of the cartridge which is first inserted into the drill hole vulnerable to damage from debris and misalignment. By the use of the cartridge inserter and cap of the present embodiment, the delicate membrane of the cartridge is completely enclosed within the inserter and the cap during insertion so that the side wall of the cartridge is completely protected from damage during the insertion process.

[0089] According to a tenth embodiment and as shown in FIG. 7, parts a to f, the retention means comprises a further embodiment of the cap. The cap of this embodiment is similar to the cap of the ninth embodiment and in the drawings like features are denoted by the same numerals as those of FIG. 6. In this embodiment, the wing-like formations 329 comprise a substantially continuous extension of the part-conical end around the second tubular portion 326 of the cap, the substantially continuous extension being slitted by slits 334 to enable the deformation of the extension during insertion. After insertion, these extensions again act to retain the cap supporting the cartridge within the drill hole, as in the case described in relation to the ninth embodiment.

[0090] According to an eleventh embodiment and as shown in FIG. 8, parts a to f, the retention means comprises a further embodiment of the cap 318. The cap of this embodiment is similar to the cap of the tenth embodiment and in the drawings like features are denoted by the same numerals as those of FIG. 7. In the eleventh embodiment, the formation which engages the wall of the drill hole in the rock comprises a substantially continuous extension 341 of the part-conical end around the second tubular portion 326 of the cap 318. At the periphery 342 of the extension 341 there is provided a radially outwardly directed rim 343. The rim 343 is substantially continuous around the periphery 342 of the extension 341.

[0091] In this embodiment, retention to the wall of the drill hole is obtained by resilient deformation of the rim and extension when the cap is inserted into the drill hole.

[0092] In addition, as a feature of this embodiment, a plurality of flaps 335 extend from the periphery of the aperture 325 radially inwardly. These flaps 335 are adapted to engage a ferrule used to crimp the membrane at the end of the adhesive cartridge 17, thereby providing additional retention of the cartridge to the cap 318.

[0093] Each of the eighth, tenth and eleventh embodiments also provide the special protection to the cartridge wall membrane as described in relation to the ninth embodiment. Each of these embodiments therefore provide an advantage over previously disclosed methods for the insertion of a cartridge into a rock bolt hole even where the insertion is not performed remotely and the inserter is of simpler construction to those as described herein.

[0094] In a further adaptation of any of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh embodiments, the means by which the cap supports the cartridge is in the form of a plurality of fingers extending substantially parallel to the axis rather than a tubular element.

[0095] Throughout the specification, unless the context requires otherwise, the word “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising”, will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers.

[0096] It should be appreciated that the scope of the invention is not to be limited to the particular scope of the embodiments described above.