oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Investigation of frost heave of oxygen plant at Iscor, Pretoria

Volume 13, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The phenomenon of frost heaving of the cold box in the oxygen plant at Iscor, Pretoria, occurred which presented a hazardous, complicated and unique problem for both the assessment of the parameters involved, and for the establishment of effective and remedial measures. Methods of delineating the cause of the heaving are descriptionbed, as are some of the theoretical considerations of the materials and phenomena involved. A unique drilling method was adopted whereby the drill bit was cooled to an extremely low temperature to enable frozen bedrock to be cored without melting the ice, and spark-free equipment was necessitated to prevent potential explosions in the possible oxygen-enriched environment. Both passive and active remedial measures were adopted to obviate the heave which involved drastically altering both the hydrologic and thermal regime to restore the cold box to its approximately original and static position. The measures adopted are fully explained.

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